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Tiggeh

Degree Courses

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Tiggeh    122
The time is coming near to filling out that UCAS form to get onto a Uni course. I''m not entirely sure which course I should go for. I would ideally like to be a games programmer because I find normal applications programming rather repetitive and boring, possibly because I started out coding with VB. As far as I can see, I have a choice of three degree courses: Games Programming (or any number of names for the same thing), Software Engineering, Comp Science + Games Programming. Does anyone know what sort of degree game devs are really after. Assuming I got a games degree, would more ''traditional'' devs like a games degree or would they be put off? Does anyone have any good suggestions for courses & Unis in the UK? Finally does anyone have suggestions on getting a job after uni? Also what are the options for moving to America and getting a job as a game dev over there?

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
Game dev houses don''t really care about what type of degree you have. Computer science, software engineering, game programming, etc. will all give you the same basic tools to work with. The game companies want to see that you know how to code, that you know how to think, and that you care about what you do. The degree just shows that you have the basics of programming down, and that you have to drive to finish the degree. After that it is up to you to show that you know your stuff.

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RajanSky    100
Personally I took the CS route and I really regret it because so much of my time is wasted on BS that I''ll never use. I would have rather pursued a gamedev degree, because I know I''m going into the game industry and I have zero doubt about it.

But, you sound like your mind isn''t entirely made up. So I guess I''d suggest reading up and learning as much as you can about what it''s like to be a game programmer and see if that''s something you want to commit to. It''s not an easy decision because the game industry has lots of issues- low pay, quick burnout, intense competition, etc.

If you''re sure you want to be a game coder, then you should do a gamedev degree. But, if you''re not sure about gamedev, then I say do a CS degree because it would give you a bit more flexibility in the types of jobs you can get later on. One other option is that there are some schools which offer game degree specializations within the CS department, so that may be something to look into. I dunno about UK schools but hopefully there are some like that...

Raj

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idx14    122
Hmmm. I know that some game developers prefer that you have a degree in Computer Science rather than having had specialized training at some gamedev school. Because doing a CS degree gives you a much broader knowlegde than simply a specialized course with one area of focus. A degree would be highly recommended, but the gamedev degree could be a good complement (ie. get that as well).
Doing a CS degree gives you opportunity to learn all kinds of maths (which is a great necessity in gamesdev) and teaches you many important things in CS itself like creating compilers, how operatings systems work, etc. You may think that this has nothing to do with gamedev but that''s where you are wrong.
Take a look at LucasArt''s Scumm Engine. To have been able to code something like that you need to at least know the basics of how a compiler (and/or virtual machine) functions. Also to be able to do parrallel script executions (which is similiar to multi-threading in an OS, only mch simpler)...etc. The list is endless.

Do not simply discard a degree as being useless because they do not focus gamedev. The focus on algorithms, structures good coding, and in between you are tought very important things. Gamedev is something that you teach yourself in you spare time...

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Drazgal    368
Abertay Dundee has an okay games course (which Im on) though ti starts a little too slowely, try to get to 2nd year straight away if you can already program!

If you are thinking about the Teeside course in the UK do not go there. The UNi is not bad (decent infact for tech) but the area is very depressing. Granted up here in Tayside it is not much better but it is marginally nicer to a skyline of industrial plants (believe me after living in teeside for all my life I couldnt wait to leave). Remember, you have to live at the unis area so theres more to the choice than jsut the course (Bournmouth might be okay or so I ve heard though).

One last thing, on a comp science course you are more likely to be around programmers. Here the class is mainly people who are here to learn programming ish or just the bare stuff to get into game dev in other areas. If you are looking to be around people that love programming unless you get a more techie year than myself game dev in the uk is not the course for you.

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Tiggeh    122
Thanks for the help guys

I''m seriously considering a comp science course with some game programming modules. Is Wolverhampton University good? Seems to have a nice computer science/games dev course with only one years worth of systems analysis (awful stuff is systems analysis).

Some very interesting points, and information. Thanks - its very appreciated

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