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TomX

Importance of Physics?

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Hi, Instead of giving you my life story about courses I'm currently on, I'll dive straight into my question: Is taking Physics in College needed for Game Development or is reading a 'Physics in Game Development' sufficient? Thanks in Advance TomX

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That is not a simple question to answer since it ultimately depends on the type of games you wish to make, and how games will evolve in the future.

In my opinion, if you have the opportunity to take some college level physics courses, I would do so. Even if you don't directly use (for game dev) the material taught, the courses will help develop skills essential to programming (i.e. problem solving, analytical thinking...).

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Much of the college physics will be irrelevant to gaming - you don't need stuff like optics, circuits, etc. Mostly for gaming you care about mechanics (statics and dynamics) and maybe some auditory stuff. In that case, I'd see if you can directly get into a mechanics course for engineers or physicists. Still, they'll probably have 1st year physics as prereqs.

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Thanks for the feedback people, unfortunately there is no engineering/mechanics courses so the closest thing is Physics.

However, I feel taking Physics will improve my Game Development skills more than Business Studies would, which is what I'm currently studying. (Along with Maths and Computing, but they're not being replaced).

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Hmm, well, I have a B.S. in mechanical engineering, and I took a lot of physics, mechanics, and structures. I would recommend (look out, this can be a difficult course - but it's pretty specific) theoretical mechanics, or statics/dynamics. This will focus you more on motion, forces, and structure than a regular physics course, which as was stated above, will include a lot of circuits, optical studies, and general information that won't mean squat to a game developer. Hope this helps.

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Not every aspect of your life should revolve around game development. You might be surprised that what is taught in a business class might provide you with the inspirational concepts for a sim (what do you think all the Tycoon games are?), or even a different approach to a software problem.

Be a well-rounded person. Take a good complement of classes and focus more on excelling than on selecting those uniquely applicable to game development. It is more important that you be capable of learning a wide range of material than showing a would-be employer that you've focused on game development your whole life.

Participate in social activities. Take classes in the humanities. Learn a foreign language. Many programmers don't even have degrees (or formal instruction) in Computer Science.

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its really a trick question anyway ... any and all college courses you take CAN (not necissarily will) help you in your future creative endevors. If you are in the creative side of the system things like physics, philosophy, engineering, psycology, foreign langauges, logic, political science, etc ... all help offer you many usefull tools in your toolbox - ways to see the world, more accurate models to use in driving your story and gameplay, a bigger world view.

on the actual low level details of just coding functionality, then physics will almost definately only be used in the coding of the games graphics, sound, physics, input, and AI engine - because the physical model of the world, its physical interactions, it's look and sound, and the characters (AI) and players means of interacting with it all touch on physics ...

stuff like a save game system, menus, GUI libraries, and general programming skills will not really have anything to do with physics at all.

1 year of physics will definately help you USE someone else's physics and graphics engine though ... cause the terms and core principles will be retained by you long after you've forgotten your formulas and the exact details.

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Quote:
Original post by Oluseyi
Not every aspect of your life should revolve around game development. You might be surprised that what is taught in a business class might provide you with the inspirational concepts for a sim (what do you think all the Tycoon games are?), or even a different approach to a software problem.

Be a well-rounded person. Take a good complement of classes and focus more on excelling than on selecting those uniquely applicable to game development. It is more important that you be capable of learning a wide range of material than showing a would-be employer that you've focused on game development your whole life.

Participate in social activities. Take classes in the humanities. Learn a foreign language. Many programmers don't even have degrees (or formal instruction) in Computer Science.


I see your point, the problem with me continuing Business Studies rather than taking Physics is that, whatever I take, I need a B in, unfortunately I am not good at Business Studies so I fear I will not come close to Business Studies.

Also, the college I am in is different to most colleges, we cannot just take additional courses, I choose 3 at the start of college and I do them for 2 years, no extras so about your suggestions of taking a foreign language class it is impossible within my college.

So what are the advantages of each Physics and Business Studies in relation to software development (not neccesseraly game development)?

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id say physics is very important. more relevant to gamedev than business or a foreign language imho.

ofcource it heavily depends on where you plan on ending up, but i can assure you that the possibilties of making a game with even just decent physics is going to be impossible without studying them one way or the other.

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