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School Help!

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Thanx for coming in and checking this out! Well im 17 and im still in High School and i was wondering(im a noob at all this) what do i really need to know,to be good at gamemaking? What kind of courses and stuff And after i graduate what do i do after,University i think but what classes should i take? I dont want to take some classes i really dont need to!I dont want to waste my time,i want to learn,not get years of classes that arent going to help. If you got any help you can give me with this and more that you think i need then PLEASE i really need it. Im from PR.But i can go to the US if i need to! Thanx all.

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Okay, well it depends on what you want to do. I would definitely take as many math/science classes you can at your high school. But also don't think that the boring english class you have to take isn't going to help either. It will. You are going to have to take classes you find boring or don't think you need, so instead of hating them try and find ways of using them in game design or development. How many countless rpg's have taken ideas from greek mythology or the mythos of other cultures. A well rounded education is critical for anyone but especially if your goal is one day to be a game designer/producer.

When you get to college think about what the course has to offer and what it's aim is. I'm currently majoring in Computer Engineering. I thought about going to a game design school like Digipen or FullSail but in my opinion I would get a better education where I am that won't get me stuck in one career that one day I may not want to be in.

In short don't go to a school just because they have a GameProgramming course.

Also, depending on what major you choose at college you may not have much to say about what classes you take. I have very few electives in my major. May be different at other schools but at mine my course is pretty much laid out so it depends.

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Computer Science seems to be a popular choice. I'm studying a Batchelor of Multimedia Systems, but I'm from Australia, so I'm unsure of what sort of equivalent courses would be available where you are. Look into what courses are available, and try to pick one that you think will suit your goals.

You'll of course want to learn a lot of programming. It's preferable if your course covers some good graphics programming in addition to the fundamentals most courses will contain - a course specifically dedicated to games is a bonus, but not a neccesity (and don't take a course just because it's a games course - check it out first and see if it's what you want). Any additional maths and/or physics you can pick up along the way is also a bonus. As caseyd has said, you can make use of almost anything, so it doesn't hurt to choose a course with a fairly broad coverage of various subject areas. In the meantime, you can also start teaching yourself, as well as taking some short-courses if any are available.

Where I live, there are often short-courses in programming, graphics, etc run at reasonable costs. These don't require as much time as a full degree course, but they give you a good foundation, and normally another qualification to show (even if not the best qualification around).

You can also teach yourself over the internet, and from books. For some good information on getting started, check out For Beginners, and the For Beginners Forum FAQ. Learning by yourself in the meantime can provide a number of benefits:
- Better understanding of concepts presented in potential courses
- Build up a portfolio of your own projects, to show potential employers
- Still have your options open if for some reason you don't get into a course
- Focus on the area you want to, rather than following a course

//EDIT: Also, keep in mind that there are many different aspects to games development. I automatically gave the answer suited to programming, which is what myself (and probably a majority here) are working on/aiming for. You could also do a computer graphics course, or even a sound-engineering course if you're actually more interested in content-creation or whatnot.

Hope this is of some help to you. [smile]

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Randy of Neuron seemes to get this just right...
<Quote>
Take all the math and physics courses you can get your hands on. If you are artistic, take all the art classes you can as well. Hope this helps :)
</Quote>

If you're going for the programming side as i am (Studying MEng Software Engineering) You'll find that problem solving skills will help you to no end in this area, so stuff like decision maths.
(This will also help if you get a really dull subject like 'formal aspects of computer science' - as i have :P)
Other main areas of math and physics to look at is mechanical maths, and possibly a little statistical maths.

Hope this helps a bit.

Add

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I think you can get a good idea of what to do from the previous posts. They all have it right. However, I would carefully consider entering into a Computer Science curriculum. Simply for the fact that most of the programming is based around Java. Also, the math aspect of computer science is being dummed down a little to make it easier for people to get into and get through it. For me that's not what I wanted since the amount of math education I was getting was very important (I'm going to have a math minor when I graduate).

This is just what's going on at a lot of the schools I've looked into. Some colleges aren't doing it this way but I'm afraid some are. They're no longer making Computer Scientists but Computer Programming Cookie Cutter Guys.

This is just my 2 cents though.

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Quote:
Original post by caseyd
I would carefully consider entering into a Computer Science curriculum. Simply for the fact that most of the programming is based around Java.

I wouldn't immediately discount Java though. Java is handy to learn if you want to work in mobile phone games. I don't like Java much myself but I'm doing a B of Comp Sci (Games Technology) and they have a few Java subjects in the compulsory core which in hindsight was a good thing I think.

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