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blut3ng3l

beginner, college..

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I would love to have a job in game dev. I’m not too good in art or programming, but I’m good with computers in general. I could probably study and work with modeling and coding.. to learn/get better. But between trying to get programs and tutorials I probably won’t get real far. I was wondering, would going to college to learn how to do everything be smart when you don't have the skills to begin with? I mean... that's what college is for.. to teach you... but it seems like the people who would go are already advanced in the area. :/

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My CS labs are done on Macs . . .and unix in later years
windows XP?! I bet you had two-button mice as well!

It really depends if you want to program the game mechanics or create the imagery - If you're good at computers you shouldnt have any trouble with picking up 3D programs (probably artistic skill necessary too. . . :P)

If you're thinking of going for programming, make sure you can handle alot of maths... I'm finding out i'm just not cut for it because of this.

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Yeah we had two-button mice, but they became pretty useless since we only used Windows XP for one semester and moved on to Linux/Unix after that ;) He's right about the maths though, CS courses usually require you to do at least two maths units during the duration of your course. You'll also need to learn some extra maths if you want to take a unit that covers 3D graphics, which I plan to do next year.

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I've done Trig. , Calculus 1 and 2 , Discrete Math , so far but there is more to come (like Linear Alg. ).

I'm a BS in CS. Theres alot of math if your a B.S. but if your a B.A. there isn't much. It would be best to move into the B.S. as a Comp. Sci. major.

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Original post by blut3ng3l
I would love to have a job in game dev. I’m not too good in art or programming, but I’m good with computers in general. I could probably study and work with modeling and coding.. to learn/get better. But between trying to get programs and tutorials I probably won’t get real far. I was wondering, would going to college to learn how to do everything be smart when you don't have the skills to begin with? I mean... that's what college is for.. to teach you... but it seems like the people who would go are already advanced in the area. :/

Well, I don't know how it is over there, but here, when you start at computer science, for example, they really assume that you know nothing. (other than maybe how to turn on a computer).

You start learning how to program in a language none of the students have heard of before, and you learn some mandatory math, and then work from there.

Generally, they'll tell you what formal requirements they have (some level of high school math, for example), and that is really all you need. You don't need to know programming in advance to study computer science. And that's more or less true for any other college degrees as well.

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I'm in a programming program now. (Bored out of my mind in the begining classes) and They assume NOTHING!! Math is a must, That's a given seeing Computers are nothing but. As much math as you can learn, the better, but not needed when your just learning. The classes might be good, if you wish, to fill in the blanks of what you already know. It's also much better having a teacher to ask when there is somthing that confuses you.

Depending on where you live, It may be hard to find a school that teaches programing insted of lecturing about it(only 2 schools here, and only 1 of them is considerd a collage). Good luck on that.

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Programming will come to you just like english but college mostly forcus on software engineering which is the study software developement. They real don't focus on one programming language but how to implement and design code based on some problem. My first clase at TTU was about what we, the students sticking with CS, were going to take later on. They had every thing sight out but they use the java,only because it had module already developed.

It shouldn't take long to learn c++ sinse some students only take it for less than a year.

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thanks. i'm graduating in 2 months. i was thinking about going to an art institute/college rather than a university and learning there. i was thinking about either getting a Visual & Game Programming Fine Arts Degree or a Game Art & Design Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. Rather than just Computer Science in a university. basically, I would be going into the school with them teaching me everything. they teach all of the languages, and I'm sure the people there aren't wizzes. i just want to be able to hold my own as a newb. i've gotten up to precalc in high school, 3.5gpa, good at computers, love gaming, photography, graphic design. i'm still not that good at much.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I am in the middle of my first sem of college. Honesty my C programming course is pretty easy. Then again I took CS I and II in high school. My c prog class is an easy A. I go 80% of the time we have class and sleep 50% of the 80% I got. Its pretty easy we finally got to using pointers and structs (stuff I actually did not know) and I did not find it to hard. The advantage of college is that you can get help easily. I help two of my friends in CS I all the time.

Math wise this sem im in Calc I, I have to take up to Calc III and then some other stuff.

http://cs.okstate.edu/csprograms/bs/Flowchart.2005-2006_frame.htm

That is the flow of some stuff I will be taking class wise. There are also more classes that are not listed, but wouldnt really fit into that flow chart (such as ADA programming).

-TS

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Original post by blut3ng3l
is it smarter to go to a normal college and get into computer science? or to go to an art college and actually work for game design or programming and get a degree?


I have always heard a full degree, then if gaming doesnt work out for you your not hosed.

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I say go with computer science in college. Then if you want you can take a game design program at a later time. Since you don't really know any programming yet that would probably be the best choice since you start at beginner level stuff and work your way up.

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Original post by SKATIN_HARD
I say go with computer science in college. Then if you want you can take a game design program at a later time. Since you don't really know any programming yet that would probably be the best choice since you start at beginner level stuff and work your way up.


yea, it makes sense that way in my mind too. what are typical careers a person gets after graduating in computer science? and like TriSwords said, I'd be stuck not being able to change majors like you can in college.

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Original post by blut3ng3l
is it smarter to go to a normal college and get into computer science? or to go to an art college and actually work for game design or programming and get a degree?

Er, depends on what you want. Is it smarter to become a carpenter or dentist? [wink]
If you want to be a programmer, computer science is your best bet.
If you want to be an artist, an art college sounds like a good idea.

Quote:

I am in the middle of my first sem of college. Honesty my C programming course is pretty easy. Then again I took CS I and II in high school. My c prog class is an easy A. I go 80% of the time we have class and sleep 50% of the 80% I got. Its pretty easy we finally got to using pointers and structs (stuff I actually did not know) and I did not find it to hard. The advantage of college is that you can get help easily. I help two of my friends in CS I all the time.

Yeah, the actual programming classes in CS are usually not too difficult. Then again, they're only a fraction of what CS is about. You're in for a few surprises if you think your programming classes are representative of CS. [wink]

And that also means that CS really doesn't requireany prior skill or knowledge. Almost everything you learn are new stuff that "newbies" don't even know are relevant. The only thing *some* (far from all) students know before they start is usually a bit of programming. And that's not always an advantage, even.

Quote:

yea, it makes sense that way in my mind too. what are typical careers a person gets after graduating in computer science? and like TriSwords said, I'd be stuck not being able to change majors like you can in college.

Heh, virtually anything even slightly related to software development. [wink]
I wouldn't worry about that.

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Yeah, the actual programming classes in CS are usually not too difficult. Then again, they're only a fraction of what CS is about. You're in for a few surprises if you think your programming classes are representative of CS.


Right now its easy just because it is only learning the langauge too. Plus I can do all I've done because I have looked at C a bit before and already have a few years of java backing. A 3 day lecture over primatives just isnt going to hold my interest.

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I was looking at a past FullSail thread. Personally, when I think about majoring in Computer Science, COmputer Programming, or Computer Engineering, it seems intimidating. Like that you need to be real good at math, and have a background. I only took precalc, and made a C. Which I never studied. I'm a 3.5GPA student, good with computers, with no programming experience. I've taken a VisualBasics.NET class, and didn't do too hot, mainly because I didn't study. Well, I mean, I made a 98, higher than the kid who actually did all the programming for everyone when we cheated. I'm not good with PHP, basically cause I never sit down to do it, and would love for books/some one to teach me the coding.

Regarding me, and Full Sail/A game college. It seems like knowledge can help, but they can also teach you a lot, and if you stay dedicated... you can learn a lot and become good.

I need to decide if I want to risk paying a large loan, to do gaming, of which I have no experience. Or go to a normal college and do smething in computers, where I feel I need to be a lot smarter than I am.

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You will need to be good at math, period, "regular" CS degree or not. Linear algebra especially I have found to be the most useful bit of mathematics I ever studied. Calculus only slightly less so...

You don't have to be GREAT at math, nor do you need a mathematics degree. Basically you need to not be afraid of math, or if you are you need to be able to overcome that fear.

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i'm a computer science major and as far as math is concerned we have to do the following:

calc 1, calc 2, linear algebra, probability and statistics, discrete structures, and also either Vector calc OR differitial equations (i chose vector calc :P)

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Original post by jpetrie
You will need to be good at math, period, "regular" CS degree or not. Linear algebra especially I have found to be the most useful bit of mathematics I ever studied. Calculus only slightly less so...

You don't have to be GREAT at math, nor do you need a mathematics degree. Basically you need to not be afraid of math, or if you are you need to be able to overcome that fear.


Seconded. Computers are really math incarnate, nothing a computer does, can do, or will ever do, isn't math. Sometimes its hidden behind the language, but its always there. That said, you don't need to be a math god that knows everything and never has to look up a formula. Whats important is that you have a fair grasp of the material; enough to do what you know, and to know where to look and how to apply it when you don't. Bottom line, you should be comfortable with math.


Though I went to Digipen myself, and it is a fine program, I've usually advised others to go the University route first. If you like what you've learned at university and want to move it into the games field specifically, you can always attend a game school and get the specialized training they offer. Alternatively, for a motivated individual, Having a BS in computer science + a good portfolio of independant game projects and tech demos is generally just as good as having a game degree.

You would also find, having gone to a game school, that some places simply don't hire grads of these programs. On the other hand, there are other places that seek out these grads specifically, but the point is these kinds of degrees don't neccesarilly make you a lock-in candidate for the games industry. You need to excell to make it, the only average programmers in the game industry are the ones who managed to pull the wool over the eyes of their employer long enough to learn the codebase :)

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yeah, I'm fine and feel comfortable in math. i've always like it and i've always understood everything. i flew through geometry and algebra 2. but since i never did my homework when it came to precalc, when it came to tests, i couldn't remember how to do things. and i never took notes since i understood all the class work.

it just feels like you need to be very impressive in math for computer science, programming, etc. but I guess I can conclude otherwise from what all you have said.

i see how a degree in CS with game projects can get you into the business. and i see how FullSail can help you into the industry, if you actually get everything out of the program you can. and i can see how going to a university can be good, so you'll know if you are good and want to progress further, then going to a something like FullSail.

if you know how to this stuff, and can make something actually good, you don't need FullSail holding your hand. so i'm not under the impression that I need FullSail for that reason. i just personally feel FullSail, or another gaming college could teach me the skills for me to become good, then take the ball and make impressive games, to get me a career.

in my current situation, i have to decide on if I want to go to a Tennessee university and get a Hope Scholarship. which would give me 3,000 a year and pay for most colleges fully. or decide if i want to go to an out of state university and get loans. which could be 60K. then if I took a FUllSail,game college program, that's another 60K. more or less. or whether or not I should take a game program starting off.

right now i'm pondering if i should just go to the local tennessee university, get into computer science, get a job, take a fullsail program, and see where my life takes me. what are typical jobs after you graduate in CS?

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In general game programming doesn't pay as much as other programming. Also I breezed through high school math. I'm now taking Calculus 2 for the second time in the local university, and taking good notes and trying to bring up my D average in that class. I knew how to program since I was a kid so programming came naturally to me.

If you want to know how well you'd do in programming I'd recommend you first try to learn from reading a free book like Thinking Like a Computer Scientist: Programming in Python and download the Python programming language from the Python website and see if you're any good at it before throwing away a good scholarship opportunity with a halfhearted attempt at a BS degree in something you're no good at. (BTW, That book was the textbook for the first programming course in the university I am attending.)

As far as the jobs you can get, depending on what electives you take, you could learn to be a programmer (which makes good money), a game developer (which makes some money but less than a regular programmer due to greater supply), or others. You may not get your pick on the first job but if you're up to your neck in student loans you may have to take what you can get.

Fine Arts degrees are somewhat less appreciated in the workplace but are in reasonably high demand in the gaming industry. If you want a fine arts degree in gaming you might be able to get a job in the industry but it's a tough sell. Supply of game developers is higher than other art jobs so if you go into the arts you could end up "hosed" as TriSwords said.

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