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If you are less interested in the game than the technology behind the game, I would suggest staying away from programming gameplay features (including AI) and the UI. Those areas have the most to do with the game itself. Everything else, including tools, would be fine.

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I would go for AI:
1) poorly exploited in today's games (I'm suspecting that of single-player games, largest chunk are simply "tried-and-proven" FSM. And the MMORPG genre has no signifficant AI to speak of)
2) high complexity possible so it's good for a challenge (but might no longer be usable for real-time simulation - but who cares, you said you like programming more anyway. hope your math grades were good)
3) Networking is good for a challenge too - but the hit-your-head-against-the-brick-wall kind of challenge. :D
4) probably most technical system next to low level graphics pipeline (check out the Material/Shader Implementation thread

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I think that you need to keep at least 10% of your in the non-tech side otherwise you will lose the creativity.

But aside from that I think you should go into AI and Physics because they are the most technical and mathematical side of games.

Cheers,
-Zubair-

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Guest Anonymous Poster
i dont think that tthe networking is all that truely hard. try using sdl in the beginning and use sdl net to work ytour sockets. once you get a hang of that try hardcoding them.

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Quote:
Original post by alex_and_his_towel
Oh, I do have one question though. I'm currently a first year undergraduate on a maths degree. I'd imagine most people that actually get careers as game network programmers have computer science degrees. Is that true? How feasible is it that *I* could make it as a professional network programmer?

Alex.
The first thing when they look for a programmer is proficency with C++. If you have a degree in math, then that may pose a problem later when they ask you simple C++ questions like what a pointer is. Since those sorta complicated language constructs are important in sophiscated forms of development.

The toughest job I'd say is being a lead programmer. Which basically means your good at probably 2-3 different programming roles. Physics (Racing/Crashing games), Networking (MMO-style), and Tools (anything complicated) tend to be the hardest to design. But the same goes for what someone else said about low level shader effects.

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