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Aquila

New to game programming - well, all programming

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Heya all, Well, as subject states, really... eh heh. Alright. I'm 16, looking to go to university next year. Recently (in the last 6 months) I've taken an interest in programming which has grown into a desire to end up in a career as a game programmer. Really, I guess I'm just looking for advice and opinions on my chance of success. So, what chance does someone with no previous programming experience have trying to get into the gaming industry? I'm looking towards perhaps getting a BCMS (Bachelor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences) degree at university, majoring in CS. What chance do you think I'd stand against people who've been programming since they could talk? Like, what's the chance I'd get the degree, and then never really get where I wanted because I was still getting overlooked in favour of people with far greater experience? Also, how difficult is it to learn computer programming? The first-year courses all say 'no prior programming experience assumed' but realistically... how would I do? Would I be likely to gain the degree with good grades? I am what you'd call a bright student - I've been top of math the last 3 years in my year at school, and in fact topped the year overall as well. Looking on Gamasutra at the job listings, I see a lot of them also like someone with a "Solid basis in 3D mathematics & some physics", "Mathematics (particularly linear algebra, trig and vectors)"... that kind of stuff. What do they mean, by this? What is 3D math? Is all that stuff taught in a CS degree? Since it is really a BCMS I'm looking at, I would be able to take math papers also - which ones are recommended? I want to take first year algebra and calculus - would this be enough by itself, or would I need to carry on and do various 2nd and 3rd year math papers? The degree, btw, is a 4-year one. Really, I guess I want a realistic opinion(s) of my chances in the game industry, coming from a non-programming background. Also - just as an extra, and I'm far more interested in the first part of my question - is C# likely to become a standard game programming language? I've been learning it the past week (yeah, not very long, haha, but school's finally eased up for a bit. Oh, btw - I live in NZ.) Back to the original question about programming - how useful do you think this would be, as extra qualifications after a CS? Would an employer be more likely to look at an applicant with one of these: http://www.mediadesign.school.nz/diploma_of_game_development_overview.asp (the programming stream). How useful would that be? Aughh, so many questions!! Sorry!! Hope you get my drift, and can give me some answers... All opinions much appreciated!! ~Aquila

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I didn't read it all since I'm quite busy, but just so you know, I've been in the games industry for the past 5 years, I have no University degree and started programming after high school.

As long as you can do the job you'll have your chance :) no matter how many hours you spent programming before Univ.

As for how hard programming is... its hard to tell, from what I remember, some people did understand pointers and others didnt... it must have something to do with the "logical" part of your brain. Not to say people who can't understand pointers are less intelligent, but they might not have this specific type of intelligence.

Don't worry about your chances to get into the industry, if you work hard and good at programming, you'll have good chances to get in this industry.

Cheers

Eric

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How hard programming depends on the individual. What might be hard for me might be easy for you, and vice versa. I won't even pretend to know the slightest clue how people learn.

Anyways, 3D math is not taught in the majority of CS courses, but the maths. Of course, choosing CS, you'll end up taking many math courses.

A simple example. You have an object at floating at position x = 1, y = 2, z = 3. How would you go about acquiring a position to get x = 2, y = 1, z = 3. Or how would you go about rotating the object?

All of these examples are easy enough to do in a single equation. But do you understand what the matrix or vectors would look like?

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One of the best programmers I knew never programmed before they hit university, and started out in a baseline course.

The math I've used while programming includes:
Geometry, Calculus, Linear Algrebra (3D maths), Fourier Analysis, general Proof techniques, Numerical Analysis, Modular Arithmetic, Complex Numbers, Measure Theory, Real Analysis...

Of the above, the bold would be far more commonly used.

Odds are basic calculus and algebra are not enough if you want to be proficient at doing graphics.

Note that, in general, Games programming pays less than equally skilled/dedicated work outside of the Games industry. But you get to work with games. :)

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