Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
tehfusion

Which uni course? 'Game development', 'Computer Science' or 'Software Engineering'?

This topic is 4371 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

So I'm in my second year at college at the moment, and I very much intend to go into a game programming field. As I need to select a course to take at university, my question is thus: would a game development course be better than a software engineering course? Of course, it's my choice and depends and what not, but I'd like to know which is more likely to help me get a job as a game programmer. Opinions, thoughts, etc.? Examples of game development courses I've been looking at: http://www.bolton.ac.uk/courses/course_display.asp?single=bsc_cgsd&mode=single&template=uni http://www.bcuc.ac.uk/prospective_students/courses/technology/games_development_bsc_hons_f.aspx http://www.derby.ac.uk/faculties/business-computing-and-law/schools/school-of-computing/courses/computer-games-programming-bsc-hons Example of software engineering courses I've been looking at: http://www.solent.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate/software_engineering_bsc/course_details.aspx Thanks in advance. [Edited by - tehfusion on October 4, 2006 3:39:04 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Quote:
From The Bolton University Page
The move to ‘next generation’ consoles with Sony’s Playstation2, Nintendo’s Game Cube and Microsoft’s X-Box are revolutionising the buoyant UK games industry. New technology platforms are forcing existing development firms to diversify and are allowing new businesses to enter the market.


Hardly confidence inspiring is it? :D

From my experience Games Courses in the UK are generally a waste of time, filled with students doing it because it sounds cool. One of the biggest problems is the speed that the games industry and computer graphics move. If your course is going to last 3 or four years the course material is going to need to be constantly updated and revised, do you trust a university to take the time and effort to do this? As an example I graduated from a Games Tech course this summer, I had requested that the course be revised to include such topics as programable shaders for all of my four years and there were still no plans when I left.

Having said that, there are advantages to this kind of course, you will most likely have far more free time than you would with a more intensive course and so can spend more time doing your own learning and or working on demos for future employers. They will also have resources you might not get otherwise (hordes of game programming books, ps2 linux dev kits etc) and possibly may have links with local companies that *could* help get work experience that little bit easier.

If you take a more traditional Software engineering or computer science course you will also help elave your options open. People tend to change alot in their views and life goals while at university and you may find your self leaving and no longer wanting to work on computer games. In this case having a traditional degree will leave you with far more carears to walk into rather than a Games Tech degree. However you would need to spend time learning the games programming side on your own time while still working on your traditional degree, so bear that in mind.

You may also want to take a hybrid course such as

http://www.net.dcs.hull.ac.uk/ug/whatiscsgd.htm (the only Games related course Ive heard good things about but to be fair Ive not spoken to people from every games course in the UK :D)

Which would allow you to swap to a computer science degree at the end of the first year when you have seen what the course has to offer, or continue to the game related modules.

Whatever you choose, good luck and enjoy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Short answer - do a 'normal' computing degree and wherever possible, choose your projects so that they are relevant for games. Try to keep up to date with the newer techniques and technologies, and work on demos in your spare time. The 'proper' degree will give you a firm theoretical base on which to add your game development knowledge, and also open doors to other jobs (which you may need, at least in the short term - game development isn't exactly a booming industry here).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you for the replies. I'm still undecided, though, so I'd appreciate it if anybody has any more comments/opinions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Drazgal
Quote:
From The Bolton University Page
The move to ‘next generation’ consoles with Sony’s Playstation2, Nintendo’s Game Cube and Microsoft’s X-Box are revolutionising the buoyant UK games industry. New technology platforms are forcing existing development firms to diversify and are allowing new businesses to enter the market.


Looks like someone from Bolton has read this thread lol.
Quote:
The interactive entertainment industry in the UK and throughout the world continues to evolve at an extraordinary pace. The move to "next generation" consoles like Microsoft's XBOX 360, Sony’s highly anticipated PlayStation3 and Nintendo’s Revolution is revitalizing the UK games industry.


I would like to say the Uni I attend is great for computer games but sadly it is not. Like already mentioned modules do not get updated, believe it or not last year they were teaching directx7(directdraw), directplay and would not listen to the fact MS say they are deprecated.

You will learn more about computer games on a games degree as long as its a good one.
Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you're not 100% sure about going into the game programming field, then go for a software engineering course. This will give you more options, and you can still learn game related techniques and what not on your spare time (if you have any, that is).

You're probably more likely to get a job taking a game development course, but if you work hard on your spare time it really doesn't matter what course you take.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Drazgal
Quote:
From The Bolton University Page
The move to ‘next generation’ consoles with Sony’s Playstation2, Nintendo’s Game Cube and Microsoft’s X-Box are revolutionising the buoyant UK games industry. New technology platforms are forcing existing development firms to diversify and are allowing new businesses to enter the market.


Hardly confidence inspiring is it? :D

Heh, I didn't notice that. And that was going to be my first choice, too.

Well, thanks for your advice, everybody. I can put down six course choices on the application form, so perhaps I will put three down as game development, and three down as software engineering, and then take the time to consider which would be better for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hey man, i interviewed at a couple BIG names in the games industry and i'll tell ya what....they were MUCH MORE concerned about my knowledge of c++ than the "cool" 3D demos i had downloadable on my webpage. i wish i had known that going in because i spent more time tweaking my shadowing and physics demos than freshening up on some "simple" c++ concepts that i should have had the answer for instantly.

my 2 cents....good luck homie!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
funny paulshady,

I remember you were calling me on the phone asking for tips before those interviews :). But I wouldnt toss out the idea of demos, just remember you need to know what your writing, not just copy & paste.... right paulshady? haha, just givin ya crap.

Jeff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by paulshady
hey man, i interviewed at a couple BIG names in the games industry and i'll tell ya what....they were MUCH MORE concerned about my knowledge of c++ than the "cool" 3D demos i had downloadable on my webpage. i wish i had known that going in because i spent more time tweaking my shadowing and physics demos than freshening up on some "simple" c++ concepts that i should have had the answer for instantly.


That's because 90% of the time, new recruits are not going to be touching any low-level rendering code. The days of everybody writing their own in-house rendering engine are over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!