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OK I NEED MAJOR HELP

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My name is shaun an i know for a fact that what i want to do in life is video games but i dont know exactly how to approach things,Also i know it seems kind of strange but dose anyone know anything about american schools in japan for things like this i really want to do this and i am serious im willing to take any advice

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Why american schools in japan ?
whats wrong with japaneese schools ?

What exactly is it you want to do, game development is a rather big thing with alot of different people involved (most of the time).
the main categories would be
Artists and Programmers.

Artists could be anything from 3d modelers, sprite artists, concept artists, musicians, SFX producers, etc, etc.

Programmers can be divided into multiple groups aswell but for smaller projects its often quite a generic job.

If you want to make a game all by yourself you may want to look into programming.

there are alot of places to start, the first would be to learn a programming language or start messing around with some game creation tool such as gamemaker, 3d rad, or similar.

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Georgia Tech has a study abroad program where they send students to Japan for a semester... I'm sure a few other schools do it as well. If you cant get into one of those schools but are still determined to get to Japan you should look into the JET program. After you graduate college you can join and be a school teacher in Japan, and the only requirement is a bachelors degree. It seems pretty cool and im planning to apply once Im done with college.

here's the web address: http://www.jetprogramme.org/

As far as game development I agree with the above poster. There are plenty of paths to take whether you want to be an artist or a programmer.

If you want to be a programmer and you rather get into the creative side and skip the technical stuff (for now),I would suggest a game creation tool. I had fun with RPG Maker a few years back.

Or if you want to get into the basics of the technical stuff first (which you'll probably have to do sooner or later if you want to be a profesional programmer) I suggest learning a programming language like c++ or python. Any language will get you started so dont put too much emphases on which one you choose.

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As much as I hated it, there is no better place to learn how to make video games than Digipen. www.digipen.edu
Whether you want to be an artist or programmer, its the place to be. If you are absolutely serious that you want to program video games or do art for video games, you should check it out. But if you are unsure at all, there are many other places that will allow you to switch majors when you realize C++ is worse than Japanese. And sadly, the art side of the school is much harder.

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You don't have to go to a school with a "game development" degree to get a job making video games. Nor do you need to be in Japan (in fact, I don't think you'd find that enjoyable at all). Don't unneccessarily limit your options, you might regret it later.

I know you can't possibly imagine ever changing your mind, now, but it might happen (trust me -- I speak from experience), so don't be short-sighted.

How old are you, and what level of programming experience do you have?

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I would highly suggest forcing yourself to get a taste of every aspect of the Videogame production world and find what you like best.

I had no idea I would love programming as much as I do untill I tried it. Buying books will only dig a hole and your pocket and be a slow and dreary learning process, books are good for people who know what they want, there not good for a small taste. Find someone who knows something about a field and ask them to show you the ropes and give you a taste of what its about.

It may sound dumb but if you shoot on down to your nearest tech school or anywhere you think someone who would know something and could show you some stuff, go down there and ask them to show you. Most people are very proud of there field and will leap at the chance to give you a taste of that field. Make sure you get a good feel for each field and you will know when you have found your calling.

try out...
Programming
3D Modeling
2D Art
level Design
Hand Drawn Art
Music
Animation
Game Testing

Ask about and look into each fields typical job style. Music artists for example are usually called in to make some music, once there done there gone. Whereas Programmers are often kept on hand for the duration of a project. Programmers also have a much larger influence on the design of a game and have a much greater chance of making it to the high tier title of "Game Designer"
many times the lead programmer and "Game Designer" are the same person.

I REALLY agree with jpetrie, for the love of God dont pigeon hole yourself, dont limit yourself, keep an open mind at all times, you will regret it if you dont.

Currently im in for a BA in game design, and hes right you dont need it, it helps to have it, and its nice because you get a PLETHORA of matierals and a great feel for each field, however, it will put you in debt big time T_T.
To tell the truth id say 4/30 of the students in my class are worth anything at all (thats including the dropouts my current class size is 11). If you want to succeed this needs to be something that you can motivate yourself to do, many of the kids in my class do what they need to do to pass and thats all, and in the end they will be 50k down the hole and have nothing to show for it. To tell you the truth im glad I took the course, The hardest part of it all is getting some direction, and following through, school gives that, but at an extreme price.

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As others have pointed out you don't need a degree in "Game development" to work in the gaming industry, infact I have heard very bad things about Game development degrees from a few friends that tried them. You can get just as good of a education at a cheap college then you can a large one, in some cases better.

Alot of there classes have to do with just playing games and then studying the content, and to be quite honest I spent the first 18 years of my life 'studying' games so to speak. I am guessing a lot of other gamers have done the same thing, even so it might be worth it in your own time to play them again and take a look at what you like and don't like with a critical eye.

Breaking down the points in the game design industry you have, music, design, artists, and programming. Keep in mind no matter what path you choose you are going to work much harder and have to know much more then a normal programmer or modeler if you want to get hired. Game design is insanely competitive.

Programming (my choice) - Aiming for a game development career in programming is probably both your best step to get in the door along with being able to do something else should you not get in the field. You will want to get a computer science degree if that is the case, don't be fooled by other programming degrees, you need the high level math like Trig and Calc if you really want to excel. Not to mention it’s a good test, if you can't do the higher level math perhaps programming isn't to way for you to go, like math it is very technical and exact with lots of "formulas" to memorize.

Design - Arguably the most risky aspect of game development to get into, mostly because if you go for a design degree and can't get in the game design industry you are more or less screwed. Not to mention everyone really wants to be the one who puts there ideas in a game. If you want to be in design I would recommend you consider a degree in a more creative side of programming. Web development is pretty decent for this because programs like Flash and Dream Weaver use much of the same theories as something like level design would, your projects must be both visually appealing and well laid out.

Music and sound - Honestly I don't know crap about this stuff, maybe a good Audio/visual degree would work for it, that way you can do filming and camera work as a back up in case you don't get in the game industry at first.

Art - Alot of art is self learned, no one can tell you how to open your mind like is needed in art in a class room, yet you need some form of a degree none the less. I would say a electronic imaging degree would be good, or a normal graphics communication degree. The upside to a graphics communication degree is you learn how to do non-computer graphics so you will be able to work at a print shop if it is needed.

Summing it up,

1. No matter what path you take get a four year degree, if you browse what game employeers are looking for you will rarely find anyone that excepts less then four years.

2. Don't lock yourself in with a specialize degree like game design, in the end it will be your talent that gets you in the door, not that you studied "game design" infact if you head over to the job websites like Blizzard and Sony take a look at how many are looking for a computer science degree or electronic imaging degree/graphics degree rather then game design

3. Be prepared to not get in the game design industry, I know it sounds silly and pessimistic, but as stated before its hard as heck to get in the industry, more people want in then there are jobs available. You need to have a back up plan and skill set so you can get a job to support yourself for a few years should you not be able to get in right away.

4. Be prepared to work hard, not going to lie to you most people in game designers are both overworked and underpaid when there is a deadline to meet.

5. Finally one last thing, why the heck do you want to goto a American school in Japan? Do you speak Japanese? Do you have family and friends there? If you want to work as a translator for Japanese to English then just minor or major in Japanese for whatever college you goto. No point in spending what it takes to move to Japan along with how overpriced colleges can be over there.

(Also you will want to touch up on written communication, don't be afraid to run your posts through a spell checker or make your i's into I's. The way you present yourself through text says alot about your maturity and skills when you aren't able to meet with those you wish to talk to face to face.)

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Quote:
Original post by Riya
As others have pointed out you don't need a degree in "Game development" to work in the gaming industry, infact I have heard very bad things about Game development degrees from a few friends that tried them. You can get just as good of a education at a cheap college then you can a large one, in some cases better.


I'd love to hear where your friends went to to get a game dev degree. Because as far as I know, there are only 2 schools that offer game dev degrees in the US. Digipen is one and Full Sail is the other. I have heard "bad-ish" things about Full Sail. Mostly, its just not as good as Digipen.
As far as other schools go: I've seen a top 10 list at one point in time for game dev degrees. Georgia Tech has always offered some sort of gaming degree, USC is stepping it up now. But, these schools are too big to offer what Digipen can give you. I've been to 2 colleges other than Digipen, and I can say they just don't compare. Oklahoma State and Northwestern are the 2 schools I've tried. While they offer good educations, you just can't compare with Digipen.

Heres a quick breakdown:
Oklahoma State - Pretty good sized school, most state schools are. But, also like most state schools, they are fairly easy if you have above-average intelligence and are prepared for college life (i.e. Mom doesn't tell you to do your homework, but Bubba is always bringing over cases of beer and copious amounts of drugs, no pressure).

Northwestern - Excellent school for business, writing, and certain types of engineering. I went there for computer science in the engineering department. You are expected to take exactly 4 classes per trimester. They also do not recommend you take more than 1 programming class per trimester. So my schedule looked something like Cognitive Science, Public Speaking, Calculus, and Programming. And programming means either Scheme/Lisp, a bit of assembly, and a bit of C/C++.

Digipen - Small school, say 200 students in my freshmen class. And now my class has less than 50. Some have gotten jobs and just dropped out because they already had a degree (maybe 5 people). The rest just couldn't handle it. I have friends that have failed class 2 times before passing the class. Digipen asks that you take upwards of 23 hours in one semester if you want to graduate in 4 years. I bet you couldn't get approval to take 23 hours at any other school. English class is not Mythology for Game Design. Programming is all C/C++. Math and Physics are just plain ridiculous, but geared towards game play (i.e. In physics we learn about Eucler, Runga-Kutta, and a lot of other types of integration. Math teaches us vector and matrix math, and how to generate splines, convex hulls, etc.) And every semester (8 classes) we have a GAM class that you actually make a game in. We go through the entire production cycle 4 times from initial pitch, game design document, milestones, etc.

And don't get me wrong, I'm not promoting Digipen to anybody. Digipen is only worth going to if you have absolutely made up your mind that you want to be a game programmer. They also have an art side that is possibly more ridiculous than the programming side, but I can't talk for that because I don't have 1st hand experience.

And yes, Digipen will give you a competive advantage over any other graduating student from lesser schools. Not only will you have 4 finished, polished products (possibly with art from good student artists), but you will also be able to claim that you went to Digipen, which does have a bit of a name for itself now. You will also have a good amount more experience, though it will be forced upon you. The biggest downside, as you can expect, is the lack of social interaction. This is caused by a lack of time, but also a lack of social skills.

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In response to the post above I was referring to a school in Nebraska, it is called ITT technical institute, and it does have a game design program.

Then again perhaps I was being to quick to lump Game Design and Development degrees in together.

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Quote:
Original post by CharityX
Also i know it seems kind of strange but dose anyone know anything about american schools in japan for things like this
Well, it isn't in Japan but DigiPen is starting a campus in Singapore. It is supposed to open in 2007. What's wrong with Japanese schools, though? There are schools that deal with games in Japan like HAL Institute of Technology

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Quote:
Original post by ForeverNoobie
Georgia Tech has a study abroad program where they send students to Japan for a semester... I'm sure a few other schools do it as well. If you cant get into one of those schools but are still determined to get to Japan you should look into the JET program. After you graduate college you can join and be a school teacher in Japan, and the only requirement is a bachelors degree. It seems pretty cool and im planning to apply once Im done with college.

here's the web address: http://www.jetprogramme.org/


I did the JET program last year. It was an amazing experience. I was a middle school basketball coach. I went with no experience in the Japanese language. Now one year later I can speak japanese quite well. I recommend the program!

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