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Clegs

I want to have a career in Game programming/animation

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Hey there! Ive been playing games since birth (according to my mum) and I would love a career in video game programming/animation, the only thing is, what do I choose!? I would love to do something in the animation side like 3D environmental and level design, but I cant draw for the life of me! Ive already had a go here or there making maps and levels for friends and got some pretty positive feedback, though haha I dont wanna base a career from that. The only thing is id love to program as well! I was always the kid in the back of the class playing with a rubiks cube or some other puzzle (or the gameboy ;-) I love figuring out puzzles even if its the death of me, thats why I would like to program for games. Ive had a go at just regular programming, I find it a tad boring... learning from the internet would probably do that. I guess when it comes down to it, I would LOVE to do game animation, environmental and level design in particular, but I dont know how to go a head with it. In Australia there is a really good college called Qantm that offers both programming and animation, though the animation course seems heavly weigh on 2D drawing. Would anyone care to share some information of either side? Thanks for your time! ^_^ Clegs

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I'm making an undergraduate in computer engineering (or rather, systems engineering). I chose it because, although I really love graphic design, I just don't have the innate talent required to be a good designer. What I'm actually very good at is programming and software design. That's why I settled for CE instead of GD. You may ponder your skills and see if you are better for the logic part or the graphical part. There may be an intermediate of both: Here in Colombia, there's an undergraduate program called "Digital engineering" and it focuses on digital animation (mainly 3D) and programming routines for interactive animation. I don't know if there's a simmilar program where you live, but I think you should choose between programming or designing.

If you want to make game animation and environmental design, then you should start by learning the basics of 3D drawing with 3DStudio and Maya. You may need to learn a bit of DirectX or OpenGL as well in order to make things interactive and not just beautiful static environments.

But in general, game development teams are composed of a team of designers and a team of engineers (or programmers) and it's seldom found someone who excells in both fields. If you think you can live up to both, then good luck! but I advise you to choose only one and focus on it.

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I might heartily suggest Digipen or Animation Mentor. One is accredited (like a normal college except for video games) and the other focuses solely on character animation.

Do a bit of research on these and I think you'll find that there are a lot of learning oppertunities that will land you in the gaming biz!

Good luck!

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Oh ok, thanks, thats given me a few ideas!

One more question, im planning to get a new computer and wasnt to sure on what to get, specs wise. I also was thinking about going Mac, but then i couldn't play my games like Counter Strike and UT2004 etc etc etc. so im not going to go Mac, inless someone can show me other wise.

So I was thinking something with a lot of ram? and maybe a one of those Quad core processors?

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Set your price at 1500 dollars USD and go to www.tigerdirect.com and build one from there.

If you don't want to spend time doing that I'll pull together the specs for you and give you a price.

How about a core 2 duo, 8800 gtx, 2 gigs of ram, 250+ gig HD... as well as a 17"+ monitor.

You probably won't need more than 2 gigs of RAM, but who am I to talk? DDR2 is a must, with a bus side of 1000Mhz or more. The reason is that the bus side is a bottle-neck and anything slower (like my computer at 233Mhz) will seriously hamper the effectiveness of your RAM.

Eh, hope that helps.

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Hey fellow Aussie ;),

I've never heard of Quantm before, but of the "games dev" courses in Aus that I have heard of, none of them have a good reputation.

I was going to take a "games technology" degree after I finished school, but I just ended up doing a regular I.T. degree, majoring in Software Engineering.
I hate to sound arrogant - but I finished my degree alongside the "games technology" studnets, and while they were desperately trying to get jobs by showing off their pieces of paper, I easily got a job by showing off my portfolio.
The morale of the story being, that a games related degree isn't actually worth anything to an employer - what they care about is that you can demonstrate the necessary skills.

Having said that, don't be discouraged from doing these courses! But only do them if you're doing them in order to learn skills - don't do them just for the certification you get at the end. Also, while you're studying, be prepared to spend a lot of your spare time making your own little games as a hobby in order to refine your skills and build a portfolio ;)


If you're interested in programming and animation, but not-so-good at art, then you might find computer-graphics an interesting career choice. This way you'd be creating the tools that artists can use to create great game-art ;)

[edit]As for gaming PCs - you can run Windows XP on a Mac these days in order to play PC-only games. The performance is fine too, as Macs use the same processors as regular windows PCs.
I just got a new PC from these guys for ~AU$2500, and I gotta say I'm happy with my quad core ;)
CPU - Q6600 2.4GHz, RAM - 2GB@800Mhz, HDD - 2x 250GB SATA, GPU - GeForce 8800GTX, Case - Antec 900, PSU - SilverStone Decathlon 650W

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The college is in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth its owned by SAE and the website is http://www.qantmcollege.edu.au/ if you wanna cheak it out, its a pretty pricey college aswell... I think a lot of their students were in the development team for that new game called Fury made in Australia.

I thought that would be the case Hodgman, sorta like being an artist? I'd assume? I used to be a photographer and thats how I used to roll.

Im just not to sure at all what to choose, but a computer-graphics course is sounding more like what id like to do!

Thanks heaps everyone, im starting to get a more clearer view on what to do!

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