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magnawiz

Game design major?

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Hello, I'm currently enrolled in a community college and I don't have a major. I attended The Art Institute of California-- San Francisco for one quarter and had the major titled "Game Art and Design" there. The school had expensive GE classes so I left. I don't know if I should go back. In California, there are no public schools with a game art and design major and Santa Cruz University is the only one with anything game related, although it is programming. I have no experience in programming. My art skills are decent in my opinion. I've only made pretty good maps in Unreal Engine 1 and Source SDK Hammer that comes with Half Life 2. The only thing I have in abundance are ideas. Now I don't know what to do. I really want to work in the game industry but now I am confused as to how to do that. Do I need a game major? Should I just go to a regular college and get a major in something like animation and modeling? Will that get me into the game industry? Art Institute is expensive but they do help people find jobs in gaming.

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I would get a good background in animation and modelling, if that's what you want to do. Skills can be applied to many things, including Game Development. Learning to apply your skills to game development can probably be done in a job, getting those skills is your current task. I would steer clear of game degrees.

Tom Sloper has some great advise. If you have any questions on top of his FAQ ask away.

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Hi Maggie, you wrote:

> The school had expensive GE classes so I left.

Assuming GE means general education, I'm very impressed with that wise decision.

>I have no experience in programming. My art skills are decent in my opinion. I've only made pretty good maps in Unreal Engine 1 and Source SDK Hammer that comes with Half Life 2.

You're saying programming is not your path. But it's not clear what point you were making regarding art and level design...?

>The only thing I have in abundance are ideas.

Which are a penny a dozen.

>I really want to work in the game industry but now I am confused as to how to do that.

So am I, because I didn't understand the second > above. I don't know if "decent" means good or "kinda OK." And I assume that "only pretty good" means "I cannot improve"? Because level design would be a good entry pathway.

>Do I need a game major?

No. You haven't done much reading yet, I guess.

>Should I just go to a regular college and get a major in something like animation and modeling?

If "decent" means "I eat and breathe art," then yes. An art degree would be perfect for you, if that's your passion.

>Will that get me into the game industry?

Where's that crystal ball...? Oh yeah, it's in the repair shop.

>Art Institute is expensive but they do help people find jobs in gaming.

Not enough. You have to choose a school based on more than one criterion.

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Get a regular degree. Period. If you're good, you'll get a job doing what you want. If you aren't good, you'll still most likely get a job. With a "game" degree, not so much.

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Hey thanks for the great responses everyone. I'm glad you all recommend me getting a regular degree because AI is really expensive and quite far away. Even when I left I had to pay at least $3000.

Oh and Tom Sloper, what I meant was the only things I've done with Unreal Engine and Valve's Hammer are decent simple maps. I don't know how to code so I haven't made any fancy mods.

It seems to me like I should be making at least one game to showcase my ideas. I guess flash because it requires easier programming to make games, albeit simple ones? I have a simple game idea.

I'll be reading Tom Sloper's advice now.

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When your looking to a different school make sure you find out if your AI classes will transfer. Mine didn't and I spent another semester redoing classes I couldn't get transferred over. I left too because prices for classes were rediculous.

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Yeah I checked and the credit doesn't transfer to many schools like my current community college because of the different agency AI is associated with.

And right now I'm working on creating my Design Document. Just gathering notes I've written for a while about a game I had in mind.

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