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newbiestatic

Do I have what it takes to make it?

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Hello GameDev community! I have just joined the forums today in hope of getting some insight. I am currently a high school sophmore with a 4.0+ average and have had a passion for gaming ever since I first played Mega Man II when I was six. I started getting intrested on the topic of game programming when I was about thirteen and began with the program called Game Maker. From there I moved on to high school and have been lucky to have computer science classes available to me and so far am on my second year of the C# language. I truely love games and programming with a burning passion like no other. I am currently teaching myself XNA through a book and plan to move onto C++ next. Lastly I want to attend Digipen very badly and it is my first pick school for sure. So what I really came here for then: 1. Do you guys think that with my passion and head start in the field that I could make it? I know the academics at Digipen are rigerous but I think my standpoints in school so far have been quite well. 2. Does anyone have some tips or words of advice for going into this field as it is a dream and I really don't see myself doing anything else ever! Thanks, Newbiestatic

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Original post by newbiestatic
0. Do I have what it takes to make it?
1. Do you guys think that with my passion and head start in the field that I could make it?
2. Does anyone have some tips or words of advice for going into this field

0. No. Not yet.
1. Yes. Read standard answer #50
2. Yes. View Forum FAQs (above).

[Edited by - Tom Sloper on April 24, 2010 11:52:13 AM]

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First, be aware that playing games is VERY different than writing them.

Next, be aware that making your own hobby games is different than spending your working life on them.

I would recommend against a game-specific school, read other threads for the reasons why. There are a few people who stand by them, but the majority tend to focus on getting an actual computer science degree.


As for if you have what it takes, that's something nobody knows. Are you able to find a job in the industry? That is a combination of you applying at the same time an employer is searching, and you being the best match of their pool. Are you able to work at that company? Some people can thrive at once place and fail at another. The working conditions and interpersonal dynamics are different at every company.


You might also find this thread enlightening.

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Original post by frob
First, be aware that playing games is VERY different than writing them.

Next, be aware that making your own hobby games is different than spending your working life on them.

I would recommend against a game-specific school, read other threads for the reasons why. There are a few people who stand by them, but the majority tend to focus on getting an actual computer science degree.


As for if you have what it takes, that's something nobody knows. Are you able to find a job in the industry? That is a combination of you applying at the same time an employer is searching, and you being the best match of their pool. Are you able to work at that company? Some people can thrive at once place and fail at another. The working conditions and interpersonal dynamics are different at every company.


You might also find this thread enlightening.


Yes I know that programming games is quite different than playing and am up to the challenge and in fact I am quite excited for it as well. As for going to a specialized school like Digipen, even though it is specialized they still offer all the same course that any other four year college offers like math, english, and etc. I actually just recieved an information package I just got today in the mail and after going through it I find that this school is the best and has produced some of the industries finest programmers such as those who created the game portal and so on. Anyways thank you for your advice and the link as well.

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I agree, a school doesn't make you a good programmer, or at least a Computer Science degree doesn't. However, it gives you all the tools to become a great programmer. The problem with Computer Science is that it can produce students with a good GPA's but poor programmers and students with poor GPA's but good programmers. The issue is the exam structure, which is poorly suited for the program in my opinion. One way to get good at programming is love doing, do it a lot and learn from others that currently do it for a living.

But, a CS degree is apparently pretty important, if you look at the job listings for programming positions in the industry on gamasutra, almost all of them ask for a CS degree and some of the lead positions ask for a Masters of CS.

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As for going to a specialized school like Digipen, even though it is specialized they still offer all the same course that any other four year college offers like math, english, and etc. I actually just recieved an information package I just got today in the mail and after going through it I find that this school is the best and has produced some of the industries finest programmers such as those who created the game portal and so on. Anyways thank you for your advice and the link as well.
I think you misread their information.

Some of what you said is true, others are nearly true, and likely due to marketing influence.

Digipen is not regionally accredited in Computer Science.

The school does not offer a bachelor's degree (four year degree) in Computer Science. That is something that many companies still require. It does not offer the same courses any other four year college offers. If it did, they would be accredited in Computer Science.

They have a master's program in CS, which is useful after you have earned a bachelor's degree somewhere. Many people recommend getting your 4-year CS degree at a traditional University, and head over to a game school for some graduate studies once you've had a solid grounding.

The creators of portal had more luck than normal in getting their project out. Some people get lucky. How many total students are there at the school? And how many were involved with portal? That's not the kind of odds I'd base my career on.

Also, note that the students didn't own the project. Everything they created while at the school for projects, which included the Portal project, was property of the school. The school made quite a bit of money from those kids.


As for the quality of education, Digipen is not one of the best schools. The best school have made strong contributions to the field of Computer Science.

For the quality of students, that is also debatable. The average student there is still just an average student. Those who are below average are still that -- below average. You could argue that they have a filter that is a little more strict, so may they tend to get people who have more of a drive, so they have a few more better students. It is up to the student, not the school, for them to succeed.

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