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Need ideas for a school application

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Hi all, id like to apply for a gamedev school called the "Games Academy" in september. As far as the application goes, I need to show off some programming skills or what ever. It doesnt need to be C++ but basicly anything to show I have a talent for programming and logic.

This is what the website says I should be putting in my application ( im translating it from german to english ):



You have made your own websites, small programs or games? Math and Physic was one of your favorit school subjects and are no problem for you? Your interested in games, special effects and the funktions that make everything work together?

Then send us (if available):

- your own programs and games ( language irrelevant, must run on thier own )
- additional source code with description
- own websites
- Mods with script sequences ect...




So this is what the school wants to see, one of thies things. Ive talked to them on the phone before and they said pretty much the same. Only differnce is that I dont have a high enough school report card to get in normaly, I told them that and the lady on the phone said that if I can show enough talent and pre-knowledge in math and physics,it shouldnt be a problem, I could even go for a scollership (think thats what its called, something where the school pays a part of the costs if your not able to on your own).

So with this stuff in mind. I have so far created a small engine with directX to render, load meshes and ect... Its pretty well built if you ask me, it support basicly everything because I have "entites" and each instance has a logic and render virtual function, meaning I can plug in anything needed to it.

Well anyway, Im pretty good in C++, math and physics. Im studing through books like Effective C++: 55 Specific Ways to Improve Your Programs and Designs and Math for 3D Game Programming (Charles River Media Game Development). Wich are pretty good books so far and give me advanced knowledge in programming and math/physics.

Now the games academy uses DirectX, some sdk's and engines like the Crytek2 engine. Considering they are partners with Crytek, Nintendo and Sony. The students there get to work with the most advanced gaming sdk's for developing on PC, Handhelds and Consoles. I am probaly over qualified atm due to my indepth C++ knowledge and I know the basics of directX, how games are put together and ect (ive also made a Half Life 2 mod from scratch). But im not satisfied. I wish to somehow present my team leader qualities (hence mod team), programming skills and overall show off with what I can do. Expecialy that im going for a scollarship.



Now I need some advice and ideas on what I should put into my little engine or other kind of software, to show great potential and talent for programming. Now this doesnt mean to make real fancy stuff, but something that shows talent. Like what would they like to see from someone that doesnt know how to code yet, or only a little bit, but they know he has great talent todo big things. What is the best way to show something like this? Even if its a small console programm, there must be a effective way to display talent when it comes to programing.
I would realy be happy if some of you could give me ideas.

Thanks alot!

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I think they want you to come up with something that makes them want you to be their student. You probably don't need to know every advanced stuff because then the won't have anything to teach you.
"Like what would they like to see from someone that doesnt know how to code yet, or only a little bit, but they know he has great talent todo big things.". Well, you want the thing from us that they want from you. Try to come up with something simple and yet entertaining.
A puzzle or pong game with some crazy extras, or chess game with a basic or advanced AI. The chess thing needs you to be really good in brain.
This + your game engine must be enough. But don't blame me if not.
And never forget one thing: You can be pretty good in everything but you can never be good enough in anything.
Good Luck on your application and the scholarship!

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That chess thing sounds interesting, I could stretch out my engine and create a advanced 3D chess game with some sexy 3 differnt levels of AI. But anyway, this is one thing I could do, then again its to "big scale" if you take in consideration what all needs to be coded for that. Im thinking of something smaller. Because they dont expect you to be able of creating a complete 3D engine from scratch and play chess in it, that seems to advanced, like you said, they wouldnt teach me anything in the end.

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Surely this school has admissions counselors or someone similar you could talk to? I'd describe your current projects to them and see what they say; for most schools what you already have should be plenty, and if they want anything more complex or specific, I imagine they'd be happy to tell you what they're after.

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From their site, Games Academy appears to have several areas for programming. Rather than generate a complete application, you may want to consider several small applications showing your abilities in a specific area.

E.g.,
1. create a unique texture or sprite sheet and display it in an attractive way.
2. create a 3D model (even if untextured) with one or more animations. Display the model transitioning from one animation to another given keyboard commands. If Games Academy is DirectX-oriented, use a DirectX x-file.
3. etc. - something to show a specific talent of yours - a well-designed website?

Best of luck.

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