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Paiyaku

Is a Computer Science Degree and Art degree a waste of time?

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I'm a dual major: Computer Science and Art. Is it a waste of time if I want to become a Level Designer? The Computer Science degree is an emphasis in Game Programming. The Art degree has a few Graphic Arts classes.

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Most people become designers through another discipline, usually programming. So I would say no. The Computer Science will hopefully get you to the point where you are a competent games programmer. Not sure about the relevance of art. Level designers don't generally worry about the aesthetics of a level. More the flow of it and how it works. Then you ship it off to artist land and get them to make it pretty.

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While I have never worked as a level designer myself, I can't say that art will hurt you in any ways. I'm almost done with my undergrad in CS, but I have also had a good amount of schooling in graphic design (was a previous major, CS->VCD->CS! :) ). After going though a lot of other classes in my CS degree, like Human Computer Interaction (HCI), I have been able to apply a lot of passive skills I obtained while in design.

However, the biggest plus I found from working in two different degree programs was learning the communication that takes place within the two, very different, types of mindsets. I don't think I am pushing anyones buttons here by saying that programmers and artist think very differently. Being able to demonstrate that you can communicate to both groups is a win in my book.

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Original post by Paiyaku
Is a Computer Science Degree and Art degree a waste of time?

You have asked Frequently Asked Question #51. View Forum FAQ (above) or go to http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson51.htm
A major is NOT a ball and chain forever tying you to a particular field.

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I hold a Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) and the equivalence of a BSC. After being in the industry for ten years, I find that everything I learned in the BFA is relevant to my job as a technical director. It helps with the communication with art directors but it also breaks down barriers between technical and art sides because different disciplines can't hide behind the language.

Fundamentally, any time you come to the game with more skills than less, it's a win.

S

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Thanks everyone for your responses. I have also been looking at Full Sail in Florida for a Master's in Game Design. If any of you have viewed the website's information on the Master's degree in Game Design you will notice that it seems to be about marketing, team management, etc. NOT about Designing levels, games, characters, etc. Does this mean that a Master's at this expensive school isn't worth pursuing?

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Quote:
Original post by Paiyaku
Does this mean that a Master's at this expensive school isn't worth pursuing?

You have asked Frequently Asked Question #66.
I again urge you to "View Forum FAQ," above.

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Tom, I've read nearly all the pages on your site and they are really inspiring. In fact, I reread them whenever I feel discouraged. So I thank you for your contribution to aspiring game designers like me. I plan on getting both of these degrees and at the rate I'm learning to make levels, etc I'll have a nice portfolio ready by the time of graduation.

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Quote:
Original post by Paiyaku
Thanks everyone for your responses. I have also been looking at Full Sail in Florida for a Master's in Game Design. If any of you have viewed the website's information on the Master's degree in Game Design you will notice that it seems to be about marketing, team management, etc. NOT about Designing levels, games, characters, etc. Does this mean that a Master's at this expensive school isn't worth pursuing?


But Full Sail have the Game Development degree (not the game design) which is really about developing games..

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Original post by MidoBan
But Full Sail have the Game Development degree (not the game design) which is really about developing games..

Mido, have you read the FAQ yet?

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