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BGrizzMayne

Level Design: Animation or Programming Career Path?

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BGrizzMayne    100
What's up guys? Got a question-

I really enjoy the level designing aspect of game development. Creating the environment layouts and architectural structures.

Anyways, I'm enrolling in the game development program at Johnson County Community College. (The college and program are apparently quite decent for the community college level)

The program at JCCC has a heavy emphasis on the programming side of things. I'll be taking some additional design classes, however I am unsure if this emphasis on programming will lead me down the proper path to doing level design.

Would doing just straight up animation be a more logical education path? I have an appointment with the head of the animations department next Thursday, but I'm curious what the opinions are over here. Is level design a common career choice, and is it more animation or programming based?

Thanks for the help all.

-Bgrizzmayne

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Tom Sloper    16063
Quote:
Original post by BGrizzMayne
1. The program at JCCC has a heavy emphasis on the programming side of things. I'll be taking some additional design classes, however I am unsure if this emphasis on programming will lead me down the proper path to doing level design.
2. Would doing just straight up animation be a more logical education path?
3. Is level design a common career choice,
4. and is it more animation or programming based?

1. It won't lead you astray, if that's what you mean. You ought to learn lots of useful stuff.
2. No. You need to know 3D graphics, not animation. Still, if you take animation courses, you'll likely learn lots of useful stuff.
3. Why do you ask that? Who cares if it's "common" or not? I don't know how an answer one way or the other is going to influence your decision. If the consensus is that it's common, then that's a bad thing? Because everybody's doing it so there's too much competition? Or if it's uncommon, then that's a bad thing? Because nobody's doing it so it's too hard to get the education? Why ask if it's "common"?
4. Level design is not animation-based at all. Like I wrote in FAQ 69 (View Forum FAQ above or go to http://www.sloperama.com/advice/m69.htm), it's part programming, part 3D graphics, part architecture.


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BGrizzMayne    100
That's basically what I was wanting to know, thanks a lot Tim. I wasn't sure if I should focus completely on animation for level design, or if the programming side of things would later come into play and be beneficial.

So perhaps a good plan would be to continue the coursework on the programming side of things, while working independently in Maya? I purchased some Gnomon tutorials which i have been following each night for two hours, after my classes during the day. It seems logical to continue my pursuit of the programming/overall game development side of things while working in maya to enhance my animation and 3d rendering abilities.

I'm currently taking prerequisites for my associate degree with a path that will look something like this:

CS 200 Concepts of Programming Algorithms Using C++*........4
Prerequisite: CIS 134 or ENGR 171
or equivalent experience
GAME 101 Computer Game Creation...............................4
GAME 102 The Business of Games................................3
ENGL 121 Composition I*.......................................3
Prerequisite: ENGL 106 or appropriate placement
test score or EAP 113 and EAP 117
MATH 171 College Algebra*.....................................3
Prerequisite: MATH 116 with a grade of "C" or
higher or MATH 131 with a grade of "C" or higher or
MATH 134 with a grade of "C" or higher
or appropriate score on the math assessment test
or
Any Precalculus/Calculus Course*.....................3
Total Semester Credit Hours.........................17

Second Semester

GAME 140 Game Programming I - 2D*.............................4
Prerequisite: CS 200
CIS 235 Object-Oriented Programming Using C++*...............4
Prerequisite: CS 200 using C++
or
CS 250 Basic Data Structures using C++*.....................4
Prerequisite: CS 200 -
Prerequisite or corequisite: CS 210
for students transferring to most four-year
computer science programs
ANI 123 Concept Art for Animation............................3
GAME 200 Game Design..........................................3
MATH 191 Math & Physics for Games I*..........................4
Prerequisites: MATH 171 or MATH 173 with a grade of
"C" or higher or appropriate score on math
assessment test and CS 200
or
PHYS 191 Math & Physics for Games I*..........................4
Prerequisite: MATH 171 or MATH 173 with grade of
"C" or higher or appropriate score on math
assessment test and CS 200
Total Semester Credit Hours.........................18

Third Semester

Health and/or Physical Education Elective............1
ENGL 150 Digital Narratives*..................................3
Prerequisite: ENGL 121
Game Elective......................................3-4
GAME 230 Game Programming II -3D*.............................4
Prerequisite: GAME 140
ANI 145 Introduction to 3D Animation*........................3
Prerequisite or corequisite: ANI 123
GAME 180 Artificial Intelligence for Games*...................3
Prerequisite: CS 200
Total Semester Credit Hours......................17-18

Fourth Semester

Social Science and/or Economics Elective.............3
GAME 250 Game Programming III-Capstone*.......................4
Prerequisites: GAME 200 and GAME 230 and
CIM 145 and ENGL 150 and
Prerequisite or corequisite: GAME 180
GAME 110 Flash Gaming.........................................4
or
GAME 255 Mobile Game Programming*.............................4
Prerequisites: GAME 140 and GAME 200
HUM 155 Classical Mythology..................................3
ENGL 140 Writing for Interactive Media*.......................3
Prerequisite: ENGL 121
Total Semester Credit Hours.........................17
TOTAL PROGRAM CREDIT HOURS.......................69-70

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