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falconandeagle

A strange dilemma, need help!

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Hey guys,
I am currently doing a degree in Computer Games Development in Malaysia, and I am in my second year. The degree is for 3 years and next year I have my FYP(Final Year Project). I am going to start my FYP early as my professors say it is imperative to have a good FYP to get a good job.

I am quite skilled in C++ however I have just started DirectX. I want to do my FYP in DirectX using some sort of game engine to help me out with the physics, however all my friends are discouraging me from doing my FYP in DirectX. According to them I should do my FYP in Action Script using Flash, they say that as a fresher getting a job as a game programmer using C++ is almost impossible and that I should be trying to get into companies that focus on casual games and Flash.

After seeing the game ads at gamasutra.com I am quite discouraged as all the jobs require 2 years experience, and it seems like my friends are correct. However I wish they were wrong as I prefer C++ much more than Action Script.

I hope someone can answer my question, looking forward to seeing your replies :)

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Well, first of all, you're in Malaysia.... What's the game industry reality there?
It is a country with companies doing mainstream games, or at least, games that will be developed in C++? Or it is a country where most companies make casual games?

Taking as example my country, Brazil, I live in a game development desert... and the few companies scattered through this immense country are almost all casual Flash game developers. Find out what kind of market you're targeting to, what's available as a job option for you in your country and your willingness to, maybe, relocate to a country with more opportunities in game development, if Malaysia doesn't give you the opportunity you desire.

I must, though, disagree with your professsor... Don't know about Malaysia, but whenever I looked, your FYP is not IMPERATIVE to get a good job, nor will dictate or enforce you to work only in the field you wrote your FYP about. Yes, it is good that you make a good and concise FYP, but that won't change your life dramatically unless you follow the academic live strictly. I never found anyone who did, and I was never asked in a job interview of any kind, about my FYP.

So, resuming it all, check if Malaysia has a more hardcore game development scene or a more casual one, check your willingness or capability to relocate in short time to somewhere you can work with what you want in case Malaysia doesn't offer you what you want, and then do your FYP in the area you like to. You can surely make a FYP in C++ and go to an Actionscript position, and vice-versa. JUst build up your skills and start your career.

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Thanks for your reply, and about your question about relocating, I am looking to do exactly that, as the game development scene here is bad. I am most probably looking to work in Europe or the US, if I can secure a job there, lol. In the worst case scenario I will look to relocate to Singapore as the game development scene there is better than here.

If not the FYP than what is required to get a good job after graduating?

I really want to work on AAA titles down the line, so what do you think is the best approach.

Also could you point me to a good game engine that uses C++ and DirectX. I have browsed through a host of engines and I am quite confused what to choose. I was thinking of going with the C4 engine as it sounds quite good and has received good reviews here.

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Your "dilemma" is not a dilemma. You just need to make a decision.
And your "dilemma" is not strange. You're just confused.
Quote:
Original post by falconandeagle
1. The degree is for 3 years
2. all my friends are discouraging me from doing my FYP in DirectX. According to them I should do my FYP in Action Script using Flash
3. If not the FYP than what is required to get a good job after graduating?
4. I really want to work on AAA titles down the line, so what do you think is the best approach.

1. A 4-year degree is a better door-opener. You should read this forum's FAQ (click small View Forum FAQ link, above). You'll also find tips for making decisions in the FAQ.
2. You must not go through life based on what all your friends say. It isn't their life - it's YOURS.
3. A school project is NOT good portfolio material. While you are making your final year project, you are still learning the knowledge your portfolio is supposed to showcase. You have to have a degree and an outstanding portfolio. You'll need to continue building games after graduation.
4. If you want to work on AAA titles, then make PC games, not web games.

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Quote:
Original post by falconandeagle
After seeing the game ads at gamasutra.com I am quite discouraged as all the jobs require 2 years experience,

This is a common newbie mistake. All ADVERTISED jobs require 2 years experience because finding experienced staff is hard so companies need to advertise. Entry level positions don't need 2 years experience but they are almost never advertised because companies get lots and lots of unsolicited applications.

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Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
1. A 4-year degree is a better door-opener. You should read this forum's FAQ (click small View Forum FAQ link, above). You'll also find tips for making decisions in the FAQ.

Not every country's degrees are 4 years. In the UK at least, a degree is 3 years.

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Quote:
Original post by yaustar
Not every country's degrees are 4 years. In the UK at least, a degree is 3 years.

Then we have to add an extra year to the portfolio-building after graduation.

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Quote:
Original post by yaustar
Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
1. A 4-year degree is a better door-opener. You should read this forum's FAQ (click small View Forum FAQ link, above). You'll also find tips for making decisions in the FAQ.

Not every country's degrees are 4 years. In the UK at least, a degree is 3 years.

That's without honours, right? (Hint: do honours)

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Thanks for the replies.
And for the degree questions? It's a three year degree but it is with honors. It's actually a 4 year degree crammed into three. The modules include stuff like Programming concepts in C++, Game Design: High Concept, Game Design: Production and testing, Game Engines, Game Physics, Mathematics I and II, Imaging and Special Effects, 3D Graphics using DirectX, and a lot of other modules.

Anyway I am already working on my Final Year Project and I have got 1 and a half year to go. Currently I am just making the game assets in 3Ds Max and ironing out the game design. I have started coding it in, and the base classes are ready. So basically I have a year a half to work on the game mechanics and to do rigorous testing for bugs. And I believe(and hope) that the end product will be good enough to put in my port folio. It's not like I am a game programming newbie, I have coded MANY games in flash using Actionscript 3, a few prototypes in C++ using IRRLICHT as the game engine, and a complete object oriented text based game in C++ using Inheritance, polymorphism, templates, vectors, etc. I also know Java, C#(had to use it for Image processing) and Python.

I am currently working on my website where I will post my projects for everyone else to test out, also I am coding the website using ASP.net MVC2.

So what I really want to ask, will I be eligible to work in major game companies if I have an outstanding port folio or will they still prefer guys from colleges like DigiPen. How easy or hard is to get a relocation package from a game company?

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Quote:
Original post by Fenrisulvur
Quote:
Original post by yaustar
Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
1. A 4-year degree is a better door-opener. You should read this forum's FAQ (click small View Forum FAQ link, above). You'll also find tips for making decisions in the FAQ.

Not every country's degrees are 4 years. In the UK at least, a degree is 3 years.

That's without honours, right? (Hint: do honours)

Huh? What? What are "honours"? Do they add time? Obviously I don't know anything about the education system in your country.

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Quote:
Original post by falconandeagle
1. will I be eligible to work in major game companies if I have an outstanding port folio
2. or will they still prefer guys from colleges like DigiPen.
3. How easy or hard is to get a relocation package from a game company?

1. Eligible? Yes.
2. PLEASE read this forum's FAQ!
3. VERY HARD. Please read this forum's FAQ.

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Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
Quote:
Original post by Fenrisulvur
Quote:
Original post by yaustar
Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
1. A 4-year degree is a better door-opener. You should read this forum's FAQ (click small View Forum FAQ link, above). You'll also find tips for making decisions in the FAQ.

Not every country's degrees are 4 years. In the UK at least, a degree is 3 years.

That's without honours, right? (Hint: do honours)

Huh? What? What are "honours"? Do they add time? Obviously I don't know anything about the education system in your country.

Oh, right. Clicky.

This page gives a generic overview of honours at the university I'm attending, though I wasn't aware of any faculties offering the latter two bullet points. My understanding of honours is an extra year structured as half coursework, half research project set and mentored by an academic. Entry is competitive.

There are some four-year courses offered here, most of the engineering degrees come to mind. I don't think Science or Arts degrees are offered as four-year degrees, though. Mind, double-degrees or "combined" degrees such as Arts/Science, Engineering/IT, etc are available and span 5 or more years - I'm planning an IT/Science.

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Quote:
Original post by Fenrisulvur
My understanding of honours is an extra year structured as half coursework, half research project set and mentored by an academic.

So if honours are "included" in a 3-year degree, is that a 2-year degree plus the extra year? Or does it still work out to 4 years? And when you say it's competitive, does that mean some people do the degree without doing the honours? And if they do, does that mean they do 3 years?

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Quote:
Original post by Fenrisulvur
Quote:
Original post by yaustar
Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
1. A 4-year degree is a better door-opener. You should read this forum's FAQ (click small View Forum FAQ link, above). You'll also find tips for making decisions in the FAQ.

Not every country's degrees are 4 years. In the UK at least, a degree is 3 years.

That's without honours, right? (Hint: do honours)

That is with Honours.

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Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
Quote:
Original post by Fenrisulvur
My understanding of honours is an extra year structured as half coursework, half research project set and mentored by an academic.

So if honours are "included" in a 3-year degree, is that a 2-year degree plus the extra year? Or does it still work out to 4 years?

It shouldn't be "included" in a 3-year degree at all - that's known as Doing It Wrong. In my view it's not a true honours programme unless it's an additional year primarly concerned with an academic research project. Anything else is a bastardization of the very idea.

Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
And when you say it's competitive, does that mean some people do the degree without doing the honours? And if they do, does that mean they do 3 years?

Yes.

They're pretty average students almost by definition, though. I don't know how pretty average students could make it in the games industry.

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Quote:
Original post by Fenrisulvur
Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
And when you say it's competitive, does that mean some people do the degree without doing the honours? And if they do, does that mean they do 3 years?

Yes.
They're pretty average students almost by definition, though. I don't know how pretty average students could make it in the games industry.

Glad to hear it. And glad to have clarification on this aspect of education of which I'd been unaware. I guess it's pretty much like what we call "work/study" over here.

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Quote:
Original post by Fenrisulvur
I don't know how pretty average students could make it in the games industry.

They won't. Schools don't tell their students but only the top students actually end up working in games. The average students end up in multi-media or similar fields.

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