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Should I go into game design?

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Yeah so I just want to know your opinions on whether I should go into game design. I'm doing college applications and I have debated either going into medicine, law, or engineering. I decided to dual major in math/physics in the honors program at UofM, so I applied there. My stats were ACT:34 with 36 in math/science and 3.8 gpa (unweighted) with hardest class selection available. So I know I can get into UofM and all that. Here's my question, I LOVE video games. Xbox, playstation, nintendo, computer, play and love all of them. I also love math and problem solving. A bunch of friends are going to full sail down in florida for gaming, so it got me thinking. Could get I get a full ride to somewhere like full sail with my stats? Should I major in CS or game design/etc.? Should I look at a different gaming college?

Sorry for all this just really looking for some opinions :x

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A bunch of friends are going to full sail down in florida for gaming, so it got me thinking. Could get I get a full ride to somewhere like full sail with my stats?

You aren't going to get a full ride from somewhere like Full Sail, no matter what your stats look like. They are run on a very profit-driven basis - they do offer some scholarships, but nowhere close to full ride.

Should I major in CS or game design/etc.? Should I look at a different gaming college?[/quote]
I am a big proponent of the traditional CS degree, especially if you have a strong interest in maths and problem solving. But it does depend on what *you* want to do - if game development is the only career path you envision pursuing, then by all means pursue a game-related degree. I don't think that a game-related degree is any more attractive than a CS degree when it comes to the job search (and in some cases may still be considered less attractive), but you may have an easier time approaching/enjoying the coursework.

As for other colleges, an increasing number of more traditional 4-year universities are offering programs in game development. I am mostly familiar with the East Coast, so take a look at the offerings from NYU, Northeastern, MIT, even UMass Amherst - you might see something that appeals to you.

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Alright thank you so much. I'll definitely look at those colleges. My biggest worry is finding out my passion for playing them won't carry over to designing them or something :/

Edit: yeah and I think I'll do a CS degree, would give me the most options and like you said it's just as good if not better

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Edit: yeah and I think I'll do a CS degree, would give me the most options and like you said it's just as good if not better

I'll just add that I am very glad I went for a general CS degree - in the current economic climate, being able to moonlight in database development and systems administration has been a life-saver in terms of paying the rent :)

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Alright thank you so much. I'll definitely look at those colleges. My biggest worry is finding out my passion for playing them won't carry over to designing them or something :/

Edit: yeah and I think I'll do a CS degree, would give me the most options and like you said it's just as good if not better



If you never considered making hobby games, or were at least curious how games work -- then I'm not certain that is a leading path for you.

Before you commit, try making a game or few first. You'll learn at least the basics needed and then decide if that is what you want to do. I was uncertain as well, but now, since I'm doing it for the last month or so, I'm quite sure I wish to pursue that career path.

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Alright thank you so much. I'll definitely look at those colleges. My biggest worry is finding out my passion for playing them won't carry over to designing them or something :/[/quote]

It's good that you're thinking about this - a lot of people take it for granted, and they assume that playing games and making games are the same thing. Personally I struggled a lot with settling on a degree (I have degrees in multimedia and CS now). And sometimes it's difficult to tell - because I started out with engineering, and as it turns out, computer engineering and CS are vastly different disciplines.

Well, the truth is that it doesn't matter as much as you'd think. In the end, there is no substitute to real experience and you will get a feel for what you do and do not enjoy. Not only will you learn the most out of actual experience, but it will also be the most useful thing for your career, whatever that may be. As for game design degrees, I personally think that nobody can teach you to make a good game, that much is really up to you. I did subjects in game design as well as (obviously in doing CS) many CS subjects - in all honesty, I feel I gained the most from the CS subjects.

Ultimately though, the most important thing to gain out of any field of studies is really the ability to "think" correctly - the abilities to carry on learning and to have skills you can develop real experience / a portfolio with are what really matters. Or so I think. :)

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First I agree with most everything Swiftcoder and Zethariel said.

One thing I may have missed in SC's post though is that if you like math and physics, going for a general CS degree will open you to a whole bunch of career paths you might enjoy more. Like both of them said, playing games is not the same as making games. You can easily build accurate physics simulations for NASA and still go home and play every new game you want while doing something completely unrelated that you are more passionate about career wise.

Going for a general CS degree gives you the freedom to experiment and find what you want to do rather than trying to force you into something you think you want to do.

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in general, making games requires A-artistic resources, combined with a B-playable algorithm. There are games with 0%-A and 100%-B, such as tetris, and games with 100%-A and 0%-B are rare. We could call the second type a "general art", such as books, movies, pictures and so on. If you would like to design a game, you need a talent, any talent. Such as writing. Imagine decribing a begining of the game with interactive player inside, like this:

"Player after outcoming the empty castle, where everyone got suddenly sloughtered, and him an unnoticed prisoner , finds a tight path down the rock of the castle. It is night and his footsteps follow further and further, when suddenly aproaching a cottage with a person. The player, knowing he has a wooden stick only and being in a rpg title, carefully approaches the person saying 'Hi there' , getting answer from Sevan-the person 'Beatifull day isn't it. Do you happen to come from tha castle? ' ".....

and description may continue the whole capital line of a rpg title. So. Do you get my point? Id does not matter wheather you can draw pictures/make3d/makecode/makevoice/maketales. It all counts. Do you remember the games that combined already existing art with playgo? Such as Clive Barkers Undying, Tonny Hawk pro scater, Evil Twin, . From my point of view, those games were prepared with author of the spectated art present, while games prepared without him, such movie remakes, did not reach such quality in general.

As a guy saying "I can design games", you should not have empty hands. You should have design documents, and so on. Best combined with something, like pictures, wholely displaying the experience the player is supposed to get (A) and the thing that keeps him bussy (B). A perfect combination of those two is called "surviving".

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Should I go into game design?
...
Sorry for all this just really looking for some opinions :x

My opinion is that you ought to check out this forum's FAQ (see link atop this thread).

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