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Do I need a degree to make mobile games?

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I am transferring from a community college to a 4 year this coming fall as a math/cs major. I can finish the degree in cs/math in 2.5 years or I could go to a cs degree and finish in 3 years (4 years if I do a co-op). The issue I am concerned with is the fact that it seems a lot of 'breadth' is in the degree and I have ultimately decided to focus on the mobile market for my future career.

Is a degree in CS (or in my case math/cs) a must for app development or can I pick up some Java books, look at the SDKs for Apple and Android and get to work on making my own app? Please keep in mind I am dead set on app development, if that means I am flipping burgers by day and coding by night, so be it.

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Finish your degree. Your bachelors degree will open many doors for you.

To be fair, it is certainly possible to program without a degree. Just like it is possible to drive without completing a driver's education course, or possible to do math with no formal training, or learn how to cook by trial and error; so too can you become a code monkey by reading a few books and online SDK documentation.

There was a time when CS degrees didn't exist and most programmers came from mathematics backround; back then you really could succeed without the college degree.

But that is not today.


If it truly is your intent to flip burgers all day, then go ahead and ignore schooling. It is not a career path that intelligent people tend to prefer.

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The flipping burgers thing was meant to be a way of getting by while working on my own project in my spare time, it was not intended to be a career path.

Why is a degree a must? I only ask because I did some research and there are really 5 or 6 core courses for CS, as well as your choice of electives. Aside from having the degree be a check on a HR screening, what else does it provide?

Don't get me wrong, I am not against the degree, but I just want the best path towards my goal and a lot of times I hear experience or sample work trumps a degree.

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Is it 5 or 6 for the CS degree? Or 5 or 6 for the CS/Math degree? The 4 year college I go to offers 2 separate CS degrees, but both of those involve a bit more than just 5 or 6 CS courses.

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1. Do I need a degree to make mobile games?
2. I am concerned ... that... a lot of 'breadth' is in the degree...
3. Is a degree in CS... a must for app development or can I pick up some ... books... and get to work on making my own app?
4. Why is a degree a must? ... Aside from having the degree be a check on a HR screening, what else does it provide?[/quote]

1. Only if you want to get hired to make mobile games. If you want to make them on your own, you can blaze your own trail. But you'll need a job to pay the bills until your games start paying your bills for you, and a degree will help you get a job.

2. There's a good reason for that. Colleges (unlike trade schools) like turning out well-rounded, well-educated people.

3. False choice. You need to do both.

4. A degree gives you flexibility, the ability to switch jobs/careers -- and higher earnings potential for life.

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[font="Arial"][color="#222222"][size=2]I hear ya Tom. Those are some valid points for a degree. I would like to clarify it is not laziness about not wanting to get a degree, but impatience that's my biggest flaw. Ok with that said I guess I have some follow up questions if you would be so kind.[/font]
[font="Arial"][color="#222222"][size=2] [/font]
[font="Arial"][color="#222222"][size=2]In getting my CS/math degree, aside from the core courses (data structures, algos, programming languages, OSs, complexity) what additional courses or side reading would you recommend for preparing to make mobile game apps. The obvious choices would be java and obj C, but anything you can recommend while I still have student loans to float me for the next few years I would appreciate it.[/font]
[font="Arial"][color="#222222"][size=2] [/font]
[font="Arial"][color="#222222"][size=2]To give an idea of what kind of game I am thinking of doing is a puzzle based game, I do not want to give out more details than that atm.[/font]

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Trying to take at least one graphics course could help out, considering you are wanting to make apps. If you can find one without going too far off your course track, taking an interface design class could help, too. Granted, both of these can be self-taught through various means (trial-and-error, online tutorials, or a closer to school way: video tutorials).

As for your puzzle based game, if you are just doing a sliding type puzzle game (15 Number puzzle) or a simple click game (Bejeweled -- this one is iffy in my book for the genre), then you shouldn't need too much aside from a language, a way to get input, and a way to display output. If you plan to incorporate other types of puzzle scenarios, you may need to find the relevant math/physics class that could help you.

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I am transferring from a community college to a 4 year this coming fall as a math/cs major. I can finish the degree in cs/math in 2.5 years or I could go to a cs degree and finish in 3 years (4 years if I do a co-op). The issue I am concerned with is the fact that it seems a lot of 'breadth' is in the degree and I have ultimately decided to focus on the mobile market for my future career.

Is a degree in CS (or in my case math/cs) a must for app development or can I pick up some Java books, look at the SDKs for Apple and Android and get to work on making my own app? Please keep in mind I am dead set on app development, if that means I am flipping burgers by day and coding by night, so be it.


You don't need to have a degree, but it certainly helps keep future doors open for you. If you really want to make mobile games, start making them while you continue your education. In fact, Unity iOS and Android are both FREE right now ($800), but this ends today. https://store.unity3d.com/index.html

Best,

Destin

www.ineedtomakegames.com

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If you want to make games by your own, you need a brave heart.

If you have a brave heart, a degree should be very easy to get:D

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