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2D Platformer - Is that even an achievement?

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At present the most advanced game I have created is the basis for a simple 2d platformer. I have learned a lot of new skills and techniques in the process, and would regard it as a step forward. I taught myself C++ and SFML from online tutorials and forums.

I am writing my university application at the moment (I am 17, and applying for computer science), and I'm not sure if this even qualifies as enough of an achievement to mention on my personal statement. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Edited by Silgen

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What country?

Some places --- like schools in the US --- don't really need much of a personal statement in order to get into the school. Other places require much more.

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The UK - We have to write a 4000 character personal statement to supplement our grades/reference from school. We need to include evidence of our suitability for the course - commonly things we have done or read about etc. I want to mention that I have taught myself to program in C++ in my spare time, but I feel that something concrete (something that I have programmed) would be nice to mention.

Knowledge of programming is not actually a requirement to apply for computer science, only a strong mathematical background and a keen interest. Edited by Silgen

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I'm not an admissions officer or familiar with the UK process, but if I was looking at two identical applications and one had taken the initiative to learn on their own and found a way to apply that, I might give it the edge. Particularly if you can elaborate on what you learned from it, and how you handled the challenges.

Completing projects can be key, compared to someone that has a lot of knowledge but no drive to continue when they run into a problem. Edited by Haps

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well I sure hope it is, because I did one as well, when I was 14 in basic, and at the time i was damn proud. still am actually, about some aspects (the editor :) ).
But don´t go do projects for a purpose that is not centered on the project itself. you make a game for the sake of the game, not for the sake of being accepted in some classes.
if they don´t deem you worthy, maybe they are not worthy of your time.
remember :
bill gates = drop out
steve jobs = drop out
Zukerberg = drop out
etc
who needs university
no lol, forget that, bad examples :)

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I'd say it's probably [i]at least[/i] worth mentioning -- it shows initiative and dedication, and demonstrates an applied interest to the subject matter.

Here in Australia you don't really need a personal statement or letter of application unless you're going for a scholarship or trying to get into some private institutions -- [i]but[/i], when such things are required there are normally some resources available to help -- a list of points to include, examples of past essays/letters, people you can talk to, etc. If there are any such resources available to you you might benefit from finding out how much focus to put on your personal project and what else might be included.

If there are no formally available resources you might see if you can get in contact with one or more students at the university to briefly ask what they included in their successful applications.


Hope that's helpful! [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

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From my experiences as a freelance programmer which has lead into me actually starting up my own company that offers outsourcing, contracting and support work I find that THE MOST important thing to employers is that you can show portfolio value of completed material. What that material actually is happens to be of very little consequence. More so we have markets that are flooded with coders that really can't code. Potential buyers at least care to see that you can finish something and have it work the way you intended.

Although this doesn't speak much for what the college or university may require it's more realistic. Customers, employers, clients... They are the ones that put money into your pocket and the simplest way to get on their good side is to show your not all talk with any and all demo's or examples that you can show them.

On a side note, add me to the list of high school drop outs turned technology master. Although I do have college degrees to backup my work I will tell you that the true knowledge of programming, development, marketing and everything that actually makes money in this technical world comes from you doing research on your own and learning new things. Edited by Dan Mayor

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You could maybe elaborate a little more in-depth about the game - maybe even show us.

I'll let you know instantly if I find the game good, average, or below average, in my opinion.

However, any decent, somewhat playable game programmed entirely by one's self is always an achievement.

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Imo (overly simplified) a platformer is no diferent than any other game. Is just the way you present your game that changes. More specifically, you are dealing with colision detection, you are dealing with rendering and probably some sort of AI plus a lot of other systems that in one way or another are present in any game (not including text adventures). If you stop to think about many of the games that are out today the basics for doing them is the same. The way the gameloop is structured wont change much for any real time simulation applications. (either be a platformer, an rts, a top down shooter or w.e.), of course not considering multiplayer. Even turn based games can be included here, since the "simulation" is running real time on your computer.

The point im trying to make is, you need to understand that games are structured in a similar way. (of course im focusing on the programming part of it since you said about computer science). Im leaving the whole artistic side of things away from this discussion. My 2 cents

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