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      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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theblurch

What Type of School To Attend (Beginning Game Design)

5 posts in this topic

Hey guys,

I'm coming to you for advice. I'm currently 30 years old, full-time government employee, and I'm looking for a career change. I'm interested in going into computer science/game design, and I have a couple of choices as far as education goes.

I'm in the Dallas area, and SMU has a program that offers a Bachelor's in Computer Science with an emphasis in Game Design, and there's also a community college that offers an Associate's Degree in Game design.

Which option is better, obviously the community college would be cheaper and shorter, but would I be able to find work with a game company with that kind of education?

Let me know what you think. If you need more information about the programs, I can post it.

Thanks
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Here's the link to the [url="http://www.smu.edu/~/media/Site/Lyle/Degree%20Plans/Undergraduate/2012-13/BS%20Computer%20Science%20with%20specializations%20in%20Research%20Security%20Game%20Development%20or%20General.ashx"]SMU program[/url].

Here's the link to the [url="http://www1.dcccd.edu/catalog/programs/degree.cfm?degree=int_sim_game_tech_aas"]community college program[/url].
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The best option depends on what *you* want to do. You mentioned a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science with an emphasis in Game Design. Do you want to go to college for 4+ years and get a Computer Science degree? Do you want to be a software engineer / programmer in the game industry? You also mentioned an Associate's Degree in Game Design. In that case, it doesn't sound like you would learn Computer Science. Do you want to be a Game Designer then? Or a little bit of both maybe? If you want to stick with programming, a Computer Science degree is probably the best option... and you pick from many universities in the area (I hear UNT has some game programming courses). And you can also learn *game programming* by writing games on the side to add that to your CS knowledge. If you want to stick with game design, you could go for the Associate's Degree, or you can also practice by yourself by studying games and creating your own using existing tools (Unity, UDK, GameMaker, etc).

What I've learned so far is that there are multiple ways to educate yourself in game development, and there are multiple ways to enter the industry. To answer your question, it's hard to tell whether you will be able to find work at a game company... both with or without a specialized degree... but having a good portfolio will make you stand out.

Another thing you could do is to try and enter the industry with a QA job. Maybe a game company that is local to you is hiring for their QA department. If you make it in, you could try that for a while to see if you want to be part of the game industry.
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I guess my next question would be, what is the difference between a game designer and a programmer? Is one more in demand than another, and is the pay very different across the industry for each of the options?

I guess I had planned more on the programmer side, just because it seems like there'd be more job security, and I could always use the CS degree for something else if game programming didn't pan out. Then again, I don't know that I fully understand the difference between game design and game programming.

Thanks
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Do a google search of "game programmer vs game designer"... after reading a couple links, you'll start to understand the differences.


This seems like a good start (and the website is pretty good overall):

http://www.gamecareerguide.com/features/1057/how_to_break_into_the_industry_.php
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theblurch, your post has been moved to the Breaking In forum. Please read this forum's FAQs as your next step. (Back out to the Breaking In forum page and look at upper right.)
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