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mikeishere

mixed feelings at Uni

12 posts in this topic

Hello folks
I need some advice

I'm currently a freshman (18 y.o.) at a large Big 10 uni with a very good computer science program. I did not start programming until this past summer, but I really really like it. I'd say my c++ skills right now are halfway between absolute beginner and intermediate (havent been able to dedicate a huge amount of time to it cuz of uni), so I still have a long way to go. Anyways, the problem for me is I feel like uni is not going to help me at all in becoming a game developer. I feel like I can teach myself better/faster than most courses I will take here. Moreover, I can learn what I want when I want.
If I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for a career other than that it would be computer science related, I would not have a problem staying in uni.
The thing is I really like programming but only in the context of being a game developer in the future. I don't want to want a programming career in anything else. Period.

Here is a list of pros and cons for I have come up with for dropping out of uni
(I'm definitely going to school next semester so I have some time to think this over)

Pros
- Much more time to dedicate to game programming
- Save close to $100,000 (parents' money) that I would spend on next 3 years of tuition
- Don't have to worry about keeping up my grades in classes where I have only lukewarm interest

Cons-
- Will be missing out on a lot of the social benefits on Uni
I don't "party" but I do enjoy the company of others my age with similar interests which would be hard to find if I dropped out of school.
Additionally, there is much more access to attractive women my age here than if I wasn't going to school.
- No "insurance" (i.e. a degree) if game programming doesn't work out for me.
- Parents/family members will be disappointed (not really a big deal though)
- I could still work on game dev. in my spare time (one has quite a bit as an undergrad) but note that is hard to focus on such when you have your actual classes constantly on your mind. At least that's the way it is for me.

I've been incredibly stressed over this for the past few weeks and am quite lost on what to do. Hopefully some of you can give me useful insight on how to move forward.

Thanks in advance

|||| Side-Note |||| - You may find this relevant. Humility aside, I am a rather intelligent person with an IQ of 140 (not on the super genius level of Bill Gates, Zuckerberg etc but it would be the next tier). I am able to digest and apply new concepts rather quickly (which is why I generally prefer teaching myself over a uni course). |||| Side-Note ||||

Edit: Forgot to add- The computer science degree at my uni is almost entirely in Java Edited by mikeishere
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Let me put it this way as a game programmer who recently returned to University to get my degree. You DO NEED the degree to do anything remotely useful in game development.


Topics that you will need to know that only Univeristy can teach you are:
- Physics
- Animation
- 3D graphics (not how to use OpenGL or DX but the actual algorithms used)
- Multivariable calculus and differential equations (required for graphics and animation)
- Linear Algebra (required for graphics and animation)
- Data Structures (required in all programming)

I know the saying that you can learn anything on your own but in reality, it's not true unless you're Isaac Newton. The programming language the school uses to teach you is irrelevant as your concern should be the algorithms and how to implement them. So stay in school, study hard and apply what you learned a little at a time. Edited by ssrun
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At such a young age, and already on the Degree program, I would see it through to the end.

I saw reason at the age of 26 to get a degree, and now at the age of 32 I have just received confirmation of my BSC two days ago. If I could have my time again you bet your arse I would do the degree at 18 years old! Someone is giving you the chance to obtain your first achievement in the field of computing, so don't waste it.

If the games thing doesn't work out, then a computing degree is still something to fall back on in hard times. There might come a time when you desperately need to get any job just to put food on the table. One of the reasons I have my current job is because I was studying at the time for a Degree - my boss told me that it suggested I wasn't as stupid as I looked and took pity on me! o_O

LOL, one of the best moments in my job was when someone noticed me using a computer and asked "who was stupid enough to let you loose on our computers?", and I replied with "for your information - you fucking ignoramus - I have a University Diploma in Computing! So do put that in your pipe and smoke it! Now if you'll excuse me, I will get back to hacking into the Ministry of Defense's mainframe...". Trust me, those moments are priceless...not to mention bloody hilarious for everyone watching.

But anyway, go get your degree. ^_^
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[quote name='ssrun' timestamp='1354685880' post='5007309']
Let me put it this way as a game programmer who recently returned to University to get my degree. You DO NEED the degree to do anything remotely useful in game development.


Topics that you will need to know that only Univeristy can teach you are:
- Physics
- Animation
- 3D graphics (not how to use OpenGL or DX but the actual algorithms used)
- Multivariable calculus and differential equations (required for graphics and animation)
- Linear Algebra (required for graphics and animation)
- Data Structures (required in all programming)

I know the saying that you can learn anything on your own but in reality, it's not true unless you're Isaac Newton. The programming language the school uses to teach you is irrelevant as your concern should be the algorithms and how to implement them. So stay in school, study hard and apply what you learned a little at a time.
[/quote]

I voted you down here. Not because what you wrote was really wrong. But to claim that ONLY a university can teach you the knowledge you point out to be important for a game developer, which is utterly wrong. All the mention classes above can be learned by one self by reading the relevant books on the topic. Do a google search or a search on Amazon.com and the knowledge will be there for you to grab.

I DO agree that all the classes you mention are necessary for a game developer, but do not claim that these topics only exist at the university. We live in the age of the free internet(for now at least).

To the OP I would say if possible then by all means hang on there and endure to you graduate. If that is not possible then follow your heart [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] Edited by Dwarf King
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