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mk.jr.fan

What should a highschooler do to prepare for the industry?

8 posts in this topic

Hi, my name is Jonathan and I am currently 16 going to my local highschool, and I was planning on going into the game industry as a programmer. 

 

My first question is does it mater what language I focus on? Right now I'm taking a programming course which teaches java, but is that going to be still important in the game industry? I was thinking of learning C++ because it is currently the industry standard, but when talking to my dad he says that since technology changes so quickly so can the standards.

 

My next question is, how should I practice/develop my skills inorder to be better equipped for the game industry?  Right now my experience as a game programmer is working with Gamemaker and Unity. After reading many forums they seem to agree that coding a game in scrach is a great skill (ex. just using a compiler). But when asking on forums (this one especially) they seem to say the opposite, where as it's better use other libraries made or sdks.

 

My last question is, since I'm still in highschool I am still unsure of what colleges I should be looking at and what courses I should be taking for my next two years. Should I look for colleges that focus on programming as well as courses? Or would it be more important to look for colleges that have a little bit of everything?

 

Thank you for reading and any advice would be useful!

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1. My first question is does it mater what language I focus on?
2. Right now I'm taking a programming course which teaches java, but is that going to be still important in the game industry?
3. I was thinking of learning C++ because it is currently the industry standard, but when talking to my dad he says that since technology changes so quickly so can the standards.
4. My next question is, how should I practice/develop my skills inorder to be better equipped for the game industry?  Right now my experience as a game programmer is working with Gamemaker and Unity.
5. After reading many forums they seem to agree that coding a game in scrach is a great skill (ex. just using a compiler). But when asking on forums (this one especially) they seem to say the opposite, where as it's better use other libraries made or sdks.
6. My last question is, since I'm still in highschool I am still unsure of what colleges I should be looking at and what courses I should be taking for my next two years. Should I look for colleges that focus on programming as well as courses?
7. Or would it be more important to look for colleges that have a little bit of everything?

1. No, it doesn't.
2. Wrong question. Right question: am I learning useful skills? (Answer: yes.)
3. Your dad is a smart man!
4. GameMaker and Unity are perfect. Stay with them. You can move away from GameMaker when you reach the point of doing stuff GameMaker can't do. If that ever happens.
5. Don't listen to forums!  And I don't think you need to build a game from scratch. Use Unity and GameMaker, they're just fine.
6. Take whatever courses you want to take, or that you think you want to take.  And if you really want to go into programming, go to any college that's affordable and teaches Computer Science.
7. Yes, it should be a regular college that offers mainstream bachelor degrees.  You might want to check out this forum's FAQs, read the section on college.

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The industry isn’t really strict on what degree you have, if you have one at all. Just make it relevant as possible.

 

Agreed.

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Thanks guys for the help! I now do understand since making games is my focus I should, as you say, make games. But I do like the thought of going deeper so I will probably make that a side project. Thank you again for your help!

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@snowmanZOMG
I agree with the article if the only experience you'll get is from higher-education. Otherwise...

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4. GameMaker and Unity are perfect. Stay with them. You can move away from GameMaker when you reach the point of doing stuff GameMaker can't do. If that ever happens.
5. Don't listen to forums! And I don't think you need to build a game from scratch. Use Unity and GameMaker, they're just fine.

 

Going on this, since you are using Unity, should you ever run into the point Tom mentioned about not being able to do what you want by using GameMaker, you can migrate to a language that can use Unity. It keeps you in semi-familiar territory and provides some sort of jumping point/direction.

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The biggest problem with "frameworks" like these is incessant/disruptive abstraction. I started with Game Maker, however, the reason I left it was not solely its incapacity, but the clunky and unhelpful abstraction. When you become a sophisticated programmer, in several ways, going bare bones C++ can be easier than carrying lots of 3rd party baggage around. Game Maker causes a lot of code bloat. So... eventually (even with Unity) I think you'll want to move onto C++.

Edit: Some very credible programmers will even argue that C++ causes code bloat, at least indirectly i.e. language features seem to suggest programmers' paradigms should be more declarative when it's not capable of properly handling what it suggests. They have some good points, but I won't go as far to talk about that issue...

Edited by Reflexus
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