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ChaseLow

Limited time, max growth.

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Okay.  I think you are trying to use the force of water to obtain maximim growth by penetration.  I am not a water guy.  I am a stone guy.  Lightning will be your opponent.

 

Huh?

 His English is not the best in the world .... nor is his use of metaphors

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Then my advice is to spend your time heavily on learning to make games, rather than mid-level Math and basic physics.  However, this would mean your grades will suffer, and don't blame me or anyone else if this ever happens.

 
I'd say the opposite almost. Make sure your school work doesn't suffer - and pursue programming at the same time. You are forced to be in school for the majority of every weekday. It'd be the worst thing possible to let those hours go to waste - do what you need to do to lock in those benefits.

 

Make absolutely sure your math doesn't suffer. If your school offers a secondary language like French or Spanish, take that too. Math and secondary languages force your mind to work in new ways that you are definitely not used to - it grows your actual intelligence not just your knowledge.

 

Contrary to popular belief, people aren't born intelligent. Some people are born with an aptitude to learn faster/deeper than others, but everyone can grow in intelligence, so if you feel you aren't intelligent enough, make it a priority to grow in that area. The only thing that holds people back is self-discipline - an area I suck at, but that I keep trying to improve.

 

Also, make sure you are a heavy reader. If you're interested in history, read history. If you're interested in fiction, read fiction. But read *something*, all the time. This can possibly increases your creativity and your knowledge in unexpected ways, depending on what books you happen to read. Find books that interest you, and read them.

 

And then program and program and program. A famous artist when asked how to become skilled at drawing said, "Draw lines, young man. Draw lines."

Knowledge must also be met with practice to benefit you.

 

Oh, and exercise too, if you can. A good blood-flow to your brain helps you think clearer, and let's you stay mentally focused on one thing for longer.

 

The above is ideal, but you don't have to do everything, so pick and choose amongst them to find what works for you.

I'd suggest:

  • Focus on math. You're in school anyway. You might as well use the time to make sure you learn math which will enhance your programming (even if you never happen to use the math in your games!). Doesn't take much time - you are there anyway.
  • Go for a half-hour walk each day. Time cost: ~45 minutes, doesn't cost you much. Maybe go for a jog once or twice a week. Horrible stuff, jogging, but greatly beneficial.
  • Program whenever you have time.
  • If you have extra time, learn to enjoy reading books. That way, even your entertainment enhances your skills.
  • If you still have time, learn to draw or make music or some other art-related skill. Architecture, maybe.

This is all if you want to grow in skill. If you just want to make little throwaway games for fun, there's an app for that.

 

If you really lack time, create a schedule and rotate what you do each day. If you count all the hours you have in an entire week, subtracting sleeping time, subtracting school, eating, travel time, etc... then you'll know the actual amount of time you have, and can work toward your goals more effectively. Don't burn yourself out by overscheduling, though, and always make sure you have a day where you can rest and relax.

 

[/opinion]

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I leave you with a Bruce Lee Quote.

If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.

I leave you with an L. Spiro quote:
“If you do not guide yourself you will never get anywhere. Guidance often means limits, at least temporarily.”

And also this one:
“If you and your girlfriend switch brains so that you have her body and she has yours, and then you have sex together, does that make you both gay?”

For now we should probably just focus on the first one.
Wanting to learn everything is fine but in order to do that you need to learn how to learn. Luckily, I don’t personally believe you can learn game design any more than you can be amazing at art just through practice. Both are talents you either have or do not, and they will just develop on their own regardless of what else you are doing, since they both boil down to common sense. It might help to draw a few lines to aid yourself at art, but game design is entirely theoretical and something you just understand or don’t.

That means you can learn game design at all moments of your life. Even while you study programming. There is no reason you can’t always have this little part in the back of your head that is considering game-design elements and theoretically testing them for quality while you work on something else.

This is basically what I did long ago, but ironically it ended up that I enjoyed programming more than game design. I had designed so many things but learned to give up on them because I realized I could add my own design into everything I programmed. No one told me how to tune the physics for the character, for example. The important part was that he needed to jump 6 blocks high, but otherwise all of the tuning was up to me.


Over time I learned something else that helped me actually get good at what I do: Focus on one thing.
This seems contradictory to what I said about keeping game design in the back of your mind. What happened to me was that I had gotten a job as a designer, since that was my goal from the start, but when I started doing only game design I couldn’t help but feel I was wasting my time. I was more valuable as a programmer and that is what I really should be doing. I was restless when my only job was to design the game, make documents, etc. “I can do more to help, I am wasting time, damn it,” I thought to myself.
I had become so focused on programming that I no longer could do game-design, no matter how natural game-design in theory was to me.
But I was still able to add my sense of design into my programming.

You may want to be good at game design and programming, and you can be. But that does not mean you have to actually do them both.
Being a programmer who has a good sense of game design is the most valuable thing in the industry, and you also need to realize that being a programmer does not negate your sense of game design. Most programmers are better at game design than most designers (will get a quote from Molyneux (I think?) if necessary)—they just choose to express that in a hands-on way with their code, and it is ultimately more rewarding (speaking from experience from having been in both positions).

Besides, you can’t start as a game designer and then go into programming, but you can start as a programmer and then go into game design. If you want a job at all you have to be a programmer (between those 2 choices at least) or make your own company.

So I would focus on programming and keep design theory in your head at all times, since it can actually grow without ever actually being manifested, and it can still be manifested in small ways within your code.
Either way, you do need to focus if you plan to learn and grow.


L. Spiro

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Such great wisdom.
Special thanks to Chaos Engine, L.Spiro and Servant of the Lord.

Any suggestions of learning how to learn?

Why game design? (( I use that as the umbrella term for "being involved in making games" if there's a better term, let me know))
Well, I personally believe it's the ultimate form of expression of self.The saying "Walk a mile in my shoes" well, here I'll design those shoes in a playable package for you. It's also more then that, it's a goal and a purpose for me, games can be so much more then just a simple entertainment tool, I plan on tapping into some of the potential for games. Apart from all that, the simple fact is; I love watching others play games, think there way around puzzles and traps as much as I love doing that stuff. Of course, having never done paid game design before, I am keeping my options open, there is no one set career I want, I am just aiming somewhere I know I like. 

TLDR; I love it.

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Thanks for answering. From what I hear not everyone really knows what they want to do for their whole life. For this someone needs introspection, rather than relying on outside influence as guidance. If you're curious, an exercise that demonstrates this ability is to write down 50 things that make you happy and 50 things that make you sad; such an exercise is for yourself and it takes some time.

 

The past is your friend, draw from written history and what you experience. A great word in English I never heard until this year is autodidact.

 

Games are a mass media, different cultures have different virtues.

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~10000 hours (or about 10 years if you're working full time).

10,000 hours full time is about 5 years if you're specializing that whole time.

 

edit: I agree with everything you said though.

Edited by way2lazy2care

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Servant of the Lord hit the nail on its head. I want to add though, that you shouldn't rush the basics and theory. Without proper theoretical knowledge of your field, you will probably never get past layman level. If you have mastered theory however, you will find it much easier understanding the practical parts of the job. That doesn't mean you're supposed to read text books all day, but rather to pick a topic you're interested in, read an appripriate text book and immediately use your knowledge to a) check whether you really understood it and b) help remember it.

 

When I was in high school, I thought I'd never need or even be interested in stuff like history, French, chemistry or literature. I rather thought about programming and game design all day. Today, about ten years later, I really, really regret that. Today I am totally interested in such things as these but now I have already wasted my time sitting in class, being bored and not paying attention to the teacher. Do not make the same mistakes I have and try to be as good as possible in all your courses. As SotL said, it might even open up your mind to different ways of thinking and problem solving. Also, time seems to pass a lot quicker if you actually participate in class - something I only learned in university. And it is actually a good feeling if you travel to a foreign country and are able to talk to people in their native language (not everyone on this planet understands English!), so try to even learn foreign languages if possible.

Edited by rnlf

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For now we should probably just focus on the first one

 

I think it's time for the second question now... and for pics of your girlfriend. :P

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10,000 hours full time is about 5 years if you're specializing that whole time.

edit: I agree with everything you said though.

True, but most people aren't specialising the whole time. There are meetings, interruptions, life events, travel, weddings, babies, hangovers, etc. All kinds of things get in the way, which is why most books I've read on the topic seem to agree on the 10 years figure on average. Obviously if you are incredibly focused, determined, etc, that number can come down.

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