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IIeMachineII

Aspiring Game Developer

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So I'm new to this forum but I wanted to talk to people who know about game design to see if I could get some help. First of all, I'm 15 years old and I've been gaming since I was maybe 5. Last year I decided I want to be a game sec so I'm taking a class called game design at school. It's nothing advanced, obviously, we make games like pong, minesweeper and basically learn the basics of writting code. I'm very passionate about it all so I want to know more about it so that I can be ready for when college rolls around.

I have some pretty basic questions so I'm hoping some of you know the answers to them.
1) What is the best school( technical or college) for game design in southern California?
2) How hard is it to get a job in the industry?
3) What language do programmers write in? We write in c++ but I don't know if thats for everything
4) What would be my range of pay as a beginner programmer?

Thanks for the help in advanced guys!

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1: Sorry, don't know much about schools in southern California. I tend to think large state schools are probably Good Enough, if you are willing to put the effort in to your education. I went to the University of Minnesota and I've done alright for myself, despite my alma mater's lack of prestige. Computer science is a kind of special field, because so much can be learned outside of the classroom. When I was in school there was a massive difference in the capabilities of students who were just going to class vs the students who were actively working on hobby projects and learning on their own. It sounds like you're already taking the time to learn on your own, so you're off to a good start.

 

2: Can't really offer a good answer to this question either!

 

3: Console games are generally written in C++, but C++ isn't for everything. At the company I work for some tools are written in C# or python, though the majority of the code we write (even for tools/non-runtime stuff) is C++. Don't focus too much on this, though. I remember being 15 and thinking I had to learn The One Perfect Language. The thing is, you'll need to be able to learn new languages quickly. There's no need to be religiously affiliated with one particular language. Learn as many languages as you can! Most languages are useful in some domain. I can write certain applications in C# about ten thousand times faster than I can in C++. Some other problems are best tackled with python, etc. Plus, the more languages you know, the easier it is to learn new languages. A professional developer can pick up a new language and be relatively handy (though not an expert, obviously) with it in a week or so.

 

At this point, that might seem really difficult to you. That's fine. You'll get there in time.

 

Also, some people disagree with this, but I think C++ is a great foundational language to learn. When you have a good grasp of C++, it's a lot easier to understand what's going on under the hood of other, higher level languages.

 

4: I don't have too many sample points to go on here, but I'd say around 70,000 USD is a reasonable estimate, in my experience.

Edited by Samith

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llem, I moved your post to the Game Industry Job Advice board, because your questions are all about getting a job! You asked:

1) What is the best school( technical or college) for game design in southern California?
2) How hard is it to get a job in the industry?
3) What language do programmers write in? We write in c++ but I don't know if thats for everything
4) What would be my range of pay as a beginner programmer?


1. "Best" is subjective. You need to decide what criteria are most important to YOU. Read FAQ 25 (find this forum's FAQs on the main page of this forum).
2. Very. But what use is that information to you? If you want it, you should go for it.
4. There's a link to the annual game industry salary survey in this forum's FAQs.

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