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How is the Game Development field?

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Ok I am currently in college in my first year. I want to go into game development but im confused with my major choices. Would Computer Science be enough or would I have to go to a school that has game programming as a major? How is the field and job availability overall?

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In terms of being noticed for an interview, computer science degree covers (can) game development and some.

 

What it boils down to is what you are capable of doing, and what you've already done.  School will only teach you so much, if you show them something you worked on in school and everyone else has done the same thing, then you are just wasting your time.

Edited by d4n1

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Ok I am currently in college in my first year. I want to go into game development but im confused with my major choices. Would Computer Science be enough or would I have to go to a school that has game programming as a major? How is the field and job availability overall?[/size]


I read article on this site and agree with it. Except you want to be confined and limited to games, go for computer science.

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Here's a link to the article Nathan2222 mentioned.

 

http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/gamedev-net-soapbox/why-a-degree-in-game-design-is-a-bad-idea-r3527

 

One of the things he says is that a strong portfolio weighs more than a degree. And I think he's right. If all you have is a piece of paper that says, "I did the work for this piece of paper." That's great. So did lots of other people. Have you done anything cool? Show me...

 

Tom Sloper is a member/moderator here at gamedev. On his website he has a big list of FAQ's that people interested in joining "the biz" should read. 

http://www.sloperama.com/advice.html

 

- Eck

 

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Here's a link to the article Nathan2222 mentioned.

http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/gamedev-net-soapbox/why-a-degree-in-game-design-is-a-bad-idea-r3527

One of the things he says is that a strong portfolio weighs more than a degree. And I think he's right. If all you have is a piece of paper that says, "I did the work for this piece of paper." That's great. So did lots of other people. Have you done anything cool? Show me...

Tom Sloper is a member/moderator here at gamedev. On his website he has a big list of FAQ's that people interested in joining "the biz" should read.
http://www.sloperama.com/advice.html

- Eck

That's the one. Learning computer science enables you to do more than just make games. Computers are everywhere these days.

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1. Would Computer Science be enough
2. or would I have to go to a school that has game programming as a major?
3. How is the field and job availability overall?


Hi, Anthony. I didn't see your post at first because it was in the wrong forum. I've moved it now to the right place.

1. No, it's not enough. Nothing is enough. Frequently Asked Question #49. http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson49.htm

2. No, you don't "have to" have a game degree. You need a degree and a portfolio. You teach yourself more after graduation and make a portfolio, you network and make contacts. No degree is a guarantee of a job. FAQ 77. http://sloperama.com/advice/m77.htm

3. It's not easy to get in, and it's not necessarily easy to stay in, either. It's very interesting work, lots of ups and downs.

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If I was looking at resumes for an entry level job, my order of preference would be:
1) CompSci + portfolio of games made in their spare time.
2) Games college + portfolio of games made in their spare time.
3) Portfolio of games made in their spare time.
4) CompSci + Games College, no portfolio.
5) CompSci, no portfolio
6) Games college, no portfolio

i.e. CompSci is the best course for a programming career, but you also need to be making games in your spare time to build up experience the whole way through your education.

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I've been reviewing a lot of CVs and interviewing people recently (for senior engine programming posts) but if I were reviewing for entry level jobs my order of preference would also be 100% with what Hodgman said. 

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Regarding the job availability question - most of of the available games jobs are not entry level and require some amount of industry experience in a real production environment (ideally with shipped product).

 

However, there are still some junior positions out there, particularly at indie studios who don't have the budget to pay for senior people. That's one way to get some industry experience (on top of your degree and portfolio of personal projects mentioned above).

 

The other common route into the entry level jobs is internships, usually at the larger companies but sometimes at smaller ones too (budget reasons as above and external funding is sometimes available to studios for taking on interns). The best performing interns are often offered permanent junior jobs. As an extension of the traditional intern intake, the company I work for has also started a graduate programme which may be of interest to you in a few years: https://www.ubisoftgroup.com/en-us/careers/graduateprogram/index.aspx

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