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No Video Game Design or Development College

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Hello all,

 

I'm currently a student at a local community college going for computer science degree. I will be transferring to a four year college in a few semester. I been playing video game since I was 10 year old and decided I want to work in the industry. I was really surprised that there isn't a college in the state where I live that actual offer a degree that focus on video game design or development. That why I decided to go for a computer science degree. Anyone who hold a CS degree would like to share their story? Is it hard getting into the video game industry with a CS degree? What position did you work in with a CS degree? Is it mostly programming or do you also work on other position like what a game designer would do? I try searching this forum, but can't seem to find the answer. 

 

Thank you. 

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I did CS and do game dev on the side as a hobby. I have more creative freedom over my own projects, even if they are small and wont be big hits. I still enjoy it. A computer science degree is a great degree to get into gaming and it is also useful as a fallback for other jobs if change your mind about gamedev. I would recommend you stick with CS.

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I did CS and do game dev on the side as a hobby. I have more creative freedom over my own projects, even if they are small and wont be big hits. I still enjoy it. A computer science degree is a great degree to get into gaming and it is also useful as a fallback for other jobs if change your mind about gamedev. I would recommend you stick with CS.

 

Generally I'd say that CS degrees are recommended for anyone looking to enter the game industry. You can definitely enter the industry with it, and at the same time you can still go to other industries. You aren't confined to a narrow scope of focus. 

I'm not in the game industry but I have a CS degree, and it's worked out well so far. 

I think, however, that the one case where people may say a different degree is necessary (correct me if I'm wrong) is if you're aiming to be a game artist, in which case, the path is different.

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Is it hard getting into the video game industry with a CS degree?

Yes, but not as hard as it is without one. Assuming you want a job as a game programmer.

What position did you work in with a CS degree? Is it mostly programming or do you also work on other position like what a game designer would do?

The position you work is the one you get hired for - not necessarily the one you studied for. What you will do in your job depends on what the company needs, and that can change numerous times during the course of a project. What is it you're really trying to find out? Ask that question to get the best answer.

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If you want to be a game programmer of any kind, getting a CS degree is the right way to go about that. Game-specific colleges are no where near as well respected as "real" CS courses.

If you don't want to be a programmer though, then CS is not the course for you.

If you want to be a designer, I'd not advise setting that as your first career goal. Studios often have one full time designer per two or three dozen other staff. It's an extremely rare position, and it also requires a lot of experience in other areas, so it's an extremely competitive rare position. IMHO typically a designer should have in-depth knowledge of one hands-on game development skill (e.g. has been a programmer, environment artist, etc, etc) and experience as a producer or project manager. That's not a job that you hire graduates/juniors into. Being a game designer is also a hell of a lot harder and more complicated than most people imagine. It definitely is not a job about just coming up with ideas, but often much closer to a project manager's role.

In any case, getting an education alone is not enough to get you a job in the industry. As a game programmer, you should already be programming games before you start your CS degree (so you know whether you enjoy it or not), and continuing to do so in your spare time for the next 4 years. If you want to be an environment artist, you should be practicing making 3D environments for the next 4 years. Or if you want to be a designer, you should be designing games for the next 4 years -- note that even without programming/art, you can create a card/board game to completion (and should do so). If you want to be a designer, it's worth learning some basic code/art skills so that you can pick up something like Unity and make prototypes of your designs by yourself too.

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Have to agree with Hodgman on this one a fair bit. A lot of the "game specific" courses tend to go into a little of game art, a little of game design and a little of programming etc rolled into one. I will grant there are a few specific courses such as "games programming" or "games art" courses that really focus in one one area, but a lot of the "game development" degrees that ive seen have a very broad study area which a fair few games companies tend to regard as something less that a good CS grounding.

I cant remember who it was but a few years back there was an interview with a few devs from various studios who pretty much all agreed that they would rather hire a CS student than a Games Development student as the degree just carries more weight and is generally a better degree due to games courses being poorly structured.

 

Also doing a computer science course gives you the base knowledge of programming etc, and then you can work on projects of your own choice and build a portfolio of work over the course of the degree and use that to end the industry (or try to)

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