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FrgMstr21

Which Degree?

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Hi guys, Im 21 and am in the first year of a computing Degree in the UK. The Degree is a 4 year Sandwich course with a Year in Placement. At the the end of the common first year all students decide whether they want to do a CS , Software engineering, Information systems or 3d Visualisation Degree. I was thinking about CS as i always thought this was the most highly regarded computing degree. I want to become a programmer and would like to know if software engineering would be a better choice then cs to get into the games industry. Would i be too old at 25 to get into the games industry? Thanks

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1. The 3D visualisation one could also be a good choice if it''s the programming side rather than the use of art packages - good knowledge of the maths behind 3D graphics is a *very* important skill these days. Could also be useful for getting your demo together. CS and Software Engineering are both good choices too. A lot also depends on what you want to specialise in within the games industry; engines, tools, AI, R&D, game logic, audio etc...

2. The average age in the industry in the UK seems to be around 25 to 30 (in my experiences anyway), so you won''t be too old. The main thing is that your skills and talent is up to the required standard - which tends to mean a decent degree AND a decent demo AND lots of enthusiasm AND lots of practice* and if possible some experience of commercial software development (particularly if it''s in the games industry or a related field such as multimedia).

* don''t just assume a degree and demo are enough, you need to actually like playing games and be teaching yourself extra development skills - most companies don''t take on "trainees" in the pure sense - the competition to get into the industry is tough (the company I work for isn''t even recruiting and we get on average 4 CVs a week! - some from highly experienced people with many commercially released games to their credit). It isn''t the "easy" option by a long shot!

--
Simon O''''Connor
Creative Asylum Ltd
www.creative-asylum.com

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Software engineering is a course that is designed to teach advanced programming techniques. I would think it most appropriate for a games career since game programming is the most complicated coding that exists!

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quote:
Original post by PAK-9
Software engineering is a course that is designed to teach advanced programming techniques. I would think it most appropriate for a games career since game programming is the most complicated coding that exists!

However, software engineering practice is virtually non-existent in the game programming industry (Kevin Hawk, staff and part owner of GameDev.Net, has done rather extensive research to verify this).

Furthermore, there are forms of programming more "complicated" than game programming - those where errors could imply loss of life or irreperable damage to people (air traffic control software, hard real-time systems in life support...)

[ GDNet Start Here | GDNet FAQ | MS RTFM | STL | Google ]
Thanks to Kylotan for the idea!

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Hi,
I hold a degree in computer science and my profession is that of a software engineer - although not games. I wished my degree had covered more mathematics than it did as I see countless times in every games programming maths after maths, well for the 3D stuff anyway. My programming skills are strong in C++ and assembler (university taught me good OOP skills), but having just a degree is by no means enough to get your foot in the door in game development companies - you DO need a portfolio of work to prove how good you are and I can''t stress enough that as well as being able to code in C++ use Direct3D/OpenGL, you need an understanding of the math involved in 3D games. I started to code games at a very early age, 13 in 6510 on the commodore 64, my first game was published at the age of 14 and I went on to do many other titles mostly for commodore 64 and commodore amiga before doing my computing degree. What has stopped me progressing further with game development is the math, I am one of those people who likes to understand the math involved than to go ahead and just use it. So, the moral of my whittering ons'' are get your computing degree, make sure it has a good math content and get a good portfolio of work together.

Reg''ds,
Steve

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by FrgMstr21
Hi guys, Im 21 and am in the first year of a computing Degree in the UK. The Degree is a 4 year Sandwich course with a Year in Placement. At the the end of the common first year all students decide whether they want to do a CS , Software engineering, Information systems or 3d Visualisation Degree.



Software engineering, Information systems and 3d Visualisation are terms which as you know broadly categorise areas of computing. However, you will find that the detailed content being taught under these headings in degree courses varies widely from university to university. My advice is:

1. Find out what kind of programming you would like to be involved with in the games industry.

2. Make sure that what is taught in the categories you mention does in fact meet your requirments.

This is probably a tall order for you in 1st year since like many of us it is not until we finish your degree course that we have enough knowlegde in the field to know what we really should be studying.

henry

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Thanks guys, i''ll keep all this in mind when i choose. I will probably go for the CS in the end. There is another option to put in another year and come out with a Masters and Chartership.

Do you lot think this is worth the extra year of not earning money or is a good degree all i really need so to speak besides the other stuff mentioned?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Thanks guys, i''ll keep all this in mind when i choose. I will probably go for the CS in the end. There is another option to put in another year and come out with a Masters and Chartership.

Do you lot think this is worth the extra year of not earning money or is a good degree all i really need so to speak besides the other stuff mentioned?


A master''s degree will increase your average lifetime earnings by much more than one years tuition and one year of lost wages. It makes very sound economic sense by every study I''ve ever seen.

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quote:
Original post by PAK-9
...game programming is the most complicated coding that exists!

I hope you''re joking.

-Former Cadence Employee.

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