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Submitted by Pozzle 518d ago | opinion piece

What Game Students Should Know Already

Game Theory: It looks like all those game-related degrees are starting to gain some respect from the industry old farts – which is to say those of us who entered the game industry in the ‘80s and ‘90s, before such programs existed. We had to make do with traditional degrees like computer science, art, English, journalism, history and interpretive macramé… uphill… both ways… in the snow. Now students are graduating from some of these programs and making immediate marks on the industry, with Portal (originally a student project before becoming a runaway success story) being only the most obvious example. (Industry, PC, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360)

-Falaut-  +   518d ago
oh Malice Mizer of yore. I got into some weird shit just for girls. smh.
Kran  +   518d ago
The video game course I did in college though was kind of flawed.

Constantly we were given big challenges, and whilst all of us thought big, we only made such small, terrible and simple things. A lot of what we learnt was written assignments, and with practical things, we had to learn what we were taught in that lesson before we moved onto something else the next day. They never gave us a chance to breathe. Now although I got high grades and an outstanding achievement award at the end of it all, I still feel like I don't know "enough" to make something of my life yet.

Our entire class was planning on making a zombie game, but we never made it because:

a) people took too long to make assets
b) teachers kept changing the plans
c) we had pretty much no experience

I'm more of an ideas person. I like to come up with the ideas of gameplay, the stories, the characters, the backgrounds, rather than implementing them in the game. So many developers are asking for that instead though :(
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edonus  +   518d ago
What you just described is part of the flaw of education. I went through and am going through a similar phase. I did a degree in multimedia and got to work in a couple courses with game design students "stuff like 3d modeling and animation and a little bit of simple coding like action script games". We definitely didnt get a chance to breath or at least reflect on what you learned. The courses are more like teaching you the ground level but in order to really grasp and master something you have to go back and do it on your own time. I can only imagine what it would have to be like in game design because that is more coding than anything else.

I feel that the curriculums arent streamlined enough and/or they dont really concentrate on making you a full functioning professional.

If I was to design a course like for gaming I would have the class re build and tweak a completed game. Everything from rebuilding the assets to retooling the control schemes coding chunks of it. i think if you had students building a game for 3-4 yrs of college they would come out solid.

Same thing in multimedia, I would have them completely edit a scene from a movie effects and all, build popular apps from the ground up. The truth is these days you learn almost nothing with an associates degree and a litlle something with a bachelors degree and enough to properly function with a masters degree.
isarai  +   517d ago
Dear GOD!!! that is EXACTLY what i'm going through. Only one quarter left for my bachelors but nobody in the class really feels we know enough to actually make a fully fledged game yet
uuaschbaer  +   518d ago
I'm trying to think of some good Gackt jokes but they all turn out very mean and petty :p.
Pozzle  +   517d ago
There's no such thing as a bad Gackt joke! hahaha
Zichu  +   518d ago
I would like to enter the industry, either as a lone wolf, in a small indie team or even in a pretty big company.

I'm only 20, from the UK, I went to college at 16, but left a few months after due to the course being terrible and I just wasn't learning anything. It originally was an A levels course in IT and you had to take another subject to go along with it. I decided to take some multimedia course which was about making video games. Months before the course started, they changed it into a BTEC, cut all of the good stuff out and it was terrible.

It was a good job I did leave because I would of made some bad mistakes early on, spent a load of money at Uni without knowing what course to pick and be completely screwed. At the time I didn't really know what position I would of liked to be in (Programming, Artist, Modeler, Animator, Designer, Writer, etc.) I just wanted to be a Game Designer thinking I would do everything...

Over the past 4 to 5 years I have been researching, finding out so much about the industry, becoming more active on game and developer forums, keeping up to date with games, hardware, etc. I also decided to learn how to program in C++ and it's been the best decision yet. I've struggled, but I have pushed through and it's the one of the most enjoyable things I am doing right now.

I'm getting better at programming, I'm just learning how to use the SDL library and will hopefully have something up and running soon.

I have also been studying Algebra which will help in Linear Algebra and hopefully get started on my Physics and Maths book which has been gathering dust for quite some time. I just never knew how important Maths was at the time and thought I could do it, but I felt it was quite hard at my level of knowledge of Maths. I hate Maths in High School, but I love it now and do several pages every other day, practicing and doing exercises.

Education in the UK isn't that great. They just want to get as many people on the courses as possible so they can get that bit of extra money. I remember when I left, they wanted to talk to see what problems I was having, they were pretty much trying to convince me to stay. My parents came with me and knew what was going to happen and at the time I wouldn't of known what to do.

Sometimes you need to try to do something on your own, read books, go through tutorials, finish exercises, just keep practicing at what you want to do, without practice you won't get anywhere. I felt rushed at College and that's why I never learned anything. I've learned more at Home in a few weeks than I did at College in 3 months.

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