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Sony boss "can't remember the last time" he hired from a games degree

VG247: "Jamie MacDonald, VP of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios Europe, has told the Daily Mail that UK games degree courses aren't his primary source for staffer."

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ultimate9203643d ago

I think they would prefer someone who can do all, rather than one major...

Programmer can do one,

...while Computer Engineer can do more

iceman28853643d ago (Edited 3643d ago )

Computer Engineers actually focus more on hardware that go into computers, consoles, microchips etc. They do some programming and software structure, but as the name entails focus more on the engineering aspect.

Computer Science is the major that focuses on software/programming and is what a company would prefer for game design.

And from experience, most of the time it is better to be a specialist in a field than a jack of all trades in the general area of the field.

nieto3643d ago

most people don't even know the difference of Computer Engineer vs Computer Science.

ultimate920 is my proof.

ultimate9203643d ago

I was just trying to make a point, thanks iceman2885 for correcting me without acting like a smartass...

nieto, at least I learn from my mistakes...

StalkingSilence3643d ago

Yup.
I'm a computer engineer and I don't do much with my degree. That's beside the point...

Computer Engineering = Programming + Electrical Engineering
Computer Science = Programming (more of it) + More advanced math

I recommend getting a business minor on top of either if you'd like to make yourself more marketable.

Pixel_Addict3643d ago (Edited 3643d ago )

Programming requires a Computer Science Degree of no less than a Bachelors if not Masters. That means Trig, Cal I, Cal II, Cal III, statistics, and programming courses. Programming is not really creating the game. When you 'program' for developers you simply are told what to code and what they need. There is little room for your creative output. Loooong hours of sitting, typing, researching tech books, and heavy mathamatics (without help mind you).

Game Designers do not need a specific degree plan, but generally any Bachelors in Liberal Arts with courses like Cal I, Statistics, and some writing classes. Game Designers also do not really create games through story, art, etc; instead Game Designers usually apply value to game functions. It's difficult to explain, but they usually design how objects interact with the player, how AI functions with environments and that info gets handed down to the programmers who use that for reference.

Then there are the artists (the list is too broad to name everything). There are no career specific degrees here either, although a Fine Arts Degree w/ basic comp app exp can help. You can basically learn how to use 3D applications and 2D (photoshop) by buying the software and the building a portfolio/website and showing different companies what you can do. It is up to them to hire you as a sort of intern and thus slowly getting you professional experience. There are courses offered at every education level that can merely help you gain experience or provide proper tools.

It all comes down to where the games are being developed. If your city, like Austin, has many development communities they more than likely have a working relationship with the surrounding schools. Those schools that can offer you a internship at those places can actually be beneficial.

History always repeats itself, how many times have people been told that "if its too good to be true" bla bla, making video games is a JOB, first and for most. If you thought other wise then who can you blame? Making video games is very demanding, with little pay, and if your lucky very little appreciation. Do you see how people tear apart games that people have worked hard on, night and day? Well, it takes dedication and a love for what you are doing, it's not an 'easy street to fun town'.

Just do the research, "[Don't] be caught in that net of suckers and glass people, weak, beaten down and feeble"

MikeGdaGod3643d ago

i'm graduating on September 4th with a degree in Computer and Electronics Engineering and i can tell you it has nothing to do with video gaming.

i took some courses in programming but not to the point where i would call myself a programmer.

cmrbe3643d ago (Edited 3643d ago )

There are software engineers and computer engineers. software engineers focus almost entirely on software dev and are generally referred to as programmers which is only a very small part of their work. Actually programming or the implementation phase is generally the second to last stage of a software dev cycle. The analysis and design is the biggest and most important phase. I know all of this because i am a software engineer lol.

iceman28853643d ago

I know what you mean. I graduated with a degree in Biomedical Engineering and my university (and most ABET accredited engineering programs) require that a student take computer programming classes so they can understand and use a variety of computer programs used in engineering (C++, Visual Basic, Mathematica, MatLab, etc...). I knew a lot of computer engineering majors (as my specialty overlapped with a lot of EE classes) that only had the same as or one more class than me in computer programming. Whereas computer science majors I knew programmed day and night.

I think it comes from the sterotype/idea that any class or major with the name computer tagged in front of it makes people automatically think of a geek sitting in front of a computer coding when there are many many many different aspects to computers that don't focus on coding/programming at all.

Kleptic3643d ago (Edited 3643d ago )

good thread...

I'm a Mechanical Engineer as far as my degree, but my current job is almost entirely focused on Management Information Systems...an entirely different field...both do a lot with computers, but MIS is almost all database management/debugging...

obviously my degree and current job have nothing to do with game design or even intensive programming (i'll write a macro here and there occasionally, but that is not something that took me 4 years of college to learn)...

there is a lot of strange stuff in the 'computer' fields...in which its almost like some of it is kept hidden to the masses as a form of job security...none of it is really hard or even overly complex...programming, at least with the few classes I had in C++, Jave/HTML, etc are just like learning any real spoken language...you get series of rules set, then you just expand from there...Not saying its easy...just saying its not exactly quantum theory, partial differential calc, or mathmatical nose-cone deformation theories (that is basically the intro to rocket science...as cliche as that sounds, it really is impossibly complicated stuff)

it is extremely labor intensive though, and takes a lot of attention to detail...there is so much more to game design though than just the programming...art direction, creative direction, etc. are all equally important...

Carmack proved with Doom 3 that it takes a lot more than brilliant programming to make a game fun...and as with any computer related job, there is no real specific degree that gives you everything you need for any related job...you will have more training at work than you ever did outside of it...

cmrbe3643d ago

That is a weird career turn man. From mechanical engineer to IT manager hehe. Yes that is correct. Programming is easy and anyone that knows how to use a computer can learn it like any spoken language but just like spoken language an experience programmer is able to say or in this case write their code more efficiently or obtimised as they say.

True. I would imagine game dev to be something alot more complex though.

MikeGdaGod3643d ago

i agree, programming isn't the hardest thing to do in the world but it's not something i'd want to do full-time. i found Visual Basic the easiest, much easier than C++. i'm just glad it's all over.

happy to see a thread where everyone gets along.

+bubbles

Proxy3643d ago

What math courses would be required in a CS degree that wouldn't also be required in a Computer Engineering degree? This is a challenge to your statement that CS requires more math than CE.

That said, go to school for an education. Are you going to school to learn or just to get a job?

Most jobs don't care what type of degree you have, so long as you have one (History major anyone, what job needs that?). As far as actually getting a job, I'd say who you know and a little luck will play a far bigger role in getting a job than your schooling. IDK though, I don't exactly have a grade A job.

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Mad Aizen3643d ago

then tell people who are interested, exactly what to do, in order to be hire, not just how ignorant they are for attending "game design" schools.

silvacrest3643d ago

i was thinking about doing a games design course then i found out that most are useless and employers are looking for computer engineers and a high level of mathematics

companies should blatantly tell interested students what they are looking for so no one wastes there time

Topshelfcheese3643d ago (Edited 3643d ago )

Well your problem is that you need to know what the different jobs are. Game Design doesn't cover everything. There's Game Designers, Software Engineer(Programmers), Techincal Assistants, Animators, Modellers, Texture/Lighting Artists, Concept Artist, Producers, Project Managers, Etc.

@StalkingSilence

I'm an Animator, When i did freelance for a bit, I did some modelling and rigging as well. But at most large Studio's you will just focus on one specific skill set.

You can learn all this stuff on your own and get a job that way, but going to a well known school helps a lot because of networking. Getting a job can come down to who you know, and you meet people at school who can be sources of jobs down the line.

Example: I had a friend get a job at a studio over a more qualified artist, simple because he knew one of the animators there and they vouched for him being a team player.

StalkingSilence3643d ago

Topshelfcheese,
which of those are you? are you allowed to comment?

Perjoss3643d ago

I've worked on a couple of games titles myself and I know a few people in the industry, I've also talked a few times with the people that handle stuff like going through applicant show reels and interviews, so I hope this might be helpful. I can't speak about programming as that is not my area, I work in asset creation such as modeling and textures.

They don't seem to care 1 bit how many lectures you have been to or which school you learned at but they care a lot about seeing your own hands on work, even if the show reel is not put together well they dont care, as long as the work is good quality and you show knowledge of taking an asset to completion.

Another thing that helps greatly is being clear about how long your work took you to complete from start to finish. The best artists in the world are kinda useless in certain companies if they take forever to complete work.

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Pixel_Addict3643d ago (Edited 3643d ago )

I looked at a few 'game degree(s)' from a few places and they are all missing any math or statistics. That's why I am getting a Computer Science degree. At the very least that degree requires calculus I.

The reason these game degrees have popped up is that most people can't or are not willing to take college mathematics. These degree granting institutes are just preying on the those who would let themselves believe that working with computers is a mere point, click and collect money.

InMyOpinion3643d ago (Edited 3643d ago )

Is that Rude Dudes? Was that the name of that game(in your avatar)? I played the megadrive version of it like a maniac when I was young. Great game.

*edit, or was it 2 Crude Dudes!?*

Kleptic3643d ago (Edited 3643d ago )

any accredited school will have a pile more math for CS than Calc 1...or did I read that wrong, are you saying that these 'community' college like schools don't even require that?...

CS at Penn State University, where i went, has 6 different calc classes that are all hell on wheels...its primarily an engineering school, so they do weed out those not commited pretty early...but saying some are 'afraid' to take some classes like that is a little insensitive...they are not exactly easy...

just pointing that out in case you have yet to take some of these 'college level calc' classes...I got my degree in ME from PSU, but have no problem admitting that Math 251, partial differentials, was the single most challenging academic anything I ever did in my life...and lucky for me I got to try it 3 times...its also the most failed course at the university...

if you have already taken several of these calc classes, i stand corrected...just saying it is a little out of line to criticize others who can't or don't take classes like that because of the difficulty...

I agree with your overall point though...there are crap schools with no credibility that offer courses in certain feilds that are next to worthless, yet will tell their students that they will set the world on fire as soon as they finish...

techwizz3643d ago

I've heard that a lot of game design programs, particularly in the UK are fairly worthless. I have heard that Full Sail is pretty good though, as is that other one I can't remember right now.

Topshelfcheese3643d ago

I got a friend who I work with now in the industry, who went to Full Sail. I can't comment on the 2 year schools though, I got the 4 year degree.

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