Perhaps sometime in the future...

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    Registered User Stonehambey's Avatar
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    Perhaps sometime in the future...

    This is really a language specific question/discussion, so I'll whack it here.

    I see a lot of threads on this forum about what courses one should take at uni/college etc in order to pursue a career in programming and the like. This thread is sort of like that...but not really.

    A friend told me that they heard something on the radio (already the evidence is second hand but perhaps it has a degree of truth to it), that the gaming industry is becoming short staffed (for want of a better term) because there aren't enough people with degrees in maths and physics, and that being good at computer science does not imply being a competent mathematician.

    Now as I'm sure many of you know, I'm very much a novice programmer. I do, however, have a degree in Mathematics from one of the UK's leading universities.

    I've always wanted to be a teacher (my PGCE starts in September, pending a medical) and so have never really looked into or considered any other career, but recently I've started to think about what I would do if teaching doesn't work out for me (for one reason or another).

    So what kind of programming opportunities does a straight maths graduate have? Is the game industry a viable career choice? Are there any specific APIs I would need to know?

    In the meantime I'll continue to learn as much C++ as I can :P

    Cheers,

    Stonehambey

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stonehambey View Post
    So what kind of programming opportunities does a straight maths graduate have? Is the game industry a viable career choice? Are there any specific APIs I would need to know?
    I'd start with OpenGL and Direct3D. And yes, if you're strong in math - especially things like linear algebra - I'd say the game industry is a viable choice.

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    Registered User Stonehambey's Avatar
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    I guessed openGL would come up at some point. The only trouble is that it confuses the hell out of me, mainly because of the millions of support libraries. Which is the best to go for? Is it possible just to learn OpenGL by itself?

    I see a lot of stuff on the web and in books uses GLUT, but I've also been told this is old (indeed, the last update for it was 2001). Also, code::blocks throws up a load of errors within the glut.h file :P

    I can make an OpenGL project in code::blocks and when I compile the example code it gives me a cool multi-coloured spinning triangle. The header files only include <windows.h> and <gl/gl.h> so it doesn't look to need any support libraries. Would the next step be to buy a book on basic openGL, or do I really need those support libs?

    Woah, lots of questions. Once I get going I'm sure I'll be fine, I guess the hardest part is knowing where to start! :P
    Last edited by Stonehambey; 07-28-2008 at 10:21 AM.

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    check the game programming links.

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    Coming from me, a mere peon when it comes to math and science, OpenGL is fun to learn and isn't as daunting (at least in the early stages) as many think of it.
    Here to Deceive, Inveigle, Obfuscate Since 1945

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    I have not found an OpenGL book I particularly enjoy although if you are going to learn OpenGL I would suggest picking up the OpenGL programming guide. I believe they have a free PDF version on the website... although it is an older version of the book.

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    I second the vote for the OpenGL Programming Guide (a.k.a The Red Book). Also, you can check out the tutorials at http://nehe.gamedev.net and on Steve Baker's web page, too.

    Re: support libs, I use SDL instead of the outdated GLUT or the Windows API. SDL has image loading capability, sound playing, and other goodies. It comes with sample programs that you can use to get an OpenGL program up and running.

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    Registered User Stonehambey's Avatar
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    Yeah I saw the new Nehe tutorials with SDL, I got them up and running so that was really cool. The only trouble is that the new wiki lessons only go as far as making the rotating cube, which is pretty much the 3D API way of saying "Hello, World".

    I tried, but failed, to get the older, more comprehensive lessons working. Is there something I'm missing or need to do to compile these? They talk about glaux being out of date, however I don't really know what to do with the replacement code they offer.

    It would be even better if I could find a way to get them working with the SDL support library

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