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Interested in game development and programming...

This is a discussion on Interested in game development and programming... within the Game Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; Hello. I'm completely inexperienced in programming in general or any other CS field. However, I'm contemplating currently enrolling in online ...

  1. #1
    MCR
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    Interested in game development and programming...

    Hello. I'm completely inexperienced in programming in general or any other CS field. However, I'm contemplating currently enrolling in online courses to get a BA in Digital Entertainment and Interactive Media. However, the courses involved in this major don't include much programming, which is something I'd really like to know as well. I'll list the courses below, but I was curious if I could simply take some programming certifications (Such as c++) to supplement this education and have a good chance of landing in the IT field.

    Preparation for the Major (2 courses; 9 quarter units) COM 100* Intro to Mass Communication or COM 103* Public Speaking and COM 220* Media Literacy * May be used to meet a General Education requirement Requirements for the Major (16 courses; 72 quarter units) MUL 300 Convergence Media Prerequisite: COM 100 or COM 103, and COM 220 BRO 305 Media Storytelling Prerequisite: ENG 100, and ENG 101, and COM 100, or COM 103, or COM 220 MUL 305 Graphic Design and Artistry Prerequisite: COM 100 or COM 103, and COM 220 MUL 309 Camera and Image Prerequisite: COM 100 or COM 103, and COM 220 MUL 365 Digital Video Editing Prerequisite: MUL 265 or equivalent. MUL 461 Motion Graphics Prerequisite: COM 100 or COM 103, and COM 220 MUL 345 Applied Web Design Prerequisite: COM 100 and COM 103 or COM 220 MUL 370 Digital Interactivity Prerequisite: COM 100 and COM 103 or COM 220 MUL 315 Video Game Design Prerequisite: COM 100 and COM 103 or COM 220 MUL 355 Game Scripting Prerequisite: COM 100 and COM 103 or COM 220 MUL 375 3-D Modeling for Game Art Prerequisite: COM 100 or COM 103, and COM 220 MUL 462 Digital Audio Creation Prerequisite: COM 100 or COM 103, and COM 220 MUL 399 Emerging Technologies Prerequisite: COM 100 or COM 103, and COM 220 MUL 445 Digital Project Management Prerequisite: COM 100, or COM 103, and COM 220 MUL 430 Advanced Design Project Prerequisite: COM 100 or COM 103, and COM 220 MUL 471 Adv Digital Interactivity Proj Prerequisite: COM 100 or COM 103, and COM 220 Capstone Core Course (1 course; 4.5 quarter units) MUL 420** Multimedia Arts Portfolio Project

    As you can see, though heavy in digital animation and effects, the core of the major includes no programming. I'm extremely interested in the programming aspect of gaming as well as the artistic media aspect and was hoping for some insight from anyone in the field. Would I be able to get this degree and then some supplemental programming as well? Or should I perhaps get this BA then a MS in CS?
    Last edited by Salem; 09-24-2011 at 03:38 PM. Reason: font abuse

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    MCR
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    Also, I'd like to iterate that I realize how difficult it is to get into the gaming industry, and I'd more than enjoy starting in the IT field in general and working my way toward that goal. Would this be a good route?

    P.S. I'm learning programming on my own anyway for self satisfaction (Starting with C++, I've heard conflicting views on starting with C++ but the book I'm reading - C++ Primer Plus - makes it quite simple to learn on your own in my opinion.), and I plan on getting the certifications I need down the road someday as well.

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    Programming Wraith GReaper's Avatar
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    It's your choise to spend half or more of your life trying to get certifications, degrees and diplomas. The important thing is how will you comprehend with real life programming workspace.

    I, for example, am 20.5 years old, over the past 3 years I've learned C++, C, x86 Assembly and general programming all by myself. My expectation too is to become a game developer. Not to mention the extensive OpenGL use I've made or the 3D mathematics I learned on my way here.
    Last year I went to a TEI( Technological Educational Institute ) here in Greece mainly to have something that proves my knowledge, as well as learn more about programming.
    Do you know when I realised that I have no need of certificates, degrees or diplomas? When professors with years of experience with programming and at least two diplomas were making newb mistakes when they were "teaching" as C. And the fun part is that when I took them aside and explained that what they were saying was wrong, they'd just ignore me! One time I broke and said to one: "Fine, the others' code with get a higher grade, while mine will actually compile!"

    Uhmm, see what I mean?
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    MCR
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    I see what you mean. I've actually heard that a lot, that for the IT field it's not necessarily that you HAVE to have a degree or certs but that they help. I learn more quickly and easily when I'm in a class-type setting, so I'm definitely going to go for the BA in DE/IM. (I've already been teaching myself with some 3D art programs and I'm working on Python and C++ right now also.) I guess I can just try and get as proficient as possible in programming languages while I'm training on the art side and see what happens when I get the chance to show what I know to employers.

    I think really I just want the diploma for the reason that if you're just as good as someone with a diploma, but they have one and you don't, you don't usually get the job in that situation. The diploma shows you followed through with school, didn't give up and did what you had to do. But you're right, it doesn't prove ability really, just knowledge.

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    MCR
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    Also, when you first started learning programming, what route did you take? Did you use books, or just online information? MIT has some free online courses you can take, with videos and etc. But I think the books I've been reading have been helping me more than anything. (Learn Python the Hard Way / C++ Primer Plus)

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    Programming Wraith GReaper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCR View Post
    Also, when you first started learning programming, what route did you take? Did you use books, or just online information?
    Firstly it was 100% online info. As I became more proficient though I started seeking knowledge everywhere. ( By everywhere I mean online , but more zealously. ) Recently, I downloaded a pile of ebooks, html pages and help files, which altogether are 300+ MBytes! My whole ebook archive concerning C++, C, x86 Assembly, OpenGL, DirectX, Game Programming, Sockets, Optimisation & Efficiency, Pascal, Java, Just BASIC, ( more I have forgotten about ), is well over 1 GByte.
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    Programming Wraith GReaper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCR View Post
    I think really I just want the diploma for the reason that if you're just as good as someone with a diploma, but they have one and you don't, you don't usually get the job in that situation.
    Let me give you an example:
    Two potential employees come inside your office. The one has 10 certificates, degrees and diplomas which prove extensive knowledge to the subject. The other brings you a full-blown game, copyrighted by himself ( or evidence that he's the one who made it ). Whom would you hire?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GReaper View Post
    Let me give you an example:
    Two potential employees come inside your office. The one has 10 certificates, degrees and diplomas which prove extensive knowledge to the subject. The other brings you a full-blown game, copyrighted by himself ( or evidence that he's the one who made it ). Whom would you hire?
    I agree with your thinking here but in the real world they will most likely look harder at the buy with the degrees. It's much easier to get an interview when the hiring manager sees that you have a degree. When you apply to a company you can't attach source code to the application. Only in rare cases would that be an option. I'm a software engineer and I wasn't even getting calls back for jobs until I got that piece of paper basically saying "This guy did his time". If you want a job, get some kind of paper saying you have some formal higher education.

    Just my $.02

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    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GReaper
    Do you know when I realised that I have no need of certificates, degrees or diplomas? When professors with years of experience with programming and at least two diplomas were making newb mistakes when they were "teaching" as C.
    I think that quite a few professors do not program for their research; they assign their students to do the grunt work so they can concentrate on the academically interesting stuff. Consequently, your experience with professors that teach programming does not mean that the non-programming aspects of what you can learn during such a course of study is rubbish (plus if you are lucky, you may get a professor who is actually a good teacher, good programmer and good researcher all in one).

    Quote Originally Posted by GReaper
    Two potential employees come inside your office. The one has 10 certificates, degrees and diplomas which prove extensive knowledge to the subject. The other brings you a full-blown game, copyrighted by himself ( or evidence that he's the one who made it ). Whom would you hire?
    Like what rmatze related, the problem is that if the other guy does not have a degree or diploma, he will probably never be considered for an interview to begin with because the people who do the screening of applications may just discard his application so I will never even know he applied. Furthermore, if the first guy attended game programming related courses with any practical worth, he would also have a game to show.
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