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Old 05-27-2009, 09:35 PM   #1
Kaboom
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Default School Switcharoo: Is it worth it?

Hello,

I am currently a student of UOIT (University of Ontario Institute of Technology) fresh from first year Game Development and Entrepreneurship, and I am facing a bit of a dilemma and would like a little professional guidance.

Before heading off to University, I knew I wanted to be a game designer, but still lacked an understanding of what I was strong at and what I really wanted to do. After completing the first year, I found out some things about myself. 1) I severely lack math and programming skills 2) The only classes I thoroughly enjoyed was my Creative Writing, General Writing, and Psychology (the 2 latter being general electives) and 3) Having smelly roommates really sucks.

Being that the program is called Game Development and Entrepreneurship, it seems to be very math/business orientated. This, in a way, has made me feel that a lot of the courses are going to be very irrelevant to my final goal, being a game designer.

So, I have been contemplating changing my major to psychology, an area I have much more interest in (especially compared to C++) and would allow me to develop my writing skills. Also, I could use the knowledge from this major more directly towards my current designs.

So what I am asking is "Is it a good idea to switch now, from a game development program, to a standard psychology major, having the Game Designer title remaining as my goal?"

What would be the pros and cons of switching? This is something I have been dwelling over for the past few months, and it is starting to stress me out a bit. I understand that "irrelevant courses" are always going to pop up, but I find the over all direction of my current program to be "foggy", to say the least.

Thanks!
Michael Gooch
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Old 05-28-2009, 03:01 AM   #2
yaustar
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What skills are needed to be a Designer are at best, vague as they differ from studio to studio and most game design courses just teach a bit of everything which doesn't help either. From a quick glance at the course, it looks programmer orientated, is this something you want to do or avoid?

Knowing how to program to a certain level is extremely useful to a designer as it allows you to write your own scripts for gameplay in a project.

If you do switch majors, you need to work on these skills in your own time. This includes creating games from concept, making level and mods, documenting designs, etc.

Last edited by yaustar : 05-28-2009 at 03:04 AM.
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:59 AM   #3
Kaboom
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Generally, I would like to avoid the heavy emphasis on programming. I just don't possess much of the skills to really excel in that area.

While I do recognize the benefits of possessing such knowledge, I just currently feel that my current schools focus is on an area that I just have no interest in pursuing. I just believe that It would be more efficient (time and money wise) to work on improving my skills of interest, rather then fighting my way through my current program just so I can have an easier "ticket" into the industry.
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:47 PM   #4
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It's definitely a benefit to know programming in the game development industry, but it's not the only type of job available.
If programming isn't your cup of tea, and you get a job in the industry that's programming related, you'll hate it just as much as any other job. I say focus on your strengths and your interests. Find what ties your interests (writing, psychology) to the game development process and focus on that goal, rather than trying to fit yourself into someone else's shoes.
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