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Old 07-13-2010, 06:26 PM   #1
seekingKnowledge
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Default MSc in Computer Science or Games Programming

Hello everyone,

I would like to get everyone's sincere opinion about this issue that has been bugging my head. I have just recently completed my BSc in Computer Science ( & I am glad I took the degree & successfully performed well at it - just to mention a bit ), also I have for a long time been yearning to be a games programmer ( or at least a game developer / designer in the future ). To further shed light on how much I really want to go into this field, apart from being formally educated in most aspects of Computer science (BSc) & groomed in the Java language, I have also gained C++ knowledge, DirectX , JOGL , little bit of C/C# , XNA & OpenGL to mention a few (thus, I do not think am lacking too many things except for of course the experience in the gaming field and their intricacies).

Now that I have given a little bit of my background to help get your sincere responses, here is my problem. I recently decided to take my Master's Degree and to be specific I was going for Master's in Computer Games Technology. My initial knowledge of making such a decision is that from my past researches most Game Companies or at least the Good ones require a Degree (BSc) in some sort of field such as Computer Science , Maths , Physics , Software Engineering. which made it safe for me to choose a Master in Computer Games as I have always had the notion that a Master's Degree should be aimed specifically at what one really wants to do (after all that why its called MASTER) , now I know its not always a good idea to be confined to one & only one area of a field but since my BSc was achieved at a broader field (Computer Science & not Games Development), I feel I can opt out to any other field of Computer science if one day I get tired of Games Programming or just want to work in another field.

Now, from my recent research I got some mixed comments (-ve & +ve) about taking a Master's specifically in Games Programming & not just Computer Science, some say its not worth it as it streamlines your chances of getting employed, some say its fine as long as you have a BSc in Computer science or any of the fields I had previously mentioned.


I would be truly grateful if you all could contribute in your own ways to shed some of your opinions on this issue, as I do not want to make such a mistake if it could have been easily avoided. Your responses are highly anticipated.

Last edited by seekingKnowledge : 07-13-2010 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 07-13-2010, 11:41 PM   #2
yaustar
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I did a degree in Games Computing and a masters in Games Programming. Didn't stop me from getting into the industry or out of it. The question is, do you really need a Masters? Would it be better for you to do one in a more specialised area like AI?
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Old 07-13-2010, 11:56 PM   #3
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I did a degree in Games Computing and a masters in Games Programming. Didn't stop me from getting into the industry or out of it. The question is, do you really need a Masters? Would it be better for you to do one in a more specialised area like AI?
Thanks for the reply, & You have a point when you say do I really need a Masters? Yes, I do need a Masters personally because in this day & age where BSc is becoming less recognized a Master is what sets one apart from the other & also because I want to take the opportunity of taking a Master to specialize in the Game programming Aspect.

Now since you have been down that path or shall I say road already, May I ask you how was your experience getting in & out of the game industry (especially when you wanted to change to another field) & what made you want to leave the game industry. I do hope am not asking for too much information. I just need you opinion to help set me straight, huge thanks in advance.
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:25 AM   #4
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Hi Yaustar, once again thanks, I checked out your article on how "I broke into the game industry" & I must say it is really amazing. I think judging on the article I am on the right path. what do you say?
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:52 AM   #5
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Hello Seekingknowledge. I'm from Nepal and I've just finished My 12 . And now I am searching for a bright future . I hope I can do software engineering. But the available courses are Of Bsc in IT and Bach. in Computer application. Can I know the differences?? and what would be good for me in the future if I have to enter in the game industry. I also wanted to know which field would be good for me ,that would have a scope in both gaming industry and other software making industry.. I also have an option of studying abroad via student visa.. please can you help me
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Old 07-14-2010, 04:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seekingKnowledge View Post
what made you want to leave the game industry.
Money and crunch mostly. There were other reasons which are private.

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I think judging on the article I am on the right path. what do you say?
Do you have a portfolio? Do you have any contacts in the industry?
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Old 07-14-2010, 04:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastairwave View Post
Hello Seekingknowledge. I'm from Nepal and I've just finished My 12 . And now I am searching for a bright future . I hope I can do software engineering. But the available courses are Of Bsc in IT and Bach. in Computer application. Can I know the differences?? and what would be good for me in the future if I have to enter in the game industry. I also wanted to know which field would be good for me ,that would have a scope in both gaming industry and other software making industry.. I also have an option of studying abroad via student visa.. please can you help me
Hi , here is my thought on your question to the best of my knowledge. There is no problem in taking Software Engineering (I am assuming you mean BSc) if software is what you want to go into, from my Experience most Job Opening in the Game Industry that ask for a Degree usually ask for Degree (BSc) in Computer Science, Maths, Physics or S.E.

Also, when you say BSc in IT or Computer Application, 1st let me say I do not know specifically what you mean by Computer Application but I am guess the Course is to do with Computers on the surface and maybe you wont be taught more advanced stuffs. As for the BSc in IT, (no disrespect intended to I.T ) but I still say take a Degree in either S.E or Computer Science over I.T, because they give you more flavour & you can definitely apply for much more lucrative position in the future when you plan to work. I.T is nothing compared to CS or SE, most people make that mistake as I.T is more of minor topics of computer science (matter of fact in I.T you won't be taught things like Artificial Intelligence / Algorithms & Data Structures / In depth Networking / Algorithms & their Complexities nor will Computer Application, well unless the curriculum is different from what I know).



Finally, if you plan on going to the Gaming industry, I think for a BSc, your best bet is Computer Science / S.E / Maths / Physics (I have seen some application requiring just about an Engineering degree). I'm also new to this forum, so am not too such if it's illegal to post a link here, so if the moderator of the site feel I have offended the Law of the site, I apologize & would not break it in the future.

To EastAir Wave, here is a quick link to a Job offer at a Game company to help give you a better understanding

http://www.dtisoft.com/index.pl?page...b0ac2906817b88

also

http://www.creatorsofemotion.com/home-int.php
http://www.eidosmontreal.com/
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Old 07-14-2010, 04:42 AM   #8
seekingKnowledge
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Originally Posted by yaustar View Post
Money and crunch mostly. There were other reasons which are private.


Do you have a portfolio? Do you have any contacts in the industry?
Thanks Man, I can respect that.
I am currently working on my portfolio, but I wouldn't say anything solid is available yet, I have indeed worked on couple of 2D Games by myself, did couple of Apps with 3D (nothing major), that's pretty much about it. Obviously I spent more time trying to get my degree than building up my portfolio but I hope to step it up a notch real soon.

Since you have been there, could you give me an insight on what should best go into ones portfolio.

Huge thanks, Man.....
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Old 07-14-2010, 07:41 AM   #10
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Why the need to get a master's anyways? You're from the UK? Not sure what the job market is like over there. If you really think you NEED a masters to get a job, then by all means if it's worth it to you then do it.

However, you already have a computer science degree. Game programming is all about what you can do, and less about education. It looks like you just need to start doing more game oriented programming and design, build a portfolio, blah blah blah.

Just start mastering C++ now, on your own. Start programming games. You have the capability. And when you burn out of the industry you can easily apply for non-game related software development jobs.

p.s. hows the pool of C++ talent in the UK? I've been told it's not the greatest in the US, hard to find a really good C++ programmer in a lot of markets, thus REALLY proficient C++ programmers tend to get top choice in positions.
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