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Old 01-19-2012, 04:51 PM   #1
iwhitt567
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Default Seeking direction in Ohio.

Hello, everyone. 21-year-old student of Computer Science here, looking to move into game design and development on down the road. I've studied at Ohio University, and more recently at a local community college for tier-3 req's and the such. I'm thinking of going to Ohio State in the coming fall, but I'm not certain about their programs, and I haven't been able to find much information regarding OSU and game development. I guess what I'm looking for from these forums is just any advice you can give someone picking their major, program, and courses, especially if there's anyone who knows the schools themselves.

Hoping to post more soon.
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:46 PM   #2
tsloper
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Default Re: Seeking direction in Ohio.

You can get your degree anywhere, then take your education and build a portfolio.
Then you can take your degree and your portfolio and move to somewhere where they make games, and get a job.
http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson27.htm
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:17 PM   #3
iwhitt567
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Default Re: Seeking direction in Ohio.

While I appreciate the response, that was really not helpful at all. I'm asking for advice on choosing a program for my education. I want to know what keywords in the descriptions to look for that lets me know they orient towards game development, because a few I've browsed so far make no mention of it. Also, I found the website you linked to be not only incredibly broad (and surprisingly devoid of real information) but also quite abrasive.

If there's anyone out there who would like to submit actual advice on the matter, I would greatly appreciate it.
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:29 PM   #4
tsloper
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Default Re: Seeking direction in Ohio.

I understand that you think I'm sidestepping your question (or worse). But I've been in the video game industry for 30 years, I know what I'm talking about, and I'm really trying to tell you something helpful and important.

You don't need a game degree.

The keywords you should be looking for depend on what specialty you aspire to. You said "design and development," but I don't know from those words what you like to do, what you're good at, or what job you aspire to in games.

Since you reacted negatively to my previous post, I won't give you more links. But you can find information on game jobs and schools here on GameCareerGuide.

If you are still in high school, I recommend you visit your school guidance counselor. Mine helped me pick a college, and I'm happy with the help I received.
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: Seeking direction in Ohio.

Look through their course selection. Sometimes a college without a specific "game ___" degree will still offer game programming or game design courses. Any class that's about Human Computer Interaction or User Interface won't teach you how to make fun games, but provide really important skills needed for game design/development. Sometimes colleges prefer to use a fancy buzzword such "interactive media" or "entertainment media" that encompasses more than just games, but games fit in there pretty snugly.

Another thing to look for is the extra curriculars/clubs. If there's a game creation club of any sort, see if you can check out the stuff they've made/how they operate.

If your CS degree was mostly theory and not much good programming practices, a Software Engineering degree will bring you closer to your goal.
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Seeking direction in Ohio.

Hehe... I'm from Ohio originally, so your question struck me and I have to respond. I went to school for programming (Computer Science) because I knew I enjoyed it and hoped I might learn to make games, but the graphics courses I took were sadly underwhelming and I didn't think it was a realistic career choice. Years later I started to seriously contemplate games as a career move, started doing my research, and found that I had a lot to learn.

So my advice would be this. Get your CS degree (as long as you actually enjoy programming). But while you're at it, learn game design/programming on your own. Your school (like mine) may not have a "game XYZ" course. It may not have a "graphics" course, or even if it does it may be using some outlandish graphics package that few in the industry use. So do your own research, get some books, and make your own games on the side to build your portfolio.

And btw, if you don't really enjoy programming, realize that you can get into game design with ANY degree... but you can read up more about that on that afore-mentioned broad and abrasive website :P
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