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Thinking of doing a masters in game development


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Hi,

Im thinking of doing a masters in Game Development a the university of Abertay Dundee.

http://www.abertay.ac.uk/Courses/CDetails.cfm?RID=1&CID=186

Im in my final year of an IT degree where we were mainly taught java.

Basically I wondering should i maybe start getting into c++.

I ve never used c ++ at all so what books would you lot recommend especially if Im wantint to head toward game development. I understand that that I really need to start with the fundamentals first then move on to some graphic programming.

Do most courses require alot of opengl stuff (im still not sure of the link between open gl and c++ or any other language).

If i manage to get on to this masters course I planning to spend my summer getting up to speed on as much of the course content as possible (as im afraid i might be a bit behind other applicants).

Also does anyone know what particular jobs are available to graduates of game development courses? Ie is the only job suitable for such graduates programming.

And on a more general note what developers think of these courses?

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Make a game. It will be more valuable to your career than a Masters.

Really?

Thing is though for me this masters would provide a defined route and probably get me doing things i woudnt have tought to have tried. Though do you really think itwould be waste of time?

Basically i would be learning from a book an if i just make a game (though i im going to do this aswell)

Also when you say make a game how sophisticated should it be?

Does it matter?

As far as i can gather you are a developer yourself so more of your opinions would be very much appreciated :P

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Really?

Thing is though for me this masters would provide a defined route and probably get me doing things i woudnt have tought to have tried. Though do you really think itwould be waste of time?

Basically i would be learning from a book an if i just make a game (though i im going to do this aswell)

Also when you say make a game how sophisticated should it be?

Does it matter?

As far as i can gather you are a developer yourself so more of your opinions would be very much appreciated <_<

I believe can learn a lot more making your own game than any course can possibly teach you.

As an employer I don't find qualifications tell me very much about a candidate. Rather, I look at what they have done and (more importantly) talk to them about games and development. For me, enthusasiasm and a genuine passion for games count for a lot; after that I like to see some completed projects.

I can't criticise the course itself as I have no knowledge of its content; I AM skeptical however than any meaningful dev course can be put together when the games industry is changing so quickly. I think University would be a good place to concentrate on the fundamentals of software development which will always be applicable.

Also when you say make a game how sophisticated should it be?

Does it matter?

I think the important thing is that you have gone through the experience of creating a game from start to finish. Finishing is the key of course, starting is easy. So I would start with a simple game.

You are already a graduate so that will get your foot in the door with those places that require a degree. Next you need to show you can make a game.

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Thanks for that.

One of my main reasons for considering the masters route is that it could provide me with a portfolio of work at the end (ie completed course work and final project).

And I would imagine that the work I would end up producing would be far beyound the scope of what iwould be attempting purely on my own. (eg a 2d demo).

On an other note when you are interviewing prospective employees how do you gauge their enthusasium and passion (sp) for games? This is along way off but if I went in to an interview Im not sure how I would go about conveying my genueine (sp) passion for games.

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There's no test or specific questions.
<_<

Nah I didnt think that!

What kind of game demos would you be most likely to see (3d / 2d etc?)

The thing is so far I have imagined that working in a game developement studio wouldnt be like working in most other indusrties for a graduate in that there would be no training. If this is true then im assuming the portfolio / game that a potentail employee would show at an interview etc would have to be fairly advanced?

Hope im not annoying you with all these questions and thanks for taking the time to answer.

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Hi,

Im thinking of doing a masters in Game Development a the university of Abertay Dundee.

http://www.abertay.ac.uk/Courses/CDetails.cfm?RID=1&CID=186

Im in my final year of an IT degree where we were mainly taught java.

Basically I wondering should i maybe start getting into c++.

I ve never used c ++ at all so what books would you lot recommend especially if Im wantint to head toward game development. I understand that that I really need to start with the fundamentals first then move on to some graphic programming.

Do most courses require alot of opengl stuff (im still not sure of the link between open gl and c++ or any other language).

If i manage to get on to this masters course I planning to spend my summer getting up to speed on as much of the course content as possible (as im afraid i might be a bit behind other applicants).

Also does anyone know what particular jobs are available to graduates of game development courses? Ie is the only job suitable for such graduates programming.

And on a more general note what developers think of these courses?

I'm at Abertay. A bunch of graduates came over from Ireland to do the Masters course, and in the meantime entered this competition: Dare To Be Digital

Check out that link. Basically, it's a competition where 6 teams of 5 students work on a digital product. It has involvement with the local games companies (Gary Penn was about, Chris van der Kuyl was involved) and the competition judges came from a variety of backgrounds. We had guys from MCV and the head designer of EA Europe Richard Leinfellner come up to pick a winner. Basically, my team won an award for the "Product With Most Market Potential" while those Irish guys won a prize for "Most Innovative Product". The winners were invited down to EA in Surrey, just to give us the experience of pitching a game idea to a big publisher. EA offered jobs to 4 people that day. 3 of them are now working for them, while the other one (me) decided to stick out my degree instead. The other 3 just quit the Abertay Masters as soon as they'd made enough of a portfolio (via Dare To Be Digital). My point is this: you should think about coming up here, and definitely try to sort out a team for Dare. You'll be making a game, just like Mr Pickford advises.

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I'm at Abertay. A bunch of graduates came over from Ireland to do the Masters course, and in the meantime entered this competition: Dare To Be Digital

Check out that link. Basically, it's a competition where 6 teams of 5 students work on a digital product. It has involvement with the local games companies (Gary Penn was about, Chris van der Kuyl was involved) and the competition judges came from a variety of backgrounds. We had guys from MCV and the head designer of EA Europe Richard Leinfellner come up to pick a winner. Basically, my team won an award for the "Product With Most Market Potential" while those Irish guys won a prize for "Most Innovative Product". The winners were invited down to EA in Surrey, just to give us the experience of pitching a game idea to a big publisher. EA offered jobs to 4 people that day. 3 of them are now working for them, while the other one (me) decided to stick out my degree instead. The other 3 just quit the Abertay Masters as soon as they'd made enough of a portfolio (via Dare To Be Digital). My point is this: you should think about coming up here, and definitely try to sort out a team for Dare. You'll be making a game, just like Mr Pickford advises.

Cool.

Did the guys doing the masters enter the dare to be digital thing before signing up for the course or did they sign up during their course?

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I should start with something simple like a tetris clone.

While it's not very creative and apparently simple, making a Tetris clone is a very good exercise. You'll learn a hell of a lot about making a game, including all the mundane but essential stuff like high score tables, front end etc.

It doesn't have to be Tetris, just pick a simple game that you like and make your own version. And there's nothing stopping you adding your own creative touches.

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While it's not very creative and apparently simple, making a Tetris clone is a very good exercise. You'll learn a hell of a lot about making a game, including all the mundane but essential stuff like high score tables, front end etc.

It doesn't have to be Tetris, just pick a simple game that you like and make your own version. And there's nothing stopping you adding your own creative touches.

Yeah thats kind of what i was thinking and when i started looking at more complicated stuff it confirmed these thoughts, definately start small and reuse lots of code in different projects.

i found some java source code for a tetris clone which i think i better delete. Thing is im not to sure where to start.......

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Calashnikov, how good were your skills when you entered Dare?

I'm in the final year of my Computing degree and don't really know how good my programming (Java) skills are. I have basic OO knowledge and am in the process of making an online applet golf game.

Anyone know the name of that games school in America that is next door to Nintendo's USA HQ?

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I'm with Pickford, don't do a Masters in games, nobody in the industry takes them seriously. You'd be better off doing a Masters in a more specialised software area (like networking) when looking for a coding job.

I know several ppl who have done "games courses" who are unemployed and have never worked in the games industry whereas ppl like myself who entered the industry a few years ago in a junior role (ie QA / junior coder) are now doing very well, thank-you-very-much.

On balance, though, I would say that everyone I know who REALLY wanted to get into games (as opposed to thinking "it would be cool") has done so regardless of background.

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Calashnikov, how good were your skills when you entered Dare?

I'm in the final year of my Computing degree and don't really know how good my programming (Java) skills are. I have basic OO knowledge and am in the process of making an online applet golf game.

I did the art for the game. I was character designer and animator. I *think* the coders in my team had like 2-3 years experience with Open GL. If you like I could give you one of their email addresses. I'm sure he'd let you know what stage everyone was at when they started.

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I *think* the coders in my team had like 2-3 years experience with Open GL. If you like I could give you one of their email addresses. I'm sure he'd let you know what stage everyone was at when they started.

Dear god i think that rules me out of doing a master in game dev - ive no opengl experience just java -what was the general skill level of most of the poeple on the masters course?

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Dear god i think that rules me out of doing a master in game dev - ive no opengl experience just java -what was the general skill level of most of the poeple on the masters course?

Oh, sorry, the guys in my team had been studying the degree. I wasn't with the Masters students, but I think they came from Queen's University in Belfast. It wasn't a games specific course they did. I will try and find out for you. I'm still in contact with one guy who works at EA with them.

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Well I think doing a master course is a good idea, but you will need to develop your skills in programming a game to show them you can do it.

Also I would look into improving your skills for networking so you will be able to get a foot nearer to game developement and other jobs.

Let say there are 10 people apply for a job and 3 got master degeree, 2 got a degeree and develop 3 games and 1 can develop games, and 4 unsuitable candidate. Who would you pick ? I would pick the 2 with degeree and games development experience providing I like the person.

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