just registered here, looking to learn all I can and become fimilar with
the ways… I have pretty indepth computer knowledge and I am looking to
get into video game development as a career. I live in Canada Ontario
and I am looking to start some schooling for this career. I would like
to get some input from you guys what courses you think should be taken.
I believe that if I go hard at it I can probably get a good grasp of the
applications myself although with a degree below your belt its a lot
easier in the real world!
thanks guys : D
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also just for starters im thinking of a book like this:
Do you have any programming experience already? If not, I’d recommend
starting with Python (see longer dicussion of that in this
I don’t not have any programming experience but I am very good with
Was thinking of going to school for this because it will be a lot easier
to get a job in this field with a diploma or degree rather then just
saying I know to program. Only problem is I have mortgage etc so kinda
hard to go without a job.
I’m guessing there are no online courses? it’s more the 2-3 year college
Getting a degree is certainly a worthy goal, but more important is that
you actually are good at writing code. I can’t tell you how many
programmers I’ve seen interview here who, despite their degrees and
their years of experience, can’t write high-quality code to solve a
problem we give them. If you do choose to pursue a degree I would go for
a general computer science degree rather than a gamedev-specific one, as
that is both likely to educate you better, and will make you more
employable for other software jobs in case your aspirations of working
in gamedev don’t work out right away. (And it certainly won’t hurt you
when applying to game studios, either.) Regardless of your degree plans,
though, be sure you’re practicing and learning on your own and not just
doing school assignments. Once you’ve learned a bit of coding, you can
start doing simple 2D games like Asteroids, Breakout, Tetris, etc.
That’ll give you a chance to practice the gamedev side of it as well.
As for online courses / night school type of things, I’m sure they
exist. I don’t personally know off the top of my head which ones are
good, or how they stack up compared to traditional full-time school.
what exactly would a computer science course consist of? And length wise
I’m guessing around 4 years
To get an idea of the kinds of topics covered, just look up any college
with a computer science department and look at their course list. For
example, Stanford’s is
In general, you’ll have a couple of intro courses on basic programming,
then you’ll probably have courses covering: recursion and functional
programming, data structures, algorithm analysis, graph theory, Turing
machines and computability/complexity theory, computer architecture (how
CPUs, OSes, memory/caches, disks, networks etc. work in detail),
programming language design, and software engineering. For electives you
might study some subset of: AI, neural networks and machine learning,
compiler design, graphics, high-performance computing, user interfaces,
databases, robotics, computer vision, natural language processing, and
You can also attend classes for free if you want to get a sample of what
it’s like. One thing to keep in mind is that universities focus on
theory whereas colleges focus on the application of theory. You’ll get
more hands-on experience going to college whereas in university you’ll
focus more on the science aspect. After all, you are obtaining a
baccalaureate in applied science! A university will teach you the basics
to program, but it’s mostly expected you will do a lot of the leg work
on your own. Expect to learn more about algorithms, efficiency, and
engineering. Some of the time this will be done on paper and not in
source code. The most interesting courses are offered only in post grad,
although this is more theoretical and research related work, often done
in parallel with your PhD.
There’s a lot of courses that Reed didn’t mention that comes with the
baggage. Chemistry, physics, mathematics, and compulsory courses that
must be unrelated to your degree. I remember taking geology and
psychology, and let me tell you I use psychology more than anything in
the work force :D. These are interesting courses, but they do draw a lot
of time away from honing your programming skills. It’s 4 years to obtain
your undergraduate, which could be reduced to 2 years without the
Anyway, just make sure to practice a lot. Write clean, succinct, human
readable code. Rework and fine-tune your algorithms until you think
you’ve nailed the theory. Never take shortcuts and always plan your code
and code your plan.
There are two year programming degrees in some state schools also. It
can bring your costs down quite a bit but probably wouldn’t look as good
on the resume. Schooling has gotten crazy expensive of late.
I’m in Canada Ontario and I need to have a job or ei or something in
order to pay my bills. Is there no online school?
None that I would ever personally recommend to someone. If time and
money are a factor you cannot ignore, then I would suggest you invest in
your books and read online tutorials to help you through it. There’s
nothing wrong with being self taught, it won’t be different anywhere
else. If you have the motivation to see it through to the end, then you
can focus more on your portfolio instead of your academic background.
There are some junior roles you could squeeze into once you build a
couple games and become quite familiar with programming. I can’t
recommend any books, but $20 here or there won’t break the bank (I
would hope) and it will serve as a starting point for you.
As Reed suggested, try the python route to start out. The only cost is
your time. Read the tutorials, try it out and see if you can dig it.
Find out what public schools offer in your area because they are
generally quite a bit cheaper. If there aren’t any, then keep track of
what you do in a portfolio. Write a lot of programs of all kinds you can
think of and try to learn some languages and do some web programming.
You may also be able to take some developer certification tests for
I have found courses for graphic design and graphic web design although
from what I understand the salary isn’t nearly as good doing that
To be honest, if you’re most interested in a good salary the games
industry probably isn’t the place for you. Game developers generally
earn less (and sometimes have poorer conditions and job security –
although this is improving all the time) than other fields. Get into the
games industry if it’s what you really want to do, not for the money.