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Best degree for game development?

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  • Development
  • Video Games
  • Games
  • Software
Last response: in Work & Education
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August 28, 2013 1:35:22 PM

What kind of degree would be best for the development of video games? Software engineering? Also, would computer science be more useful?

More about : degree game development

August 29, 2013 12:52:24 PM

just download unreal development kit
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September 3, 2013 2:10:20 PM

Russel Johnson said:
What kind of degree would be best for the development of video games? Software engineering? Also, would computer science be more useful?


You might want to ask the first question at a forum geared more towards video game design but at one point I was interested in video game design. From the research I did I found out that working overtime is considered the norm when you work in the video game industry. This is a industry that is obsessed with deadlines and crunch time. It's something you only should get into if you really really love video game design.

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September 6, 2013 12:49:26 PM

It does not really matter whether you choose CS or soft. eng. What matters is what courses you that are useful for game design. How CS/Soft eng. programs are administered and managed varies by the size of a college. typically for game programming, you want to:

1. have experience in openGL/Directx. Most worthwhile Cs degree offering colleges have a computer graphics course that will expose you to the basics of computer graphics, the graphics pipeline, and one of these 2 APIs.
2. OOP principles, which in most medium size colleges is accessible to both soft eng. and CS students.
3. Internship experience, as it helps with post graduation employment prospects
4. A couple of classical physics courses especially in mechanics, beyond what the degree requirements prescribe
5. some understanding of computer and graphics hardware architecture, which is offered in a "computer architecture" course in most worthwhile universities
6. an interest in game dev. in general, being up to date on the latest tool kits, engines, advancements in game design, etc.......
7. software engineering courses, it helps to have a couple of these. most game dev teams employ one or more soft eng principles like SCRUM, agile dev, etc......

These needs can be met a a decent mid size university in the USA. Do not obsess over which degree to choose, CS vs soft eng. You can be in either program and meet the above requirements. Most employers are no picky about which one of these degrees you possess, but mainly the requirements of the work (which usually have groundings in the above 7 tips), of course, having past internship experience is a huge plus.

Hope that helps.
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September 6, 2013 7:20:54 PM

largebluefox said:
It does not really matter whether you choose CS or soft. eng. What matters is what courses you that are useful for game design. How CS/Soft eng. programs are administered and managed varies by the size of a college. typically for game programming, you want to:

1. have experience in openGL/Directx. Most worthwhile Cs degree offering colleges have a computer graphics course that will expose you to the basics of computer graphics, the graphics pipeline, and one of these 2 APIs.
2. OOP principles, which in most medium size colleges is accessible to both soft eng. and CS students.
3. Internship experience, as it helps with post graduation employment prospects
4. A couple of classical physics courses especially in mechanics, beyond what the degree requirements prescribe
5. some understanding of computer and graphics hardware architecture, which is offered in a "computer architecture" course in most worthwhile universities
6. an interest in game dev. in general, being up to date on the latest tool kits, engines, advancements in game design, etc.......
7. software engineering courses, it helps to have a couple of these. most game dev teams employ one or more soft eng principles like SCRUM, agile dev, etc......

These needs can be met a a decent mid size university in the USA. Do not obsess over which degree to choose, CS vs soft eng. You can be in either program and meet the above requirements. Most employers are no picky about which one of these degrees you possess, but mainly the requirements of the work (which usually have groundings in the above 7 tips), of course, having past internship experience is a huge plus.

Hope that helps.


Where could a degree in computer science get me? Like build CPUs or something for AMD?
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Best solution

September 7, 2013 9:43:03 AM

Russel Johnson said:
largebluefox said:
It does not really matter whether you choose CS or soft. eng. What matters is what courses you that are useful for game design. How CS/Soft eng. programs are administered and managed varies by the size of a college. typically for game programming, you want to:

1. have experience in openGL/Directx. Most worthwhile Cs degree offering colleges have a computer graphics course that will expose you to the basics of computer graphics, the graphics pipeline, and one of these 2 APIs.
2. OOP principles, which in most medium size colleges is accessible to both soft eng. and CS students.
3. Internship experience, as it helps with post graduation employment prospects
4. A couple of classical physics courses especially in mechanics, beyond what the degree requirements prescribe
5. some understanding of computer and graphics hardware architecture, which is offered in a "computer architecture" course in most worthwhile universities
6. an interest in game dev. in general, being up to date on the latest tool kits, engines, advancements in game design, etc.......
7. software engineering courses, it helps to have a couple of these. most game dev teams employ one or more soft eng principles like SCRUM, agile dev, etc......

These needs can be met a a decent mid size university in the USA. Do not obsess over which degree to choose, CS vs soft eng. You can be in either program and meet the above requirements. Most employers are no picky about which one of these degrees you possess, but mainly the requirements of the work (which usually have groundings in the above 7 tips), of course, having past internship experience is a huge plus.

Hope that helps.


Where could a degree in computer science get me? Like build CPUs or something for AMD?




Building CPU and other integrated circuits is the domain of VLSI design. It is a different route than software engineering/CS. In a CPU development team there are a lot of roles, just for one chip or component. For example, there are roles that focus on writing code that describes hardware (in HDL - Hardware Description Language), roles that test the hardware that was described in HDL, roles that integrate various hardware components described in HDL, roles that layout these hardware components onto silicon using CAD (Computer Aided Design for VLSI - google Synopsys and Cadence), and roles that write software drivers for chips. Skills like scripting using Perl and being comfortable in a Linux environment are additional skills that set VLSI jobs apart from regular software engineering and CS work.

For getting VLSI jobs, a degree in CS alone will probably let you down, unless you gain the relevant experience through internships. A degree in Computer engineering or electrical engineering with heavy coursework on digital systems design, VLSI principles, and integrated circuit/transistor device theory would be more suitable, and what most employers expect. Most electrical and computer engineering departments at a decent mid-size university in the USA will offer these courses. However, most CPU design outfits like Intel do have a lot of software and CS related jobs, mainly in driver and firmware development, and for these, a CS degree backed by some hardware related coursework would probably suffice. Check out the entry level job postings at intel and nvidia and see what degree/skills they ask for.

If you are unsure which degree to pick: look at the job postings. If you are interested in hardware design (VLSI) check out some entry level job postings at the "careers" section of the websites of Intel, NVIDIA, etc.....

If you are unsure which tech related career path you want to take (i.e. software engineering, IT, or hardware): talk to some people in the industry. Check out the websites of universities that have decent CS, electronic and coomputer engineering websites and talk to the professors in that department. There is absolutely nothing wrong with approaching someone who works at Intel, NVIDIA, etc.... to ask them what work is like and how they prepared to enter this career path. Likewise for someone who works at a software outfit. Check out the CS/EECE courses at a university that are part of their degree program and see if it interests you.

It looks like you have an interest in computer related stuff, both hardware and software. Take a break after high school or whatever position you are in, and take time to explore these fields. There is nothing worse than the remorse of having chosen the wrong major leading you down a career path you do not like. Analyse which field interests you, which sort of work you want to do, if that career path is healthy and has growth prospects where you live, and then choose your college major: CS or EECE.

As a college tip, you can always enrol yourself as an open studies (most universities have this) student and take the first year courses that are common to engineering and computer science (like calculus 101 and all the other English courses you have to take) programs, while you decide which route to take.
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