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What information-if any- should I learn before going to college for game development?

Will be attending community college

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To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you


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Daria’s Answer

If you are planning to study game development in college, there are several topics and skills that you may want to learn before you start your program. Some of these include:

1. Programming: Game development involves a lot of programming, so it is important to have a solid understanding of programming principles and languages such as C++, C#, and Java.

2. Mathematics: Game development involves a lot of math, including linear algebra, calculus, and physics. It is helpful to have a strong foundation in math before pursuing game development.

3. Game design: Understanding the principles of game design, such as game mechanics, level design, and player psychology, can be helpful in developing successful games.

4. Computer graphics: Game development involves creating computer graphics, so it is important to have some knowledge of graphics programming, 3D modeling, and animation.

5. Game engines: Familiarity with game engines, such as Unity and Unreal Engine, can be helpful in understanding the game development process and creating games.

6. Project management: Game development involves working on complex projects, so having some knowledge of project management principles, such as agile development and scrum, can be helpful in effectively managing game development projects.

It's important to note that game development requires a diverse set of skills and knowledge, so even if you don't have experience in all of these areas, you can still pursue a career in game development. However, having a strong foundation in these areas can help you better understand the game development process and be more successful in your studies and career.
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Jamie’s Answer

I can't really comment on what you should know before you go to college for game development.

It's kind of like asking what you should know before learning anything... at least in my view... which is nothing?

If you've decided you want to go into game development and want to go to school for it I think that's cool.

I'm not sure what program your school has for you to take. There are a lot of schools that don't necessarily teach you what you need to know.

I would say make sure whatever school you go to has a program where at the end of the program you have something to show for it.

Some kind of portfolio, demo reel if it's on the art side.

If it's on the engineering side then really I think it's mostly about learning how to code which is beyond my skill set... although I do know that when trying to get a job as an engineer you will be "tested" related to your programming/coding skill.

When I went to college there were no schools for game development. I wound up switching majors three times before I landed on Journalism (mostly because I wanted to do something creative and that was the "responsible" choice). So I have a journalism degree and I've been in game development going on 15 years. Before that I did visual effects for films and tv.

The best thing college did for me was teach me how to learn. Basically teach me how to teach myself. Which is exactly what I did to get the skills necessary to get my first job.

Nowadays there's such a massive amount of knowledge you can learn at your disposal with youtube and the internet in general that everything you would ever possibly want to know about almost anything you can learn from the internet.

I'm not saying school is a bad idea. I think it's a great idea... especially if you're not sure WHAT you want to do in game development.

There are a lot of roles and checking out classes at school would be a good way to test out different aspects and see what you actually like to do.

But if you want to start early so to speak before you go to school I would suggest downloading the Unreal engine (it's free and it's literally the best engine in game development) and playing around.

There are tons of tutorials on it and I think it's a good way to get a feel for what it's like.

Good luck to you and have fun!