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What would be the best major to go into when I want to be a game developer?

I really want to go into game development or design but I can never find a good answer about what would be the best major to go in.

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Rihem’s Answer

Hello Ender,
The best majors for a career in game development are Computer Science and Game Design.

Computer Science:

Ideal for programmers and technical game developers.
Provides a strong foundation in coding and software development, essential for game programming.
Game Design:

Perfect for game designers, narrative designers, and level designers.
Focuses on game mechanics, user experience, and storytelling, critical for designing gameplay elements.
Ultimately, the choice between these two majors depends on whether you want to be more technically oriented (Computer Science) or focused on the creative aspects of game development (Game Design). Keep in mind that practical experience, networking, and a strong portfolio are crucial for success in the game development industry, regardless of your major.
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Shreya’s Answer

Game Development is a multifaceted field with various paths leading to a professional career. Here are some simplified ways to break into the industry:

A) Pursue an undergraduate degree in game development or interactive design.
B) Earn an undergraduate degree in a related field such as Computer Engineering, then complete a master's degree in game development.
C) Consider majors like Animation, VFX, Motion Media, Sound Design, Themed Entertainment Design, and Immersive Reality. These majors offer game-related courses and can directly lead to a job in the industry.

Check out the Game Development program at my old school, Savannah College of Art and Design. Also, consider the alternative routes suggested by other professionals here.

A useful tip: Browse LinkedIn to research the education and career paths of industry professionals. This can help you identify potential universities and courses for your future.
Thank you comment icon +1 on the tip around LinkedIn. It's a great way to research people already in the field and make connections with them. I would also suggest exploring interships and other avenues that expose you to that industry. Adeel Khurshid
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Dixon’s Answer

Similar to what others have said above, if you're trying to get into game development your most direct path is to study computer science and learn how to code. But note the word "game development" branches out into deeper fields later on. You may be dealing with front end, back end, or server side coding, you will also likely need to learn visual scripting with Unity or Unreal Engine. There may be multiple coding languages that you have to master.

On the other hand, game development also involves with visuals, animation, UI. You can check out schools that offer digital arts program for that, or learn from online courses and even YouTube videos.

Jacob's answer on mathematics or physics is highly accurate if you want to be a game designer. 9/10 times when a mobile game studio hire a game designer, they will want you to have the ability to go into the spreadsheets, create formulas, do the game balancing, and determine the price points of the premium currency to give out or to spend on certain things.
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Jen’s Answer

Computer science and graphic design are both education tracks commonly seen in gaming careers. You might want to go to the careers page of major gaming companies that you like and see what they usually list for education requirements for their open roles.
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Jacob’s Answer

Choosing the right major for a career in game development can significantly impact your skills and opportunities in the field. Here's some advice to help you decide:

1. **Computer Science:** A computer science major is a popular choice among game developers. It provides a strong foundation in programming, algorithms, and data structures, which are essential for game development. You'll gain the technical skills to create game engines, implement gameplay mechanics, and optimize code.

2. **Game Design:** Some universities offer specialized majors or concentrations in game design. This major focuses on the creative and artistic aspects of game development, including game mechanics, storytelling, level design, and user experience. It's ideal if you want to work on the creative side of games.

3. **Computer Engineering:** This major combines aspects of electrical engineering and computer science. It's suitable if you're interested in hardware-level game development, such as working on consoles or specialized gaming hardware.

4. **Graphic Design or Computer Graphics:** For those interested in the visual elements of game development, a major in graphic design or computer graphics can be valuable. You'll learn about 2D and 3D art, animation, and rendering techniques.

5. **Mathematics or Physics:** Strong mathematical and physics skills are crucial for creating realistic game physics and simulations. Majors in mathematics or physics can provide a solid foundation for these aspects of game development.

6. **Interactive Media or Multimedia:** These majors offer a broader perspective on digital media, including games. You'll learn about multimedia production, interactive storytelling, and user interface design.

7. **Programming and Game Development Programs:** Some universities offer specialized programs or degrees in game development. These programs often combine aspects of computer science, game design, and art, providing a comprehensive education tailored to the game industry.

8. **Online Courses and Self-Study:** Game development is a field where practical skills and a strong portfolio can often be more important than your formal major. Consider supplementing your education with online courses and self-study in areas like Unity or Unreal Engine, which are commonly used in the industry.

Remember that the "best" major for game development depends on your interests and career goals within the industry. Game development is a multidisciplinary field, so collaboration between programmers, designers, artists, and writers is common. You can also choose to specialize in a particular area as you gain experience. Ultimately, building a strong portfolio and gaining hands-on experience through internships or personal projects will be key to breaking into the game development industry.
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