I am currently pursuing a computer science bachelor's degree. I've always wanted to enter the game development industry, and a friend of mine suggested this diploma at KDU university after my bachelor's. It's in a different country, but I want to travel anyway so I don't really mind that.

From that link, the courses are:

  • Introduction to Computer Games
  • Fundamentals of Programming
  • Personal Development and Leadership Skills I
  • Technopreneurship
  • Computing Mathematics
  • Graphics & Animation Basics
  • User Interface Design
  • Object Oriented Systems Analysis and Design
  • Multimedia Authoring
  • Networking and Operating System
  • Fundamentals of Object Oriented Programming
  • Database Systems
  • Games Architecture and Design
  • Java Programming
  • Games Programming I
  • Internet Technology and Application
  • Games Programming II
  • Audio and Visual Game Elements
  • Artificial Intelligence for Games
  • Games Mechanics
  • Internship Personal Development and Leadership Skills II Project

I know some of these topics already through my CS degree -- databases, object-oriented programming and artificial intelligence for instance are all part of my degree. Plus, for example, I know the basics of graphics, like OpenGL, and animation through translation, rotation, and scaling.

Do you guys think it would be worth it? All the similar courses I've taken in my current degree were "general" stuff, not oriented towards games.

Game development is the job I really want, but if I couldn't get a job in it, or enroll in something in it, I ll probably end up in some other industry, and game development will probably end up being just a hobby.

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    \$\begingroup\$ With a class on "technopreneurship," I am skeptical. \$\endgroup\$ – user1430 Dec 24 '12 at 15:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ ah, almost forgot to thank you too, thanks ^^, and for the edit ^^. \$\endgroup\$ – hema Dec 24 '12 at 22:31

I'm not in the industry currently but I took a bachelor of game's graphics programming after doing a normal IT one. In my case it was at the same university so I could transfer credits and skip the classes I tool already. Both of them counted as an IT degree so technically I have 2 degrees for the same things.

I just had to take a few game related classes like Real-Time Rendering (OpenGL). And then there where the gamedev specific classes was mostly team focused and included writing modules for Unreal, NeverWinter Nights 2 and a main project (it was open to what your group wanted to do, I did the all the programming of a game engine from scratch in C++ and OpenGL with Bullet Physics integration, simple QT UI for the editing, Lua scripting and such so it was a fairly heavy semester but fortunately it was the only class I was taking due to the course credits. The game it self was kind of crap but it was more of a technical demo and I learned a lot doing it.

Personally I think you would probably be better of spending your time on putting together some projects that you can show prospective employers. Grab a copy of Game Engine Architecture (theres also 3D Game Engine Architecture which is a totally different book but not bad either) and read through and experiment with the techniques that are used. You can come up with a project that 1 person can tackle and get even paid for. Lots of of the game jobs are for phone apps now days. Otherwise you can go the indie route. What ever it is, keep it simple, if your mainly a programmer try and choose something with a minimal art style since doing both is going to be time consuming, play your strengths, don't over optimize (a simple game might not need any optimization), don't try and build an awesome fully featured game engine just come up with a game design and code what features are needed. Then when you go for a full job you have that to stuff to show people. Otherwise do some experimental coding and put some up on github of wherever, just things like some example multiplayer networking code, custom memory allocators, or whatever. Even if you end up not going for game jobs it's still basic useful programming (games tend to cover a fairly large chunk of programming concepts).

Also think about if you want to write a game engine yourself. Many game jobs now days are grabbing something like the Unreal engine and using that. But those tend to reduce what a single programmer can do since most of the programming is done just leaving scripting. Maybe an engine that's a bit more DIY like XNA (MonoGame might be better since MS stopped supporting XNA), Ogre3D, Torque3D, libgdx or Unity (not actually sure how DIY Unity is). Those will stop you getting bogged down on the simple stuff like how to put pixels on the screen and allow you to do the higher level stuff without it being completely predone.

Finally are you a programmer, is that what you want to do? Understand that many positions are more scripting rather than engine internals since they use prebuilt engines. Perhaps you are more interesting in things like gameplay, level design, the art stuff (meshes, textures, character creation and so on).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ my dream game is 2.5d sidescroller beat em up (kinda like megaman x8), i have some experience in 2d game (not very good), you think i can go directly to 3d ? (from what i understand 2.5d is achieved by making 3d game and locking the camera to an axis) \$\endgroup\$ – hema Dec 24 '12 at 15:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ ah, after the edit, well actually i like all, i do alot of drawings (not very good), but if given time i think i can do some good stuff(no 3d), and for programming, well thats what i have been doing in the university so far, not that good either but also if given time i think i will do good, about design, i am really interested in that, but i have no idea about it. so ya, just sticking with what i am probably better it, i would say programmer. \$\endgroup\$ – hema Dec 24 '12 at 15:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Depends. 3D can be much harder than 2D. It requires lighting (both shading (which itself requires a shading language and the algorithms), shadows) a scene graph for efficient drawing, the API is much more advanced, you need to produce 3D content, much more advanced physics, ect. If your doing it in a 2D way you can skip a lot of that, and use an engine it might not be too much harder. Can you make decent 3D assets? Or find a simple style. (ie wireframe with some effects, or untextured, unshaded, very modular graphics), some system where you can knock out dozens of meshes an hour if not more. \$\endgroup\$ – David C. Bishop Dec 24 '12 at 15:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @hema The problem is you don't really have time to do the art if your doing the programming. It's an issue with both 3D and 2D. If it's not your field you can get stuck hours fighting the editor trying to get a basic tile looking the way you want and even if you can do it without issues your still going to be splitting a lot of your time from your core talents. Choose an art style that is heavily programmer based. Think Minecraft. Or build everything out of primitive shapes. Abstract styles. As little animation as possible. Even basic retro pixel art requires quite a bit of artistic talent. \$\endgroup\$ – David C. Bishop Dec 24 '12 at 15:36

Seems like that diploma is a lot about basic programming. As far as you have learned what you should in your bachelor it's hard to classify that part as anything better than a waste of time. So if you want a game diploma, you should find one that is aimed at programmers, or see if it would be possible to take only part of the course.

That said, I think the best thing you can do after getting your bachelor is to get a job. After finishing your bachelor, the thing you need the most in order to land a job in the game industry is not a game course, it is real world experience, even if that experience doesn't look remotely like games.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ parents also said that, i guess that's what i will end up doing, thanks ^^. \$\endgroup\$ – hema Dec 24 '12 at 15:12

Those classes look like (below) BSc level so it seems like a waste of time if you already have a BSc in computer science. There are several institutes that have a MSc Game & Media technology programme, try looking for those or other MSc programs at credible instutites. Also definitely watch this before deciding: http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/on-game-schools

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