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Old 01-10-2012, 12:34 PM   #1
iSmartMan
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Default Good to know besides programming?

I'm currently a college student majoring in Computer Science with the hope of becoming a game programmer, but in order to graduate, my university requires students to take four high-level courses OUTSIDE their chosen major. I've heard that pretty much any field of study could be drawn upon by a game designer, but I haven't been able to find much on what programmers would find useful to learn about other than programming. Any suggestions? For now, lets keep things generic and pretend that the courses my university offers are irrelevant.
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Old 01-10-2012, 12:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: Good to know besides programming?

Hmm, how about these:
Art appreciation
Music appreciation
Mythology
Geography
Any martial art, like fencing for instance
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsloper View Post
Hmm, how about these:
Art appreciation
Music appreciation
Mythology
Geography
Any martial art, like fencing for instance
You sure those are helpful to game programmers? They seem more appropriate for game designers or game artists/modelers/animators. I was sort of expecting to see Physics (for working with physics engines) or Psychology (for AI behavior) get recommended, and their absence seems to imply a misunderstanding, either on my part or yours. Would you mind elaborating on how the subjects you listed could be used in game programming?
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: Good to know besides programming?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iSmartMan View Post
I was sort of expecting to see Physics (for working with physics engines) or Psychology (for AI behavior) get recommended, and their absence seems to imply a misunderstanding, either on my part or yours.
I did not misunderstand you. If you are not interested in the things I listed, that's fine. Yes to physics and psychology, absolutely. What else do you want me to recommend to you besides those 2 courses?
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:24 PM   #5
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I did not misunderstand you. If you are not interested in the things I listed, that's fine. Yes to physics and psychology, absolutely. What else do you want me to recommend to you besides those 2 courses?
Well, if I knew what I wanted you to recommend to me, then I wouldn't need you to recommend it, now would I?

For now, I would just like for you to clarify how the courses you initially suggested could be utilized by a computer programmer, as opposed to a designer or artist, because I fail to see how they would be relevant. I am assuming that this is because I am being incredibly dense and that there is a simple explanation, which I was hoping you could provide to me.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Good to know besides programming?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iSmartMan View Post
1. Well, if I knew what I wanted you to recommend to me, then I wouldn't need you to recommend it, now would I?
2. For now, I would just like for you to clarify how the courses you initially suggested could be utilized by a computer programmer, as opposed to a designer or artist, because I fail to see how they would be relevant.
1. But you knew you ought to study physics and psychology. Those are excellent choices -- your own instincts are better than you seem to think.

2. a. You will be working on a team, whose ultimate goal is to create games. If you're just going to be a silent team member with no opinions on how the game should be designed, then you don't need to study things relevant to game design. Everybody else on the team will have such opinions, and they are likely to expect you to chime in.

2. b. Being able to appreciate art and music would make you a well-rounded person. If you were just about bits and bytes, you'd be a boring person. Taking some sort of martial art will boost your self-confidence. And moving your body is a good thing. I agree with the previous post that acting is an excellent thing for any member of a game team to know. If you don't want to study any martial arts or acting, then how about dance? It'll make you a well-rounded person, and better able to enjoy activities with partners of the opposite sex (or the same sex, if so inclined).

3. You could also take a course in business, a course in management, marketing. Such subjects will better prepare you for working in the game industry, no matter what role you play.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: Good to know besides programming?

One important skill for game programmers is having the ability and patience to explain why the build could be acting up to people who know nothing about computers and have serious mathphobia.

Try to take classes with small class sizes and are discussion based instead of lecture based.

For example, an acting class would help a lot more than you may think.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: Good to know besides programming?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iSmartMan View Post
I'm currently a college student majoring in Computer Science with the hope of becoming a game programmer, but in order to graduate, my university requires students to take four high-level courses OUTSIDE their chosen major. I've heard that pretty much any field of study could be drawn upon by a game designer, but I haven't been able to find much on what programmers would find useful to learn about other than programming. Any suggestions? For now, lets keep things generic and pretend that the courses my university offers are irrelevant.
I would definitely take up communication - this will be a great asset when you'll work as a programmer!
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