Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    My main aspiration in life is to become a games developer/coder/programmer whatever you want to call it, I want to do it....though I have a few problems.



    I have no Degree, no A Levels and no GCSEs

    I do have, key skills level 2 in Maths and English and an NVQ level 3 in IT (but I'm realising more and more that these mean nothing to anyone)



    I'd like to know what your opinion is on the best way to get into game development, e.g. follow standard schooling process (GCSE, A Levels, Degree), take a self study course, buy books and teach yourself, etc
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    I strongly suggest you do a 'Access to HE' course.

    Its a one year course in a chosen subject and at the end of the year it allows you to progress to university. It is similar to 'A Levels' in the sense that it allows you to progress to university but 'Access to HE' is only a progression and cant be used as a stand alone qualification if that makes sense.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I recently applied for one "Access to HE - Computing" and got rejected as I would need atleast a C in maths :/ I then looked into resiting my GCSE maths asap, as they told me I could take the course if I got a C, but now they've discontinued the course ¬_¬
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Ok, what is it that you're actually interested in? You say you want to be a developer, but is that definitely what you'd look at doing? Or is it the process of making a game you want to be involved with, in which case perhaps game design or modelling might be something you find more suited?

    Depending on which of these interests you changes hugely the routes you might want to take to get into the industry. Either way though, I doubt that formal education will be the best route in (though a C GCSE maths is never a bad thing).
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    I'd recommend doing whatever it takes to get a degree. I think these days it would be quite rare for someone without a degree to get a game programming job.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    The programming element of game design is really what I want to do. Yeah I think that what ever I'm going to do, I'm going to get myself a GCSE in maths because its holding me back atm :/



    Does anyone personally know of any good self study C++ for beginners books? or could you recommend more suitable language to start with?

    also, as I don't have a GCSE in maths I need to brush up on my Mathematical Skills, does anyone know what kind of algebra is needed in programming and what other aspects of maths are needed? I've herd trigonometry is used... I could be wrong though
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by BlueTac92)
    The programming element of game design is really what I want to do. Yeah I think that what ever I'm going to do, I'm going to get myself a GCSE in maths because its holding me back atm :/
    Typically game design and programming are considered quite separate disciplines. Although for some games there are scripters who are kind of half way between each. They program missions/quests and the like using more simple programming languages, that run in a sandbox (meaning you can't do anything with it, it's limited to working within the context of the game provided by the programmers).

    (Original post by BlueTac92)
    also, as I don't have a GCSE in maths I need to brush up on my Mathematical Skills, does anyone know what kind of algebra is needed in programming and what other aspects of maths are needed? I've herd trigonometry is used... I could be wrong though
    You can't really pin down specific areas of maths that are needed for programming. It completely depends on what you're programming. Even for games there's a fairly wide variety in there, and potentially more as simulations get more advanced. Although some things do come up more often than others. So I'd look into linear algebra (essentially vectors and matrices), as that is something that will definitely come up.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    It takes a certain type of mind/person to be (very) good at programming. If the basic concepts come easily (variables, loops, functions, if statements etc.) in a fair amount of time, then go for it! Otherwise maybe go for a different route into the gaming industry.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    1. to be a games programmer you have to be extremely good at programming
    2. the only way to get good is to spend a LOT of time learning and writing code
    3. the only way you can put that much time in to anything is to have a passion for it, to actually enjoy enough of it that it doesn't burn you out

    i would advise learning in something less hardcore than c++. maybe c#, java or (my favourite) python. the concepts you learn in other languages can largely be transferred and what's more you can write awesome things really quickly rather than dull things really slowly. it's easier to develop a passion for it if you start in a more forgiving language.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    1) Learn to program very well. This includes problem solving, coming up with efficient algorithms, etc. This alone may take a while.
    2) Learn to program games, and the associated Mathematics.

    There isn't really a shortcut if you're serious.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by BlueTac92)
    The programming element of game design is really what I want to do. Yeah I think that what ever I'm going to do, I'm going to get myself a GCSE in maths because its holding me back atm :/



    Does anyone personally know of any good self study C++ for beginners books? or could you recommend more suitable language to start with?

    also, as I don't have a GCSE in maths I need to brush up on my Mathematical Skills, does anyone know what kind of algebra is needed in programming and what other aspects of maths are needed? I've herd trigonometry is used... I could be wrong though
    Well for 3D games developing I would practice trigonometry/graphs.

    Other than that, its just practice. Preferably by starting off with a learner language (I suggest pascal as it shares a similar structure to C++)

    I too aspire to go into computer game development, I was lucky enough to get my only A's in maths and computing at GCSE though
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Resit and get a B (or above) in maths and take a science
    Go collage and take up computing, maths and a science
    -To take computing you do are not required to have any computing background knowledge and you will most likely learn VB.
    -Maths require at least a B to take but necessary if you want to take up a formal degree at uni, e.g. computer science.
    Go to uni. graduate. succeed.

    whilst doing this learn the programming language C.
    Use different media whilst self teaching so it doesn't get boring.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Education is never a bad thing. Maths at GCSE is a pretty standard qualification regardless of what you want to go in to (computing or otherwise) so that should probably be quite a priority. Whilst you're doing that (and English too if possible) then you could look around for other HE Access courses. I'm sure that the one you were applying to before isn't the only one in the country.
    Another alternative is after acquiring GCSEs, applying to universities for Access courses. It'd probably be worth emailing them to see if you'd stand a chance of getting in (I don't know how old you are, but they tend to be more lenient on Mature students, and likewise if theres exceptional circumstances for not having formal qualifications). Those will lead you straight into a computing degree. I know that the University of Sheffield does them, amongst others.

    Either way, it's probably best that you start programming now. That's also something that's going to come in handy if you want anything related to that kind of thing. If you've only got Maths at GCSE level, showing your interviewers that you have an active interest in Computing is really likely to get you in the door for access courses. Programming is an excellent way of doing this. It shows you have a real interest and aptitude for the subject, and you're not going to struggle loads or drop out midway through.

    In terms of languages, I'd recommend maybe Python to start. Since its the area you're interested in, you can make basic games using the Pygame library - it's often easier to learn something when you have an end-goal that you're interested in. It's also something quite visual to show people in interviews, and you'll be able to make one pretty quickly into learning Python (we have about 4 hours contact a week, 2 lectures and 2 labs and we all had basic games in a month or 2. The assignment was set around Christmas and the module had been going since September. Obviously you'll probably learn quicker on your own).
    After that, you're probably going to want to look into C++. I guess it really depends what part of programming you want to go into exactly in regards to games, but I guess it wouldn't hurt playing around with graphics libraries and stuff? Not too sure, but by this point you'll know enough to know what you want/need to do I guess.


    Good Luck
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I would absolutely go back for Maths wherever you can find running it - after that you may want to go down the already noted route of applying for access courses and what not or you may try getting a job off your own experience. Despite what was earlier said - I recently went to a Games Industry jobs fair essentially (I'm a 2nd year Computer Games Tech student at Abertay) and one of the industry heads there admitted it's still a very new thing looking at Graduate CV's - courses have only just really started opening that are geared towards Games Programming and a standard Comp Sci degree has nothing compared on someone with a good few years experience, that's really what it's all about if you can get maybe a few iPhone or Android games under your belt you will already be well on your way to employability.

    That said theres nothing wrong with the Education route either it'd be much easier with a higher rate of success although perhaps longer, look out for Games Development courses at College I know 2 Colleges up here do HNC/HND style courses on it, generally with a view for setting people up to hit Uni's that specialise in Games Education.

    In terms of language C++ is still the main one for consoles, though you'll note that Android is Java and Xbox Live Indie Games use XNA which is C# both of which are perhaps easier and a road in to C++.

    Do you have any idea what branch of Games Programming you're looking at? AI, Graphics, Gameplay etc?
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    Games programming isn't one job. It's up to different people to program different bits, whether it be the physics department, graphics department, the department that might build a scripting environment, and then the scripting department that might use the environment to write levels, player behaviour, etc.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Well done for determining what you would like to do and having the guts to go for it! Often that is the hardest part.

    I would suggest you thoroughly research the games industry and the types of programming roles (developers tend to specialise) employed within a typical studio. Some roles within the development team, such as physics and 3D, rely heavily on mathematics whereas others are more creative and artistic in nature. Most developers work on the final product but some work in supporting the team through building custom software, or 'tools', such as level editors. It's also worth thinking about what kind of games you want to develop; traditional video games for console and PC, casual gaming, browser-based gaming, handheld gaming, etc.

    Whilst C++ is still commonly used in traditional game development parts of the game, such as levels and the user interface, may be programmed using a scripting language such as python or lua. Games for the iPhone/iPad are usually written in ObjectiveC which, although it is similar in some ways to C++, has an entirely different syntax. Many browser-based games are developed using Adobe Flash which is programmed using ActionScript, a version of Javascript.

    A whole gamut of other professionals contribute to a top selling title: artists, graphic designers, sound engineers, photographers, writers, voice talent, animators, producers, testers, promotion/journalism and of course the tea boy. You may find one of these appeals to you as well.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by BlueTac92)
    My main aspiration in life is to become a games developer/coder/programmer whatever you want to call it, I want to do it....though I have a few problems.



    I have no Degree, no A Levels and no GCSEs

    I do have, key skills level 2 in Maths and English and an NVQ level 3 in IT (but I'm realising more and more that these mean nothing to anyone)



    I'd like to know what your opinion is on the best way to get into game development, e.g. follow standard schooling process (GCSE, A Levels, Degree), take a self study course, buy books and teach yourself, etc
    I'd recommend learning languages. C++ and C# are probably the most relevant for game development. The good thing about the profession is its still fairly wide open and so you can get high based on merit more so than in other professions in my experience. I'd start off making a name for yourself, just doing some game scripting on the side whilst gaining experience at a small time company. If you're around 20 years old, the first thing a company is going to look for is a degree. However, as you get older (or perhaps not depending on how good you are), it seems to me that its more experience which counts.

    I know that there are some positions in Rockstar for example (not ideal ones of course) that don't even stipulate a degree as a requirement and are looking for someone with a proficient handling of programming languages and previous experience with another company. Stuff like that I don't think you need an extensive backlog of qualifications for. Anyway, whichever route you take, you have to learn a programming language and you can start that now. I would recommend, if you've never programmed before to look at more straightforward languages like Ruby and then move on to C++/C#.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Would you rather give up salt or pepper?
    Useful resources
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Write a reply...
    Reply
    Hide
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.