Jamiegoodie
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#1
Report Thread starter 9 months ago
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Hi there!

I'm currently 3 months into Studying a "Computer Game Design" degree.
Due to me not really investing my life into playing games 24/7, i've come up with a lot of free time that I want to put to use.

Are there any game design students out there who could possibly give me things to study/extra skills I should learn to put me ahead of peers?

I thought about maybe learning a programming language, or something like that (But not sure if it's worth it as a designer)

Any feedback would be great!, Thanks!
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winterscoming
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I'm a software engineer not a game designer, but I think programming skills are a naturally good fit for game designers - even if you don't have any aspirations to move into any kind of programming career.

Firstly, learning programming is likely to open up more possibilities for the kinds of features you'll be able to build in your games; a lot of game engines and design tools tend to have scripting capabilities - whether that's for building the core mechanics of a game, or for creating addons/extensions (like a lot of big game titles with modding communities)

But aside from that learning to program involves learning analytical and problem solving skills which are generally useful in most professions, although game design tends to be just as much about problem solving as it is about creativity. The core skill of Programming is computational thinking which is the way programmers think about problem solving.

The downside to learning programming is that it's naturally very time-consuming (hundreds of hours), needs a lot of perseverence and can be quite frustrating if you're not really into it, so don't force it - I think a good analogy is like learning to speak a foreign language or play a musical instrument, it's best if it's something you really want to do, and if you have a good reason (for example, maybe a project you've got in mind).

If you don't want to dive too deeply into it, you could check out Unity3D if you're not familiar with it already - https://unity.com/ i'd imagine you'd get this or something similar on your course at some point eventually; it's a good platform/engine to use for building all kinds of different games, and fairly designer-friendly. There's no need to learn programming to be able to build a lot of different games with Unity since it's got tonnes of building blocks and customisations which you can use without any code, however, Unity3D allows creation of custom scripts/behaviours using the C# programming language (quite a popular mainstream language)

Here's some general (free) C# courses from Microsoft - nothing specifically for game programming, but a lot of key parts of the C# language so nearly all of it would be just as relevant to games as other kinds of apps. These only really cover the C# language and not the problem solving/computational thinking stuff, but that sort of thing comes more from having a project to work on and practice with:
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Jamiegoodie
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#3
Report Thread starter 9 months ago
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(Original post by winterscoming)
I'm a software engineer not a game designer, but I think programming skills are a naturally good fit for game designers - even if you don't have any aspirations to move into any kind of programming career.

Firstly, learning programming is likely to open up more possibilities for the kinds of features you'll be able to build in your games; a lot of game engines and design tools tend to have scripting capabilities - whether that's for building the core mechanics of a game, or for creating addons/extensions (like a lot of big game titles with modding communities)

But aside from that learning to program involves learning analytical and problem solving skills which are generally useful in most professions, although game design tends to be just as much about problem solving as it is about creativity. The core skill of Programming is computational thinking which is the way programmers think about problem solving.

The downside to learning programming is that it's naturally very time-consuming (hundreds of hours), needs a lot of perseverence and can be quite frustrating if you're not really into it, so don't force it - I think a good analogy is like learning to speak a foreign language or play a musical instrument, it's best if it's something you really want to do, and if you have a good reason (for example, maybe a project you've got in mind).

If you don't want to dive too deeply into it, you could check out Unity3D if you're not familiar with it already - https://unity.com/ i'd imagine you'd get this or something similar on your course at some point eventually; it's a good platform/engine to use for building all kinds of different games, and fairly designer-friendly. There's no need to learn programming to be able to build a lot of different games with Unity since it's got tonnes of building blocks and customisations which you can use without any code, however, Unity3D allows creation of custom scripts/behaviours using the C# programming language (quite a popular mainstream language)

Here's some general (free) C# courses from Microsoft - nothing specifically for game programming, but a lot of key parts of the C# language so nearly all of it would be just as relevant to games as other kinds of apps. These only really cover the C# language and not the problem solving/computational thinking stuff, but that sort of thing comes more from having a project to work on and practice with:
Thankyou so much for taking the time to reply to me!

I'm going to spend today going over the C# courses you recommended, before moving on to Unity3D.
After checking my course, we do move onto that software in the second year so i'll definitely get ahead on that!


Wishing you the best and a very Merry Christmas (If you celebrate it)
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