Considering all my options

Hello I am new to this website, and was wondering if the kind people of this forum could help me out. I have recently graduated from James Cook University with a BSc majoring in Computer Science. The thought of spending the rest of my life writing web apps and programs for small businesses doesn't excite me like it once did and as an avid gamer I would like to get in involved in the game industry as a programmer.

I feel like I need a little more training before I can achieve this. I have been looking at the QANTM Bachelor of Interactive Entertainment course, and if I had more time to organise a loan I might very well have been studying there now. Now that I have had a little more time to think, I am unsure whether I should attend QANTM or not. The course is very expensive, and I already have a degree, will the knowledge gained be worth the money.

My other options are to return to JCU and take the number of game related courses they have introduced(which were offered the year I graduated). The problem is I don't hold alot of faith in JCU's non mainstream subjects, the Computer Graphics course and Advanced Multimedia courses I completed were entry-level stuff and other subjects were too heavily theory based. Plus the courses are only offered in Cairns I am based in Townsville and if I move I would like it to be a place that is at least better than Townsville. The only other course that I was interested in was the diploma of computer game development(programing) offered by The Academy of Interactive Entertainment, but there wasn't alot of information on the website which looked a little suspect, the one piece of information I did pick up seemed to be that they take your current knowledge in C++ into account. I will be emailing the AIE for more information on their course.

I an still unsure of what I should do, I already have a good grounding in C++ and only really need to know how to apply that knowledge to game development. I would be grateful for any advice. Or any opinions on the courses I have mentioned

Thanks in advance
WanderingSwordsman

lorien's picture

Try and join and indie project with people who have some experience. Buy some games programming books. Make your own space invaders clone.

Don't believe the marketing.

Mdobele's picture

I just finished the BIE degree at Qantm last year and whilst it had a few problems here and there on the whole I felt I got my moneys worth. It cant have been to bad considering the sucess rate of gaining employment so far. Out of my mates who did it last year alone I know 8 people who got jobs. Pretty good considering its only March.

lorien's picture

Better say I didn't go to QANTM, I was speaking in general terms.

Are those QANTM degrees properly accredited now? This wouldn't matter for someone who already has a comp sci degree, but for those who don't...

WanderingSwords's picture

Has anyone with a computer science degree completed one of these courses?

lorien's picture

I'm doing a masters by research in comp sci after having completed a games diploma (no you can't get into a masters just with a games diploma, I'd done undergrad uni in music and music technology first).

But yes, there are plenty of people around. Not sure about on sumea though. All my programmer classmates except one regret doing the games course, and they'd all been to uni.

This was a while ago.

Mdobele's picture

quote:Originally posted by lorien

Are those QANTM degrees properly accredited now?

Yes they are fully accredited now.

Ash's picture

Some info for you, draw your own conclusions. I did a BE Software at UQ, worked in the software industry for a while then got hired by THQ as a game designer (involves about half scripting, half design). But during uni i did a lot of games programming and design writing in my spare time. Quite a few recent junior hires here at THQ are graduates from last year's QANTM (programmers, designers, artists). There are mixed opinions about the quality of QANTM, ask a few students and they will tell you some stories, or search the forums.

groovyone's picture

I'm going to disclose the secret to game industry employment.

1. INTEREST
2. PASSION
3. DEDICATION
4. ACTION/INVOLVEMNET
5. RESULTS

if you have all of the above, there should be nothing stopping you getting a job in this industy.

To be looked at as a candidate for a job in the game industry against all other qualified applicants, you need to show that you have interest in and passion for games. Not only playing them, but doing what you love doing - programming, music, art, design whatever, but having some sort of experience doing it. This can be achieved by working on mods, shareware titles.. etc. ANYThing at all that is completed and you have something to show for your skills and passion. For every job that is advertised, think of yourself applying against 100 other people. WTF should the company you're applying to choose you over everyone else. That's the question that if you can answer then you should not have a problem getting employment.

I've been through this myself both as contractor and permanent for 5 years in the industry.

Employers absolutely love people who love games and show they're active in their involvement creating them. Too many people say they want to work in games because it's their dream, but then do nothing to show they are actually interested - ie working on shareware or mods.

Too many times have I seen programmer who want to be a game programmer, but has never written their own games, or not even involved on a game mod or small shareware project. Also composers who don't do any game work to build their skills, but have done this movie and that movie,... who cares, being active on a game project being paid or not, shows dedication, commitment, and love for the industry rather than just I 've found a new way to make money.

If you have completed titles, or any self projects anything that shows results and that you are totally commited to game development and you show you are passionate about it, then you are on top of the list for every other applicant.

If you truly want to work in this industry you will show dedication to finding a way in.