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#1
So, long story short, I got into the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

I want to major in Computer Science (an Engineering Course) in order to master programming to make video games- I'm not going to take a "Game Design" course because I feel like that's putting all my eggs in one basket, and would rather keep my options open.

I've visited both campuses (they're both amazing), and they're both equally attractive to me. For what it's worth, a good 30 or so kids out of my senior class of 440 are going to Tech, with less than 10 going to UVA; many of those 30 are close friends, one wants to be my roommate. I like how cars are still used at UVA- not so much at Tech- because I'm increasingly becoming a car nut and have been playing around with my Mustang.

Most people would just tell me "Go to Tech for Engineering" or "Go to UVA because it's better," but I don't feel either of those are really true. UVA is more diverse, which is nice, but the whole "We're Better Than Everyone" image that they sort of project turns me off a bit, but that seems like too much of an over-generalization.

The thing is, I want an Engineering Degree (Computer Science), but want to use it in a more "artsy," less traditional way with video games, which would put me between Tech and UVA. So, does anyone who cared enough to read my little tale have any advice?

TLDR: UVA or Tech for Computer Science for career in Video Games

Also, my counselors couldn't give me any real advice at my school. They're as stumped as I am.
Last edited by MasterMongoose at Apr 21, 2011,
#2
Quote by MasterMongoose
So, long story short, I got into the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

I want to major in Computer Science (an Engineering Course) in order to master programming to make video games- I'm not going to take a "Game Design" course because I feel like that's putting all my eggs in one basket, and would rather keep my options open.

I've visited both campuses (they're both amazing), and they're both equally attractive to me. For what it's worth, a good 30 or so kids out of my senior class of 440 are going to Tech, with less than 10 going to UVA; many of those 30 are close friends, one wants to be my roommate. I like how cars are still used at UVA- not so much at Tech- because I'm increasingly becoming a car nut and have been playing around with my Mustang.

Most people would just tell me "Go to Tech for Engineering" or "Go to UVA because it's better," but I don't feel either of those are really true. UVA is more diverse, which is nice, but the whole "We're Better Than Everyone" image that they sort of project turns me off a bit, but that seems like too much of an over-generalization.

The thing is, I want an Engineering Degree (Computer Science), but want to use it in a more "artsy," less traditional way with video games, which would put me between Tech and UVA. So, does anyone who cared enough to read my little tale have any advice?

TLDR: UVA or Tech for Computer Science for career in Video Games


You should do both. At the same time.
#9
Quote by wizards?
Career in video games? Oh god I hope you're joking...

Why not? They're are plenty of studios he can work for and video games are probably as big as films by now.
#10
Quote by metaldud536
Cars are still used? What are they using now then?

Also go to whichever place has more womenz.


At Virginia Tech, everyone walks everywhere. It's pretty crazy. It's like those days where we rode horses everywhere!
#11
Quote by MasterMongoose
It landed on its side

Flip it again.

Go to the one where azns won't shoort you
I leik music
#12
My very nice Biology teacher went to VT. But hen again, so did this dick flight-simulator engineer I know.
Quote by SlackerBabbath

I also have hairy butt cheeks, I once shaved a letter 'W' on each cheek, so that when I bent over it spelled WoW.

warning, some of the contents of this post may not necessarily be completely true.
#13
You should never go into Comp Sci to make video games. I am gonna pull a statistic out of my ass and say 80% of people who go to Comp Sci to make video games fail. Go into programming if you love making things easier for people, and enjoy people using creations that you love. You will probably have a cubicle office and be on your computer for 10 hours a day doing nothing but math. If you love doing that, then go for it.

Actually I can see that as a starting major, and then start specializing in whatever starts to interest you later, like Video Game design with a focus on Design and less focus on Programming?
#14
Quote by RU Experienced?
This one time I was visiting a friend at VT and I was sitting in on his class, and then an Asian kid shot me.


+1
IAMREALLYCOOL
#15
Quote by Morik
You should never go into Comp Sci to make video games. I am gonna pull a statistic out of my ass and say 80% of people who go to Comp Sci to make video games fail. Go into programming if you love making things easier for people, and enjoy people using creations that you love. You will probably have a cubicle office and be on your computer for 10 hours a day doing nothing but math. If you love doing that, then go for it.

Actually I can see that as a starting major, and then start specializing in whatever starts to interest you later, like Video Game design with a focus on Design and less focus on Programming?


That's the idea. I need to learn programming (I'm no graphics artist) and CS is the way to go to get my feet wet for that. There's two main entry-level video game careers, and you're either a programmer or artist. I'll learn the programming and start specializing and building a portfolio in my later years in college.
#17
Quote by metaldud536
Why not? They're are plenty of studios he can work for and video games are probably as big as films by now.

It's exactly like getting a degree in music. You better be damn good at it to not end up waiting tables four years down the road... That and everyone I know that's "studied videogames" knows shit all about game development and thinks it's about playing Portal all day and ended up switching majors a month or two later.
Last edited by wizards? at Apr 21, 2011,
#18
Quote by wizards?
It's exactly like getting a degree in music. You better be damn good at it to not end up waiting tables four years down the road... That and everyone I know that's "studied videogames" knows shit all about game development and thinks it's about playing Portal all day.


But I do know about game developments! Believe me, I'm not some dumb kid. The things I care about in life, I make pretty informed decisions about. I'm gonna make video games. I'm not going to fail at it.
#19
If you are VERY sure that you will not change your major go to Tech, but keep in mind most students will change their major at witch point UVA will be better. I was in a similar situation to you when I started college and had to transfer schools to change my major.
#20
Virginia Tech. Better football team.
May the Schwartz be with us! 2012



MAL


Q: OK, so do you care about the labels — nastiest, edgiest team in the NFL?

Jim Schwartz: It's better than the alternative — meekest, least aggressive, softest team in the NFL.


#21
Quote by MasterMongoose
So, long story short, I got into the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

I want to major in Computer Science (an Engineering Course) in order to master programming to make video games- I'm not going to take a "Game Design" course because I feel like that's putting all my eggs in one basket, and would rather keep my options open.

I've visited both campuses (they're both amazing), and they're both equally attractive to me. For what it's worth, a good 30 or so kids out of my senior class of 440 are going to Tech, with less than 10 going to UVA; many of those 30 are close friends, one wants to be my roommate. I like how cars are still used at UVA- not so much at Tech- because I'm increasingly becoming a car nut and have been playing around with my Mustang.

Most people would just tell me "Go to Tech for Engineering" or "Go to UVA because it's better," but I don't feel either of those are really true. UVA is more diverse, which is nice, but the whole "We're Better Than Everyone" image that they sort of project turns me off a bit, but that seems like too much of an over-generalization.

The thing is, I want an Engineering Degree (Computer Science), but want to use it in a more "artsy," less traditional way with video games, which would put me between Tech and UVA. So, does anyone who cared enough to read my little tale have any advice?

TLDR: UVA or Tech for Computer Science for career in Video Games

Also, my counselors couldn't give me any real advice at my school. They're as stumped as I am.


how in the hell is this even a decision Virginia Tech is way better than UVA UVA is full of pretentious assholes and it will only turn you into one. I too am from VA so this UVA vs VT thing is a big deal for me too
#22
Quote by maidenrulz19
Virginia Tech. Better football team.


haha but I'm used to a crappy football team!

The Redskins stopped winning the year I was born (1992).
#23
Quote by MasterMongoose
But I do know about game developments! Believe me, I'm not some dumb kid. The things I care about in life, I make pretty informed decisions about. I'm gonna make video games. I'm not going to fail at it.

Like I said, you better be damn good at it already and know exactly what you're getting yourself into or else you're wasting your time.
#24
Quote by wizards?
It's exactly like getting a degree in music. You better be damn good at it to not end up waiting tables four years down the road... That and everyone I know that's "studied videogames" knows shit all about game development and thinks it's about playing Portal all day and ended up switching majors a month or two later.

Actually I think it's better than a music degree and even more so that he's doing programming.

Most of the time getting payed to play music professionally involves actually you being skilled and creative and depends on whether the audience it's catered to likes it or not. Him on the other hand, if he sticks with what he says he's going to do, will involve sitting at a computer writing complex code/programming for physics and user interfaces and lots of specific projects. But even if he is good depends on whether the games the devs make actually sell. But seeing as it's programming he'll be pretty flexible if he can work with whatever they throw at him.
Last edited by metaldud536 at Apr 21, 2011,
#25
or if you want to use your degree for video games you should go to GMU (not like I just got accepted there and what not. except I was. GO PATRIOTS!) haha
#26
Quote by MasterMongoose
haha but I'm used to a crappy football team!

The Redskins stopped winning the year I was born (1992).

Yeah, but now they're #winning
#28
Quote by darkcheef
Yeah, but now they're #winning


Yeah, because I'm moving south out of their radius.

I'm really surprised by the valuable input you guys are giving, +1 to all you people who didn't just make shooter jokes.
#29
Quote by darkcheef
Yeah, but now they're #winning


You called?
dirtbag ballet by the bins down the alley
as i walk through the chalet of the shadow of death
everything that you've come to expect


#30
Quote by metaldud536
Actually I think it's better than a music degree and even more so that he's doing programming.

Most of the time getting payed to play music professionally involves actually you being skilled and creative and depends on whether the audience it's catered to likes it or not. Him on the other hand, if he sticks with what he says he's going to do, will involve sitting at a computer writing complex code/programming for physics and user interfaces and lots of specific projects. But even if he is good depends on whether the games the devs make actually sell. But seeing as it's programming he'll be pretty flexible if he can work with whatever they throw at him.


Yeah, that's kinda my rationale behind it. I've been going through it a lot these past few years, and I can't imagine myself doing anything different. It just feels right.
#31
You DO realize game developers don't get paid shitloads of money even after going day and night writing code for everything under the sun, even in the wee hours of the morning...right?
#33
Quote by SadusAttack
You DO realize game developers don't get paid shitloads of money even after going day and night writing code for everything under the sun, even in the wee hours of the morning...right?


I'm not one to worry about salaries that much. I'll eat, and I'll live decently well-off with a spouse, hopefully. I've been good at handling money in the past, and my Dad is amazing as a consultant for making budgets work. They're not starving artists, and its been pointed out that with a CS degree, my options are open.
#34
You should go to UVa if you like losing at sports

Perhaps I'm a little biased but it sounds to me like you want Tech on this one. We simply have a better engineering school. It's like our thing.
I think we took too many drugs when we were kids,
'cause now we like to make
Weird Music
-Wayne Coyne
#35
Dont worry about witch school has the better name or says they are better than everybody else. It really doesn't matter. I go to community college and every body that goes through this proccess thinks BCCC(where I go) is for chumps that aren't smart enough to get into a big time school and isnt even as close to other colleges. Since Ive been there, everybody that I have talked to wishes the school was a 4 year school because it is really great.

As far as the 30 kids going to one school and 10 kids going to the other, that means nothing either. You will most likely not see them very much(unless you have classes together)

Really If I were you I would visit each school again and see which one you really like better.
#36
Quote by Jako215
Dont worry about witch school has the better name or says they are better than everybody else. It really doesn't matter. I go to community college and every body that goes through this proccess thinks BCCC(where I go) is for chumps that aren't smart enough to get into a big time school and isnt even as close to other colleges. Since Ive been there, everybody that I have talked to wishes the school was a 4 year school because it is really great.

As far as the 30 kids going to one school and 10 kids going to the other, that means nothing either. You will most likely not see them very much(unless you have classes together)

Really If I were you I would visit each school again and see which one you really like better.


Well, a good friend does want to be my roommate at one, and he's like a brother to me.

So, that does kinda matter. Thanks for the input, though!

I've never been one for the whole "Prestige" thing either, but it matters to my parents some (though they're behind whichever school I pick)
Last edited by MasterMongoose at Apr 21, 2011,
#37
You do realize that the programmers do the boring part of making video games?
THE SOLE PURPOSE OF THIS SIG IS TO GRAB YOUR ATTENTION TO THIS POST OF UTTER GENIUS
#38
Quote by Grimriffer
You do realize that the programmers do the boring part of making video games?


My end goal is to be one of the upper designers, but I'm also looking at ways to keep it flexible.

I'll get it together, hopefully.
#39
So much bullshit in this thread.

Quote by Morik
You should never go into Comp Sci to make video games. I am gonna pull a statistic out of my ass and say 80% of people who go to Comp Sci to make video games fail.

No. If his passion, his true desire for something to do with his entire life is to make video games, then by all means go into computer science to make video games if you feel it's the best way to achieve that. As with anything, he needs to know what he's getting into, and that the things he studies probably won't ever be specifically about games programming, but it's a wise route to take to get into being a games programmer. Chances are if he loves games programming, he'll easily love standard programming and find a computer science degree to be a great choice.

Quote by wizards?
Like I said, you better be damn good at it already and know exactly what you're getting yourself into or else you're wasting your time.

I agree he needs to know what he's getting himself into, but being damn good at it already? No.

A good proportion of people starting any computer science course will have no background in programming, hence why pretty much every course will start from the basics and work up. What you should be noting to him is that he'll need to be damn good by the time he finishes. The video game industry is getting increasingly popular and to get a job he'll need to stand out. Not only will he need to be an exceptional programmer, he'll need to prove it, preferably with a portfolio of personal projects he's worked on throughout the degree showing that he can apply his knowledge to game creation.

Quote by SadusAttack
You DO realize game developers don't get paid shitloads of money even after going day and night writing code for everything under the sun, even in the wee hours of the morning...right?

Good to point this out to him, but don't sound so discouraging. I don't know about most of the ones you've talked to, but the majority of people on my computer science degree love the idea of staying up into the early hours of the morning writing/debugging/fighting code. If he wants to do this as a career, it's the sort of thing he needs to enjoy. But agreed, it is worth pointing out that it's part of the job.

No need to bring up salary though - if someone loves what they do, how much they earn (beyond possibly the standard costs of living) shouldn't factor into it.

Sorry I can't give you specific advice on the courses you're talking about TS, they're US ones, and I have no clue what any of it stands for. But anyway, I'm tired and that's probably why I'm ranting (or maybe I'm not and think I am, I don't know, I haven't slept in a while).


EDIT:
Quote by Grimriffer
You do realize that the programmers do the boring part of making video games?

A) That's entirely down to personal opinion. Most people that get into programming do it because they love it. Just because you find it boring doesn't mean others will.
B) No need for the negativity. It's not like TS will read your comment and think "oh, programming's boring? Shit, better re-think my future plans".

Quote by MasterMongoose
My end goal is to be one of the upper designers, but I'm also looking at ways to keep it flexible.

I'll get it together, hopefully.

As I said above, you shouldn't go into games programming if it's not exactly what you want to be doing. It takes a lot of commitment and a specific mindset, and if you don't have it then it's unlikely you'll get through a computer science degree, let alone getting a job afterwards.

By all means aim to be a designer, but only if you think it'll be a natural progression from being a programmer. Most designers do start in the modelling or programming department, which is a useful skill so that you know what you can ask of your coders/artists when designing. But don't use programming as a means to an end. The degree should be the means to the end of being a programmer, not the means to getting a job which will be the means to getting the job you actually want (if that makes any sense).

You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door.
There is a small mailbox here.



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Last edited by Kilobyte at Apr 21, 2011,
#40
Kilobyte, thanks for your lengthy (and obviously well thought-out) post. I'd quote it, but, length issues...

To me, I just want to get involved with games, and I see programming as the place I fit in. I'm not graphics artist (or one of the other extremely specialized jobs), and I work well with computers. Being a designer is the end goal for someday, but I don't see programming as something that's necessarily bad to do for the rest of my life, either. It's like icing on the cake to become a designer for me. I've been pretty talented in school and other life pursuits, and I'm incredibly determined. If I want to get there, I'll work my ass off to do it.
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