Are you interested in programming games, but don’t know where to start? Do you have a baffling list of computer science courses to choose from and aren’t sure which ones will get you closer to the game industry? In this week’s column
for Gamasutra education sister site Game Career Guide, Jill Duffy has some straight-up, no-nonsense answers about what to study if you want to code video games.
In this excerpt, she explains why studying computer science, in particular C++ programming, is one important tool in getting your foot in the door with game development:
“C++ is still the most widely used programming language in game development, and you should be able to use it solidly. Many people who know C++ are self-taught; between beginner books and web sites, there is plenty of information out there for you to pick up C++ on your own.
However, not everyone has it in them to learn this way, and it's nothing to be ashamed of. For me, for example, I know that I absorb so much more when I'm in a structured learning environment that meets at a specific time and place, where instructors both explain and demonstrate a particular skill or theory. I enjoy being in a classroom environment, and I enjoy active discussion. That's just how I learn. If left to my own devices, I can never seem to muster up the discipline to follow through and truly learn anything (hence the 1971 hand-me-down six-string acoustic guitar that has been collecting dust in the corner of my bedroom since 2003).
So, as with all advice about education and learning, the first step is to determine what type of learning environment you thrive in. Figure that out, then go learn some C++. If you decide you need to learn C++ in a classroom environment, you shouldn't have any trouble finding those classes in your community college's computer science department.”
You can now read the complete feature
, which includes additional insight from Jill Duffy on other important tools to help those embarking on a career in game programming, including the importance of computer science courses, as well as math and theory (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).