[game_edu] question from the community
jparker at ucalgary.ca
Wed Jun 29 00:27:10 EDT 2011
Computer science is more than programming, but it is not less.
(Dijkstra) It is the programming skills, and to some degree a knowledge
of algorithms, that game developers use most. It is the algorithms that
are embodied in the tools I mentioned, and CS folks and engineers
certainly participated in the development of those.
Creativity is a different issue, and perhaps Ted and I have different
sets of students to draw on. Creativity is a relatively rare thing, in
CS and in other fields. That's one reason I like to see masters degrees
- more time to assess that aspect. But having taught in CS, Art, and
Drama, I noted that what I thought of as creative existed to a lesser
degree in the science students. Also, what I think of as mathematical
existed to a lesser degree in the art students. No offense, simply an
observation (from one who spent most of his career with CS students).
The answer, IMO, is to always pick from the top few percent of the group
you are hiring from. Using the best is always a better promise of success.
On 6/28/2011 10:11 PM, pawlicki at cs.rochester.edu wrote:
> I don't want to get into an argument, but I do feel the need to
> debunk some common myths in the post below. Jim's post (perhaps
> inadvertently) implies that computer scientists are "programmers".
> Computer Science is not "programming". (That's like calling
> astronomers "telescopers"). Jim's post also (perhaps
> inadvertently) implies that computer scientists exhibit low creativity.
> Or that CS is not a "creative subject".
> The fact is that computer science offers one of the highest career
> opportunities for creative expression.
> Top Reasons to Major in Computer Science Programs In America
> Computing is part of everything you do (really)!
> Computing will develop your ability to solve complex problems.
> You will make a difference.
> Computing jobs are among the highest paid and have the highest job
> There are more computing jobs than there are people to fill them.
> A computing major can serve as a competitive advantage regardless of
> what career filed you chose.
> Computing is creative and supports creativity in other fields.
> Computing allows you to work independently or as a member of a team.
> Computing is seen by employers as part of a well-rounded graduate.
>> As one who taught Computer Science fot 26 years, and created the game
>> programming course and concentration in my department, I found that CS
>> was a discouraging and negative place to try and work on games. I
>> finally gave up and moved to the drama and art departments.
>> There are many ways they were negative, in the face of evidence that
>> they were mistaken, but the most telling statement was from a theory of
>> computation person who said that offering courses on games 'sent the
>> wrong message'. Not sure what that message was, but perhaps it was
>> 'computer science can be fun and interesting'.
>> My opinion is that it very strongly depends on the school and the
>> department, and a CS degree is not always (or even often) the best
>> route. When putting the course together, it became clear that the
>> programmers on a game development team had the least creative
>> contribution, often limited to statements like 'we can't draw that many
>> polygons per second'.
>> Nowadays the tools available have reduced the need for programming quite
>> a bit. When I started this work in 1999 there were about 6-7 programmers
>> on a team of 10 on a development group. Now its more like 2-3. The game
>> engines and physics packages have really helped, and now we can say ' I
>> want to do this' and not have to express it in code all of the time. The
>> tools can do it, and the programmers can easily link those into the game.
>> In that sense game development has become much more democratic. Creative
>> people can now create prototypes even, and that is quite helpful in
>> demoing mechanics. My art students can now build games in weeks that
>> used to be a whole semester in CS.
>> Encouragement comes in many forms - mine would be that you don't have to
>> be a computer science major to develop games, and it's not even an
>> advantage in many cases. The Nike rule 'Just Do it' would be my offering
>> to them. Build a portfolio, work with programmers and artists and
>> designers, and take a degree in a creative subject. Get a masters would
>> be good advice.
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