Welcome To The Bitchery
Welcome To The Bitchery

Hi, my name is Fishnets, and I have no idea what I'm doing.

Illustration for article titled Vidya game design: When you say STEM how much M are we talking?

Basically I've been stumbling along through and I've come to a watershed moment where I have to declare soon if I want to be on track to graduate when I want to graduate (and thus keep the debt to a minimum.) Here's my thing.


I'm what my friends lovingly refer to as a "creative type" who's really, really good with languages. My brain just seems to "get them" easily. So with the dicking around I've already done and thanks to credits that transferred from AP courses in high school, I'm well on my way to a language degree. It'd be reasonable to declare that and add an additional major. I'm looking at Comp Sci with a concentration in computer graphics and gaming. Thing is, I went through the basic HTML/XML/some SQL/Java classes at my high school fairly well (granted, our instructor was pretty incompetent and, it turns out, not trained for what he was teaching, but that's okay.) I fell in love with the (admittedly minor - yay Space Invaders!) videogame design work we did, though I did have to work my ass off with some of it (something I never had to do for English/Spanish/even my current uni-level linguistics courses, etc.)

Here's my thing.

The Comp Sci major at my uni allows a comp graphics & game design concentration that's fairly well-regarded, but the core of the degree requires math. As in Calc I and II. I scraped by Alg III/Trig with a B- overall (often dipping into C+ territory) in high school. I didn't HATE algebra, actually, but I had to work my ass off to understand it. I'm not math in general's biggest fan. I have been told that, in the area of the field I'm most interested in (videogame design), creative skills are crucial and, while math is as well, you can get by if you work your ass off re:math aspects. Is that the case? If yes, I've got some declaring to do. If no, then it's better that I not waste my time.

(Please be gentle: if it's not already obvious, I've spent most of my time PLAYING videogames and wanting to be able to help make them rather than actually being able to Do The Thing so I'm flying with negligible visibility here.)

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