Introduction

[翻譯] Jeff Ward/Choosing a School


譯者序:這篇文章是Jeff Ward 2006貼在網路上的文章,內容雖然並不是很有用,適用的地方也應該在美國,但是其中提到的一些勉勵還蠻有趣的,希望分享給大家。

學習遊戲開發從選校開始

Choosing a School

Jeff Ward
http://www.gamecareerguide.com/features/298/choosing_a_.php

One of the questions game developers receive frequently is which college or university a student should select when interested in pursuing a career in game development. And who can blame them? There are probably millions of different schools out there, with different strengths and weaknesses, not to mention the hundreds of new majors and certificates in game design, game art, game programming, 3d modeling, graphics programming, entertainment technology, media theory, and any of the other majors there may be out there related to computer games and game technology. How is a young high school (or returning college grad) to make sense of it all? This article is an attempt to address some of these questions and hopefully present some of the tools that students should seriously consider when selecting the institution where they may spend four years of their life.
一個遊戲開發者常常被問到的問題之一就是一個有興趣在遊戲開發謀職的學生該選擇哪間學校。可能有百萬間這樣的學校,而且他們各有擅場。更不用說涵蓋遊戲設計,遊戲美術,遊戲程式,三維繪圖,電腦圖學程式,娛樂科技,媒體理論,以及其他跟電腦遊戲與科技相關的數百種主修與執照。這篇文章嘗試發掘這些問題,希望能提出一些方法讓學生選擇機構時認真思考該花費他們人生的四年在哪裡。

I have presented this article in a few simple rules, starting with a rule that is very frequently forgotten by lots of students looking for an education, guidance councilors looking to place students in prestigious schools, and even developers looking to get trained students.
我會從一個最容易被遺忘的方向(rule)開始。這些思考方向針對的對象是那些正在決定學校的學生,正在幫學生找出路的諮詢顧問,以及正在找人才的遊戲開發者。而且常常被忽略。

Rule 1: There is not right college, only the right college for you.

沒有絕對優的學校,只有對你有幫助的學校。

There are a lot of things you should consider when choosing a school, especially if you are going to invest a lot of time (usually about 2 to 4 years) and money (anywhere from $30k to $120k) into a school. You should make sure you make a good decision, and this is not something other people can, or even should, help you with. This should be your decision. That said, there are a lot of things we can recommend that will help you make the right decision.
我們要認真思考挑選學校的原因是這(入學)將會花費我們一段不短的時間(二到四年)與不少的錢(三萬美金到十二萬美金)。這該自己作決定,而非其他人告訴你該怎麼做。我們只能建議並幫助你做出正確決定。(譯按:這講廢話吧)

First, you should think about the type of school you want to go to, and the decision is not as simple as trade school versus “traditional" four year college or university, though this is possibly the biggest debate between developers, educators and students. However, from everything I’ve heard, everyone I’ve talked to, and from personal experience, I am now firmly of the opinion that the choice, in the long run, does not matter. You will hear arguments on both sides of the fence, from the biggest industry name to the smallest community college professor about why you should select one type of university over the other, but, generally, in the long run the choice probably won’t matter.
首先認清學校的種類,這裡是說不只是分清職訓學校(譯按:trade school應該比較接近高職專科訓練的學校)與傳統四年的大學。會這麼強調的原因是我從個人經驗,每個諮詢對象,以及我所聽到的事實瞭解到,只是分這兩種並沒觸碰到重點。

I know you didn’t want to hear that, and I know those of you that put lots of money, time, and energy into a particular type of school don’t want to hear it either. But the truth of the matter is that part of what makes a good game developer is wrapped around a psychological model that revolves around a penchant for hard work, talent, and passionate dedication. Furthermore, a person with those qualities will do well regardless of which school they eventually attend.
恐怕很難相信我這種說法。但我的理由是一個好的遊戲開發者是有一種包含努力工作,天份,熱情付出所組合而成的人格特質(psychological model)(譯按:而非能由學校訓練而來)。所以不管去哪間學校,有這種人格特質的人都會變成一個好的遊戲開發者。(譯按:又是廢話)

Unless, of course, that person is completely miserable while attempting to get their education. And, believe it or not, a simple thing like learning style can make a huge difference in how happy you are at a school.
除非這個人在學習上無法接受正統的教導(譯按:就是不受教的那種類型)。

For example, when I went looking for colleges, I knew that I wanted a broader based education. I’m interested in a very wide variety of things, including percussion, religion, spirituality, ethics, practical and experimental science, fine art appreciation, theater, and marching band. I wanted a college that would encourage, even require, me to participate in these subjects, and to try new and different things. Learning lots of different things definitely matched what I wanted to accomplish in college. Going to a liberal arts school fit me and my personality.
舉例來說,若是我找學校的話,我要找的就是通才教育。意思是對很多事情都有興趣,像是打擊樂器,宗教,靈魂學,倫理學,應用及實驗科學,美術鑑賞,電影以及樂團。我甚至希望這間學校可以鼓勵甚至強迫我去參與這些領域,嘗試新的東西。這樣的學習鐵定滿足我的需求。因此一間自由的藝術學校就是好的選擇。

Another student, on the other hand, although interested in just as many subjects and extra curricular activities, may not be as interested in taking them as required courses. They may want courses that are directly related to games in every subject, and may get bored in their classes otherwise. This person would be miserable at a school that required 30 credits of liberal arts and a gym class. As a result, their course work, even those classes related to games, would suffer.
另一種學生在另一方面,雖然對很多題目有興趣,但是只希望適度的選修。它可能希望更貼近遊戲的課程,否則很快就會失去熱情。這種學生如果放在一間需要三十學分的藝術與體育班可能就十分痛苦。即便前面提到的課程都跟遊戲領域有某種程度的相關聯,依然是一種折磨。

So, are you going to be more successful at a school offering a broad based education, or are you going to be happier at a school that is strictly focused on your games education? Or are you somewhere in between? If you’ve already completed a B.S., B.A. or B.F.A. at another school, you’re probably not looking to take the general education classes again right? This is the first question you have to ask yourself before even beginning to look for a college. In fact, it’s the next rule of selecting a college for game development.
所以到底是希望自由的各方涉獵還是專心在遊戲教育上,或是有某種折衷的方式?假如你已經完成了大學,你恐怕不希望再進行一次通才的教育。因此這個問題就是你第一個應該回答自己的問題。那麼,讓我們進廣告。

Rule 2: Choose a school that fits your style of learning.

選擇適合自己學習風格的學校

If you choose a school that fits your style of learning, you will be happier and more productive, and you will be able to absorb more of what the professors are offering. Forget what employers and your parents want for the time being, and just think where you would be happier. It’s your life, after all, not any potential employer’s.
找到符合自己學習風格的學校,你會比較有興趣且有產值,也更能夠吸收教材。請忘記未來雇主與家長的期待,先想想怎樣會更快樂。畢竟這是自己的人生,而非雇主的。

If you understand the type of school you want to go to, start searching for programs in your particular field of study. However, when searching, you want to make sure to get as many schools as possible into your search, so you can make a more informed decision. Start with a large list, and whittle it down as you learn more about the schools. That brings us to Rule 3.
可以從你想學的領域開始搜尋課程。然而,最好儘可能把最多的學校都納入搜尋範圍。從一個大量的清單來消去。消去的依據是由於你對那些學校更加了解了。

Rule 3: When searching for programs to join, do not just search for game programs.

不要只選那些遊戲的課程

Though game programs are becoming more and more prevalent, and better and better schools are creating some great programs, you want to make sure you start with as large a list as possible. Some great art schools with great 3D modeling and digital art programs will never come up if you do a search on “game art" or “computer art." Some great programming schools will also elude your grasp if you search just for “game programming."
雖然遊戲的課程很廣泛,你還是必須先確認你的課程清單涵蓋盡量夠多。因為有些課程是屬於藝術的範疇,容易被忽略。不要只找遊戲程式的課。

Once you have a (very large) list of possible schools, then you can start to eliminate some of them based off of many criteria, including class size / school size, whether it fits your style of learning, and whether it looks like it has any majors or schools you’d be interested in. What exactly should you do to do this? Well, I’m glad you asked, because that brings us to Rule 4;
然後開始用消去法。其中一個方法是依據課程的長度與學校的規模的比值。以及哪間學校有你最多有興趣的課程。

Rule 4: The rules your high school guidance councilor gave you for selecting and eliminating colleges still stand.

高等教育諮詢師給你的建議依然有效

Don’t think that just because you’re going into game development, that you can disregard the whole “select two safety schools, two reach schools, and to medium schools" rule. Other rules also stand. Make sure you research potential schools fully. Visit the school. Ask professors, tour guides or department heads about all the programs you’re interested in. Make sure you like the campus, that it has the facilities and extracurriculars you want, that it’s in a rural or city area (depending on your preferences) and that you like the people, both the professors and your potential classmates. Sit in on some classes if you can. Go out into the middle of campus when there are lots of people wandering by. Generally absorb the atmosphere. If you have one, make sure to ask your guidance councilor about the school and its reputation. Remember that this is part of their job and they’ll be able to answer many of your questions far better than any forum troll.
聯考(或基測)選學校的法則依然在選遊戲開發的學校有幫助:在自己能力上下找一個安全落點。那麼接下來就是參觀一下學校,諮詢那些教授,甚至系所的快速介紹。確保課程內與課餘的環境以及未來的學習環境(包含人與地)都令你滿意。如果能旁聽一些課程更好。感覺一下那間學校的氣氛。詢問高等教育諮詢師的意見,這就是他該提供的服務。

During this search, you’re going to be asking the same questions everyone else looking for a school is going to be asking: Is this the school that will look good on a resume and get me a job right out of college? This question is usually phrased on forums as “Is this school / program any good?" That’s just as vague as asking “What school should I go to?" What you’re really asking is whether people in the industry have hired good people from that school, and would be willing to accept others. However, past performance is not a guarantee of future performance, and no one knows this better than game developers.
每個人都會問這個問題:這間學校是否能讓我找到一個工作。這個問題也一直出現在線上論壇中,但是答案是很模糊的。因為遊戲公司未來是否會因此僱用這些學校出來的畢業生也是很不確定的答案。然而過去的經驗(應屆就業率)依然是很好的參考。

Yes, some schools may “look better" than others, but if you play your cards right, doing well at any school, along with proper networking, can look just as good as the “right school" This brings up the next rule.
當然有些學校會更好,但是不會比自己真的用心向學來得好。

Rule 5: The prestige of the school should not be the reason you go there.

不要追求名校

Though the prestige of a school, and its programs (game development or otherwise) may help you land a job, there are a lot of other factors that are just as important. If you let prestige be the biggest or only factor, you’re more likely to be miserable at the school, which will make you do poorly, which looks bad no matter what the name of the school is.
除了學校的名聲,課程可以讓你找到工作之外,還有其他的要素也同樣重要。假如過於注重名聲,可能會學的很痛苦(譯按:吊車尾)。在好學校吊車尾還是吊車尾。

What will really stand out to employers isn’t necessarily the school you went to, but the amount of additional effort you put in towards areas both inside and outside your field of study. This doesn’t mean you can ignore game related side projects and development, but it does mean that if you’re at a school specifically centered on game development, you should seriously think about keeping up with your trombone playing and table magic tricks. However, it also means that if you’re at a school that doesn’t specifically teach you game development, you need to make sure that you’re always keeping up to date on new technologies and participating in some game-related side projects. Either way, the combination of work inside and outside the field of game development will be impressive.
幫助你在面試的時候脫穎而出的那些東西(技術)並非選擇學校的必要條件。也就是說雖然你在一間遊戲學校學習,不代表你不能學管樂器與魔術表演。反過來說假如這間學校不是遊戲專門的學校,你就自己跟上遊戲領域最新技術。是否學到遊戲領域的課程都會讓你獲益良多。

That said, you don’t want to lose sight of the big picture.
意思就是,不要太過分看重技術的分量。

Rule 6: Keep your eventual goals in mind.

隨時記住你的理想

If all you ever want to be is a programmer, then feel free to go to a school that is specifically centered on programming and only programming. If you want to do other things, make sure you get an education in those things. If you want to run your own company, you’d better make sure you take a few business classes. If you want to be a game designer, think about taking classes in creative writing, religion, media, or anything else you might find interesting.
假如你想成為程式設計師,那麼程式設計課程就要修;假如想要創業,那麼就選商業管理的課程;假如目標是一個遊戲設計師,那麼你該修一些創意寫作,宗教,媒體等課程。

Also, be sure to listen to the developers that inspire you or that you would one day like to work for. Many developers have spoken on this issue in the past, and their opinions are sure to offer insight into which school you should choose. Remember, though, that the decision is ultimately yours. Any advice from others should be coupled with your own experience and options in order to find the best school to match your learning style and career goals.
仔細聆聽那些遊戲開發者曾經所給的建言,因為有一天你可能會跟他一起工作。不過那些建議最終都必須跟你自身的經驗驗證,這才自己的東西。

Finally, onto my favorite rules.
然後是我最喜歡的。

Rule 7: No matter where you go, learn all you can.

盡可能多學一些

This does not mean pay attention in class (let’s face it, some classes are much more boring than others), it means be alert to what’s going on in the industry and educate yourself on all of it. When it comes time to network and look for a job, your potential employers will be impressed that you went the extra mile to be educated on things outside the classroom setting.
意思是保持敏銳,跟著那些新知跑,面試時雇主才能鑑別出你與其它只學課堂知識的學生。

With all of this said, however, remember that college is also a time to have fun, so while doing all this hard work, remember to expand yourself socially and learn new things, whether you take classes or not. You never know when knowing how to swing dance, juggle, play jazz guitar, talk gourmet wine, or just talk up a crowd will get you the all important contact into the industry, or just a new friend. This brings me to the last, yet most important rule.
除了努力學習之外,也不要忘記社交,跳舞,耍寶,彈吉他,品酒,甚至演講。與這個產業保持聯繫,或是結交新朋友。

Rule 8: No matter where you go, have lots of fun.

不要忘記活的快樂

You really are only going to be in college once (maybe twice), and there’s really nothing else like it. It would be a real shame (for you, and the industry) for you to miss out on all of your potential, just because you were spending too much time doing all of your work.
大學學習可能一生只有一次到兩次,希望你不要錯過那些有趣的事情,只因為你花太多時間做作業。

Lastly, I have just a few final thoughts that I think are important. They are most easily summed up in Rule Zero, which is the overarching theme of this whole article.
總結

Fun is subjective.
樂趣是很主觀的

Rule Zero: Being happy at your school is paramount. If you are happy, everything else can fall into place through hard work and planning.
保持快樂是很重要的,快樂的時候即便是辛苦的工作都能順利走過。

And, remember, you’re more likely to want and be able to put in that hard work and planning if you’re happy. As I said in the summary of Rule 1, you shouldn’t let anyone else make this decision for you, because they will likely choose the school that’s right for them, not you. That said, don’t be afraid to ask people’s opinions on various schools, just realize that people’s learning styles are different, and some people may not like a school you’d be very happy at.
如同第一個建議說的,不要讓別人替你做決定,因為別人是選適合他們的學校,而非適合你的。這是說不要羞於詢問其他的人意見,但是也不要把其他人的經驗原封不動地套到自己身上。

Now, hopefully, armed with this knowledge you will be able to select the school that will be best for you: one that will challenge you intellectually and socially. So what are you waiting for? Get out there, get to school, and change the industry. We’re waiting for you.
希望這間學校會挑戰你的知識與社交。最終你能挑戰這個產業。

Jeff Ward is a 2004 alumni of James Madison University’s schools of Computer Science and Media Arts and Design. He is currently employed as an Associate Programmer at Bethesda Game Studios, and is credited for his work on The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion.

Jeff Ward六年前畢業於James Madison University的資訊與媒體設計系。曾經是Bethesda Game Studios的程式設計員。開發過上谷捲軸4等遊戲。目前在Fire Hose Games擔任程式設計師

Bethesda Game Studios的著名產品有Rage, Fallout, Quake Live等。

Jeff On Games http://www.jeffongames.com/
FuzzyBinary – Somewhere logical http://www.fuzzybinary.com/

Some extractive opinions from the readers @ PTT :

來自PTT網友的回應:

  • WeasoN:不適用於島國台灣
  • pairslipper:兩地的教育生態差太多了…

( It’s not suitable for the case in Taiwan, cause the education environment is different. )

  • littlethe:

這一行真的不適合求名校,興趣少,只想打電動的人來走,
( This industry really does not accept those who only want to play video game, those who only wanna be famous, and those who with less interest ( in game development ).
我相信這不只是在美國這樣,
全世界的遊戲業都如此,
( I believe it is the same not only at United State, but at all over the world. )
反而我會覺得不是不適用台灣,
而是台灣人很多想走遊戲業的人,
對遊戲開發的觀念不太好
( On the contrary, I think the article is not useless for Taiwan. Instead, I think those who I mentioned “those who want to be into this industry" has inappropriate concept to game development. )

  • ritud :

我個人是覺得,在台灣想靠選對校系進業界實在是件困難的事……
( I think personally that it’s hard to enter the industry by choosing correct school and major. )
至於企劃和美術,這和學歷的關聯又更低了,主要還是看作品,從
哪裡畢業只是個參考而已(說不定根本沒有參考= =)。
( Comparing with programmers, the designers and artists are even lower relative to degree, and more helpful with better complete works. )
主要的原因還是,台灣並沒有良好的遊戲設計教育體系,所以不存
在「較容易進入業界」的系所。
( The main reason still is that, in Taiwan, there is no such so-called education system for game design. Therefore, it results in no such school and major that will help students into the industry. )
所以,各種意味來說,似乎也不算是會讓人有high class感覺的產
業。
( And another reason causes this situation is that the jobs in this industry don’t make those workers feel respectable. )

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