I decided to drop out of school

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In summary: They are not comprehensive or authoritative, but they give a good overview of the field. In summary, the videos suggest that the career of game designer is challenging, but also has a lot of opportunity for creativity and personal growth.
  • #1
0kelvin
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I was enrolled in meteorology but after so many failures, low grades, I decided to drop out. Some friends of mine who were admitted in the same year as me loved the field so much that they are already doing their PhD, in some cases abroad. For a long time I've been day dreaming about computer graphics and game design. Just about the last few weeks I looked back and asked myself "what am I'm doing? I do care about climate and how it overlaps with all the life forms around the world. However, do I really want to be a researcher in this field? Or work in weather forecasting?". The answer is no.

At the same time I don't want to waste the knowledge in calculus, linear algebra and classical mechanics. To study the atmosphere one has to learn thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, the maxwell's equations and statistics. It's a huge beast that requires as much computing power as one could get to process so much data. The program at my uni has over 4k hours of lectures and work spanning 5 years. As a side note: in my uni it's not uncommon to see students that were dreaming about working at the Large Hadron Collider or studying something such as Quantum Levitation, but the course is so harsh and dry that they abandon physics. Meteorology isn't that much different because the complexity of the problems that it has to solve is overwhelming too. What we learn about climate at school is about the seasons, rain, snow, winds and some connections with biology without any calculations involved.

Grades mean nothing in the game dev world. However, I tend to agree with math teachers about understanding the math behind a problem. The software dev world is full of ready to use libraries. Nonetheless, I believe that there are many more people who know how to use a library than people who know the theory behind the equations that those libraries solve.

What if I take all the knowledge in linear algebra, calculus, elementary statistics and build up a portfolio of solved problems? My personal impression of the game modding communities is that either people focus on programming and can't do art or the opposite. People who create great pieces of art while knowing nothing about programming. I want a bit of both sides. I began to watch GDC's conferences, read about level design and even write about it. That just made me see that I was never going to be great professional in meteorology because it wasn't really aligned with my dreams. Looking at myself and I believe I'm not the classical artist, in the sense of being a Rodin or a Picasso. Among all sub-fields that exist within game design I'd more inclined to do game mechanics, game physics and/or design of environments.

I already have a very small portfolio of level design to start with. Now I want to invest more in the "equations side" because they serve a lot of purposes in many other fields as well.
 
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After reading part of your post and finally becoming *impatient, I still have a general idea: You may want to return to school later and choose major field of either Physics or Computer Science. At least within Physics, your Mathematical knowledge will not go unused.*I later went back and read your whole post #1. I still believe that major fields of Physics and Computer Science are for you.
 
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Return later for me = years later.

I can't put all the blame on the educational system, but I felt that almost everyone is driven by grades and sometimes having close to panic attacks or depression because people think that grades are everything to progress in the field / in the academy.
 
  • #4
I don't think there's such a thing as a portfolio of solved math problems, until you get to the level of publishing papers.

If your goal is not to go to school, then you probably need to have a portfolio of software you've written. If you want to prove to an employer that you can handle writing a physics engine, it will probably require writing a physics engine.It's not clear to me financially, are you planning on puttering around for a couple years figuring things out, or do you need a job asap? You might want to just get any programming job you can to get some income and some real world experience while you figure out the details of your dream career. You might even discover your tastes change once you start working.
 
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Related to I decided to drop out of school

1. Why did you decide to drop out of school?

There could be a variety of reasons for someone to decide to drop out of school. Some common reasons include financial difficulties, personal or family issues, lack of interest or motivation, or the pursuit of other opportunities.

2. What are the potential consequences of dropping out of school?

Dropping out of school can have significant consequences, including limited job opportunities, lower earning potential, and difficulties in pursuing higher education. It may also lead to feelings of regret or missed opportunities in the future.

3. Is it possible to go back to school after dropping out?

Yes, it is possible to return to school after dropping out. Many colleges and universities offer programs for adult learners or individuals returning to education after a hiatus. It may also be possible to transfer credits from previous coursework.

4. What advice would you give to someone considering dropping out of school?

I would advise them to carefully weigh their options and consider the potential long-term consequences of their decision. They should also seek guidance from counselors, mentors, or trusted individuals who can provide support and help them explore alternative paths.

5. How can society better support individuals who choose to drop out of school?

Society can provide more resources and support for individuals who choose to drop out of school. This could include access to alternative education programs, job training, and mentorship opportunities. Additionally, reducing the stigma surrounding dropping out and promoting a more inclusive and understanding attitude can also be beneficial.

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