Here are the questions you asked our panel of people who work in the games industry and app development.
Damien Murphy (SAP): Hi Claire, Paddy and Cal, there are many aspects of the gaming industry that would require different minimum pre-requisites. A good place to find out more is http://www.gamedevelopers.ie/courses/.
Most courses require Maths and a lab science. I would advise anyone interested in getting into the gaming industry to attend www.gamedevelopers.ie meet-ups and network with people there. I made many friends and connections this way and also got some job interviews out of it too!
Mark Lambe (NeverMind Games): Read my blog “Game industry 101”, it’s a good way of looking at different careers within the industry.
Damien Murphy: I studied Maths, Applied Maths (self taught), Physics, Chemistry, Economics, English, Irish and French.
Mark Lambe: Economics, Physics, Biology and French. Computer Game Development in college.
Josh Holmes (Microsoft): Nice question Darragh. The great thing is there is a wide range of courses with different entry-point requirements; some require a pass in five subjects including Maths at ordinary level, but given there are variant points requirements depending on the course you want, you will need to look at what points would get you the course you want.
But there are no specific subjects you need to students before college. Maths is always a big help and so would some Physics and maybe some applied Maths, also Art is pretty essential if you want to get into design.
I would always recommend having a broad range of subjects in your armoury as this will give you great knowledge in a breadth of subjects.
Mark Lambe: As far as I know maths is usually the only requirement, but check out the details further as I’m not positive.
Marian Garvey (CPL): It very much depends on the particular course you chose. However in my experience candidates who have performed well in Maths, Applied Maths, Physics, Engineering and Science tend to perform well in Computer Science courses.
Computer Science courses do start at basic level and presume that candidates have no prior knowledge of computer science. An inquisitive mind, a dedication to finding solutions and thinking outside the box are qualities most software developers and programmers possess.
Josh Holmes: Hey Paddy, start building some games or think about what games would be cool to play and start trying to design them.
Ludology is the study of games and game design you don’t need have a PC to start building a great game. Some of the best games that live today were conceived over 1,000 years ago and still remain in fashion and high in popularity.
If you are in Dublin and if you get a chance I would visit the computer game design workshop hosted by games industry guru Ernest Adams in Dublin Institute of Technology. Ernest is a veteran freelance game designer, writer, and teacher, working with the International Hobo Group. This is an all-day event, open to any second-level students.
If you are coding already, then start building some games and release them, see if people like them, learn and move on to the next one.
At the end of that process you will have a great games portfolio for a prospective employer – or you may even have your own games company!
Mark Lambe: Very, I wrote an article about something similar here: http://jessicakelly.ie/guest-blog-markjlambe/
Damien Murphy: Hi Sean, Firstly great question! I would have loved a computer subject after Junior Cert but computers was not even a class after third year! I think that app development is too advanced for secondary schools to teach and would require knowledgeable teachers to teach it, which would be hard to find.
However I think a basic introduction to programming would be a great step in that direction. Subjects like HTML and web design (for Junior Cert and under) and Java and Object Orientated Design (for Leaving Cert and under) would be a great start for people thinking of getting into Computer Science.