I set up this topic to find out what sort of experience or education people have in designing/writing games, especially the more advanced of you (you know who you are). Self-teaching, schools, previous undertakings, anything like that. Reply here and tell me what ya got.
I'm not very advanced, but I'll post anyway.
Currently I'm studing further maths, physics and computing for AS/A level (Maths AS results in a week or two). Further Maths is the best by far, although it's disheartening to hear about how much our education is cut short so the [restraint] government can create pretty statistics.
Everything I know about computers comes from self-teaching - C, C++, plenty of Maths (although we usually cover it in school eventually). My abysmal art skills are from a love of making mess with paint, charcole and my drawing tablet. Self-teaching is brilliant, but if you have a good teacher you can learn at a much faster rate.
Ultimately a lot of game creation is creativity, and no school can give you that - just direct it. I personally would feel lost without creativity.
I'm a freshman in college now, 19yrs old, but I've been teaching myself to program these last 10 years or so (since I was quite young, hehe) and been doing graphics (OpenGL) and game stuff for the last 2 or 3 years. All self-taught, I've just now begun to take CS courses, and am finding that I already knew most of what they have taught me so far. However due to having school, work, etc my own graphics projects progress at a very slow rate =(
i just finished my third semester of comp.sci. most of my real skills are self taught though. i have 6 years of experience in programming (mostly c++) which i have all spent on games and graphics programming. for the last 3/4 year i've been occupied with ray tracing and everything that relates to it.
so far my education has been sort of running on the side (allthough i take it pretty seriously) but courses have been getting more interesting lately. i had little experience in functional languages for example, which was one of the major topics of my previous semester.
I graduated from a 3 year Software Eng degree 4 years ago, where I learnt the basic's of programming (using C, Java and SML). I had very little programming expereince before that, having only used Pascal while doing A-Level Computing, along with a couple of math's A-Levels.
During my time at uni, I also taught myself C++, OpenGL (we did have a course on OpenGL, though it was quite limited, so I had to learn more about it than I was taught) and DirectX, which I tended to work on in my spare time (mainly the summer holidays).
After I graduated, I got a job as an Xbox programmer, and learnt more in the two years that I was there than I ever did at University! Moving from there to PS2 and GameCube programming gave me the kind of education I could only get while working. I also attempted to do an Open University Maths degree, until I realised how much it was going to cost!
Thats the state of my 'education' as it stands, but as most people will say, you will learn new stuff everyday, so your education never really ends!
I am a super senior finishing my degree in computer science. I taught myself how to program at age 13, took computer programming classes [in C/C++] in highschool [age 16]. made text games [a la ultima 1, 2, 3] but when I played flight simulators, I became interested in 3D graphics. I started studying opengl in 2000 on my own and have taken 2 classes on it. I've been keeping up with it since, writing my own widget library, world/terrain render and 3D modeler. right now, I'm volleying between shaders [vertex/fragment] and ray tracing.
when I graduate, I am sure that I'll find a hard time trying to be a visual simulator programmer [many systems already exist], I find myself more and more wanting to start my own consulting firm with a few friends. I must admit, however, that I have little to no funding so I'm sure that'll be difficult.
I just finished my first semester of comp sci. I'm mostly self-taught.
Graduated an 20 months ago. Was working on a PC title for 18 months. Quit that job because of a Pointy Haired Boss (incase you do not understand that, please check http://www.dilbert.com but learnt a bit of RenderWare and Karma Math engine in the process. Now, I am working on an Xbox title at a different place. Hopefully I'll learn more here.
Sort of what I figured. The top game-design schools are very pricey and fairly demanding (they sure as !#\\$%\\^b33r/@# didn't want me, 'cept for Collins)... my math skills are kind of lacking, but I manage with patience. (Not good either, 'cuz people want you to do stuff fast.) I had to get books for game programming, but the trouble is that my first serious one used DirectX8, and my cards never supported it so I have to work with DirectDraw for now. Obsolete, yes, but it's a vehicle. I grew up loving games when 2d was cool, so I have no shortage of enthusiasm. Also, people tell me I'm creative, (t3h LIES!!!) so that helps. Basically, technology wishes to obliterate me, but I myself have a good chance as I continue to gain knowledge in the subject. Thanks for your input, Collective.