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#1 Nanook   Members   -  Reputation: 505

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 03:02 PM

Hi! Im thinking about studying game development at full sail. I know this is a realy hard school to go to. I feel motivated for this. But I wont have time to start there for some months yet, so I have some time to prepare my self. What should I focus on for 6 months? I will defenatly learn some c++ on my own. I've newer used c++ before, but I've been using visual basic and php some. And I guess I should start reading maths and physics. Any other advices? Nanook

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#2 nef   Members   -  Reputation: 129

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 10:48 PM

C++ and data structures

know your vectors and get your math up to at least pass the calc / linear algebra tests, you'll forget that stuff after those classes anyways, but vectors you will need to know for just about the rest of the course.

it's a good school.


#3 Tang of the Mountain   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 01:26 AM

Agreed. Math is the biggest thing. Know your trig and physics, geometry, calc...

be ready to spend all your time at full sail or doing full sail work and have no money. If you get living expense checks, put aside your rent and bill money for the duration(sometimes 3 months or more) so you dont end up not having rent one month.

If youre gonna learn c++, data structures, pointers, classes are some things you want to look into. Other than that...I hope you like mortal kombat.

Cheers

Need any other info PM me

Tang
(Full Sail Grad)

#4 rdragon1   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1200

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 01:41 AM

Just my opinion / personal observation, but there seems to be very mixed feelings about Full Sail education. I went through some (around 10) phone interviews recently (yes, for a game programming job) where Full Sail was mentioned (since I lived just down the road from it), and I would say 8 out of 10 of the guys I talked to had generally negative opinions about people trying to get jobs with a Full Sail background (I intentionally asked their opinion as a side question). 2 of the 8 said that they don't even consider full sail grads.

My personal suggestion is to go to a real 4-year school and get a well-rounded education that will set you up in life to be a better worker and contributor to society, instead of a strong specialization in developing games.

#5 Josh Petrie   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3117

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 03:54 AM

My opinion is basically the same. (I'm a DigiPen graduate, but I also went to a regular four-year CS degree school).

I know people from Full Sail and DigiPen are plenty, plenty qualified to get excellent jobs in the industry (and most of them do). I also know people who, if hired, would probably be a massive burden on the unfortunate company who hired them. The quality of the education notwithstanding (that is another subject for discussion), a degree from either of these schools is still a gamble. Less so than other newer and less-established game development schools, but there are still places out there that have been bitten by underqualified graduates from places like Full Sail and DigiPen and aren't so keen on trying again.

#6 rdragon1   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1200

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 04:09 AM

I think if you have your head on straight and know your goals, then it isn't going to matter where you go to school, as you'll do what it takes to acquire the knowledge you need to land the job you're after. In that case, DigiPen/Full Sail aren't really giving you anything. However, if you go to a traditional university and go after a 4-year degree, you get exposure to other careers which may tempt you to change your life goals - you might discover deeper and more passionate interests than game development, and you'll have the opportunity to chase them down. This also comes into play later in life if you want to switch careers - I'm not sure if a degree from Full Sail would be an equivalent to a 4-year CS degree at most schools. (For example, if you want to get into law school, you need a bachelors degree. If you already have one, you're set - otherwise, you'll need to go to undergrad school for 4 years before you can even apply to law school.)

#7 Christer Ericson   Members   -  Reputation: 819

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 05:03 AM

Quote:
Original post by jpetrie
I know people from Full Sail and DigiPen are plenty, plenty qualified to get excellent jobs in the industry (and most of them do). I also know people who, if hired, would probably be a massive burden on the unfortunate company who hired them.
Of course, but that goes for other schools too, like, say, MIT. I interviewed a supposed "top student" from MIT some while ago and it was clear in the first 5 minutes that he hadn't learned anying; he had just memorized answers for his exams in order to ace them.

That's why we (and other companies) test for skills in an interview setting, and ignore what school they went to (or indeed whether they went to school). We only care that you posses the necessary skills; it doesn't matter how you obtained them.


#8 Tang of the Mountain   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 05:31 AM

sure people have negative opinions of full sail sometimes. No one cares. Its what you can do not what background you have. Its what you get out of the education. People hate digipen, guildhall, mit, everyone hates something based on a personal experience. The general consesnus about FS, is good. We were all over GDC, alot of people have great things to say about. Alot of people have great things to say about digipen, guildhall, etc.

In the end, it doesnt even matter if you have a degree. Sure it helps you get an interview. But if you dont have a degree and you can do anything I can and more, who do you think youd want to hire. I know who id hire.

Get any degree you want, hell go to devry *cough* as long as you put in the effort and have the knowledge when your done...youre golden.

#9 ldeej   Members   -  Reputation: 308

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 07:10 AM

I agree with Christer here, good studios will test the candidate skills and give them a fair shot at the interview process if the studio believes they can do the job.

But I believe that there is a deeper problem, big companies have a resume screening process, and then the resumes for the best candidates are forwarded to the internal studios (In order to keep up with the volume of applicants). Based on what I heard this year at GDC some recruiters have had bad experiences with hires from Full Sail/Digipen (which could happen to any other school), so during the screening process they filter those candidates out, and the studios probably do not even get to see the resumes.

The other problem is the education perception, the education at game oriented schools is too narrow/focused, not enough exposure to different topics (i.e. Databases, Automata theory, Compiler Construction, Networking, Programming Languages), and there is the perception that a CS degree has more weight than a game degree because of this.

Getting a degree is very important though (being from Digipen, Full Sail, MIT, or Devry), and you will be getting out of your education what you put in. At the end if you are good and passionate you will find a job in a good studio regardless which school you went to.

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 07:48 AM

A Trade School is no substitute for a full educational experience at a 4 year University. A Uni may not teach you the full gritty details of shader programming like Full Sail might, but they will teach you a more useful breadth of computer skills that will last you a lot longer than the latest graphics 'fad'. More importantly, they will teach you how to learn; with this development you can read papers on your own and cover whatever specific gamedev skills you want on your own time.

There's the reputation of being a trade school, regardless of whether they taught you anything good or not for the particular gamedev industry, you will get screwed over in the resume screenings.
Some accredited Universtities are starting to introduce GameDev as a Major now, as this becomes more common the trade schools will be further devalued.

Theres also the 'Everyone wants to be a RockStar!' phenomenon, commercials for gamedev tradeschools are becoming quite common on TV. After seeing a few of those I definetly wouldn't want to attend one, there is going to be far too much competition from all the kids who want to make games, regardless of their and your actual skill. It is all too likely that most of these students will find that their market is saturated, and that they lack a more genaralized computer degree to find jobs in other areas.

#11 Tang of the Mountain   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 08:32 AM

Full Sail doesnt teach you the latest fads. They teach you how to learn the latest fads regardless of pre or post grad. They teach you how to learn to code.

They dont teach you a narrow focus. Sure it may be narrower then other CS degrees. But we can still go out and do database programming, learn other languages, networking, whatever. I have fellow grads in the defense industry(such as myself), medical industry, designing operating systems, game company. Its not what they teach you...its what you learn. I can not stress that enough.

Sure, people screen out full sail grads. They were left with a bad taste from one or two students who escaped without learning a thing. They will screen us out. That happens with every school. You get a student from UCF who comes out with a degree but knows nothing, youre gonna look at the next guy with different eyes.

People I have spoken to who get CS degrees, the biggest complaint "Their education was so broad they didnt feel they got to involved in one thing" They feel they learned a little bit about a ton of things. I learned a ton of stuff about fewer things. Who do you want workin for you, the guy who can start up all the machines in the workshop and shut em all down. Or the guy who can work a drill press but cant tell a circular saw from a belt sander.

I was taught how to learn quickly and adapt to what I need. I learn and implement. I know how to code really well, anything I dont know is a matter of research and/or syntax.

Ive had this convo a few times. I believe in one thing. You are what you learn not what you are taught. I dont care where you went to school, trade school, community college, UCF...if you do your part, thats all that matters.

The only sad thing that you can not fully control, is who looks at your resume and why. Sure you may get tossed to the trash if your resume mentions Digipen or Full Sail. It hapened to me a few times, more than that even. I kept at it, did my part to impress people, now I make more money than I wouldve at any of those other jobs. You might get pushed aside, but not everyone feels the same way. Keep pushing and eventually one door will open.

regards





#12 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 10:03 AM

Yeah, like Tang of the Mountain said,
as long as you can learn, you don't need Full Sail
better off going to a normal University where at least you will be taken seriously (more then Full Sail at least) on the resume screening process


besides, you'll meet more girls there

#13 Nanook   Members   -  Reputation: 505

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 01:50 PM

Thanks alot for all the replays,

Got something to think about.. still not sure if im gona go there.. But I guess its all about what I can do when I finnish there, if im good enough I'll get a nice job.. If im not I wont..

Keep em comming.. :)

#14 blaze02   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 02:28 PM

Quote:
Original post by Nanook
Thanks alot for all the replays,
...
Keep em comming.. :)


If you say so. I'm just about to graduate from Digipen. I was at Northwestern University for 2 years before coming here, and I went to Oklahoma State Univ. during high school.

Lets start with... state schools are a joke. I could have aced any of those classes blindfolded.
Northwestern, on the other hand, is an excellent school for robots. I met way too many people that aced their SAT/ACT's but were dumb as a box of rocks. The reason I left was the school did not cater to the amount of experience that is required to be reasonably good at programming. I was taking senior/grad. level classes as a sophomore and nobody had ever taught me how to do so much as create a windows application. They suggested I not take more than one computer science class per quarter because "they were so difficult." So I got to take some cognitive science, chemistry, and some other classes that I will never use in my life. Furthermore, they start you off learning scheme/lisp and other languages (none of which are used near as often as C/C++). [and there were a lot of rich kids with drug habits].
So now I'm here. Most of the people are taking 20-22+ credit hours per semester and rarely leave the school. 6-7 classes per semester is a bitch, but at least 4 of them are computer science, at least 1 math or physics, and then an art or english class to satisfy the college accreditation (yeah, its a real college).

I'm sure everything I've heard is horribly biased, but Digipen is almost definately a better school if you want to learn how to cope in the industry. It also helps to have artists from the 3d animation program give you models and other art to program with.

I'll try not to keep this too long, but I do have to give you my opinion. If you are absolutely sure you want to program games for a living, go to digipen. Once you graduate (mmmm... my class started with 200+, now its down to less than 50 and nobody has graduated yet) you will most likely be a step up on everybody getting out of college. But once you get into the industry, you will realize that you could program boring databases for 3x the pay.
If you are still deciding, I would suggest going to a state school, saving yourself the money and learning everything there is to know on your own using the internets. Good luck.

#15 smitty1276   Members   -  Reputation: 560

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 02:31 PM

If you're in Orlando, save the money and just get a degree from UCF. They have a pretty good CS program, and EXCELLENT relations with the simulation industry here, which is HUGE. If you intern/coop in a simulation lab or something and then graduate with a 4 year degree with decent grades, you are virtually guaranteed a job as a game developer if that's what you want.

EDIT: Oops.. Norway, huh? Oh well, the advice still stands.

#16 Christer Ericson   Members   -  Reputation: 819

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 07:00 PM

Quote:
Original post by blaze02
Furthermore, they start you off learning scheme/lisp and other languages (none of which are used near as often as C/C++).
Universities start you off with a non-imperative (and typically functional) language for a reason. That's a good thing, not a bad thing.


#17 cwhite   Members   -  Reputation: 586

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 08:37 AM

Quote:
Original post by blaze02

Lets start with... big midwestern state schools are a joke.


Fixed. I don't know how many people would call a Degree from U.Va or Berkeley a joke.

#18 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 15 April 2006 - 04:23 PM

I personally graduated from University (in Canada) and currently work in the game industry. The school you go to doesn't matter THAT much, but certain schools definately have much better CS, or SE programs than others. Getting a job really boils down to what you know and what you can offer the prospective company...once you get an interview that is.

Interviews are usually decided by company recruiters (unless it's a small company), and these people know what to look for in resumes and when pre-screening candidates. They look for the right attitude and at least some competencies and are usually able to find a few "red flags" in order to select a few good candidates for tech/manager interviews.

In other words, in many cases your knowledge AND your background are equally important, however, you'll have a VERY HARD time finding a job without actually having a solid programming knowledge base. If you simply have a..."non-conventional" background but a good knowledge base you may not have an easy time getting an interview, but at least you'll have the knowledge to get a job, you might just have to work a little harder to get an interview.

And for anyone that is yet to begin post-secondary education. You are definately going to want to pay attention in math class. It's just as important as being able to program.

#19 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 15 April 2006 - 04:29 PM

This is just a follow up to my previous post (I haven't posted in here for a while so I forget my user name and password...)

What you are going to want during your years at university and beyond is to forge relationships with other people in your program (either friends, school partners, just aquaintances who chat sometimes), and if you can, people you know in the industry.

Contacts will help you out a lot, especially if you have the knowledge base to back up any referals or recommendations. In fact, getting refered is one of the best ways to break into the industry.

#20 jsaade   Members   -  Reputation: 197

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 03:43 AM

@blaze02 i am also going to graduate from DIT this semester, and next year i am going to continue doing Masters degree at Digipen. I think there is a confusion between Full Sail and Digipen. I checked some of full sail courses and they are mostly oriented towards game design rather than programming. Anyways what you take at Digipen resembles what you do if you graduate with a normal BS then have a 5 year experience in the game industry. I mean, I am pretty sure that no one implemented BSP/Octree .. MiniMax/Fuzzy Logic/Neural net/Genetics as normal assignments in a university and that is what you do at DIT. I got friends who are grads from other universities and who work in the game industry but it take them extra years to find what they need to learn and how to do it. I agree with the last post that you can learn anywhere if you put your mind to it, but going to some place like Digipen helps you get guided towards that specific goal.
For example, if you want to be a game programmer, you start learning asm,C,C++ some java and others. Now C/C++ is the only language used to make good engines. So if you to a university that will focus on teaching you java and nothing else, you will have to do that extra work to be good at C/C++.




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