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Question on colleges's computer science programs


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#1 Confirm4Crit   Members   -  Reputation: 310

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 07:18 PM

This might sound like a super silly question, but hear me out.

I'm going to a local community college and will be getting my AA (Gen Ed Degree) at the end of the following summer (2013).

I live in southern Florida, and I have a large amount of amazing schools to choose from. FAU, UF, FSU, UCF, UM, etc, etc.

All of these universities offer computer science, all of them have some "game" or "AI" classes, and some even have a CS track dedicated to game development (UM).
UCF has an epic graduate program (I know I could go there after my undergrad, it also just seems like a nice school), FAU has a neat masters program for entertainment and computer science, etc, etc.

The main thing that's distracting me is this, all of the student reviews seem to be positive about the school's CS program, school itself, etc.

So excluding money, time, location, etc, just pure educational value, given that reviews seem positive, is there a way to tell that one school's CS program is...."better" than another for game development?

Obvious fact is obvious, "Confirm, UM has a track, and you just said excluding money an-".

Yes, I did. If people tend to lean towards that idea of a track to be superior, than I'll look more into it.
If people tend to agree that it doesn't matter, and what matters is a solid understanding of computer science, and the tools and tricks of game development will grow in that environment though brute force, determination, and passion, then woo.

and also, most of you won't know these schools first hand, so I'm not excepting a 100% answer from anyone.
I guess I'm mainly asking if a computer science education, assuming they're all up to snuff with some form of standard or another, is "enough" of a base for game development?

I know I'll need a portfolio, experience, and a school won't teach me everything, and I'll constantly be learning though out my career, etc, etc.
It's some strange thought process, and maybe someone'll slap it out of me.

"Confirm, links plz?!"

Sure, below is a link of the school's resources, if anyone wants to see.

FAU: http://www.fau.edu/academic/registrar/FAUcatalog/engineeringDES.php#cse

UM : ( Note the graphics and games track, plz ) http://www6.miami.edu/umbulletin/und/artsci/comp.htm

UF: Fall, 2012, http://www.cise.ufl.edu/academics/courses/fa12.shtml

I included the three schools I'm mainly looking at. I'll gladly provide more information if anyone asks.
Note: If anyone wants to talk cash into this argument, Um will cost me about 20k a year out of pocket, FAU/UF 5-8k a year. I am currently receiving state and federal grants that provide a large amount of aids. (Doing well in high school matters, children!)

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#2 obizues   Members   -  Reputation: 176

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 07:51 PM

Sounds to me like you know which the best school is... but this is my OPINION.

I would however remind yourself that money is an issue. I have friends that went to a private engineering school and paid 5x out of pocket what most students paid for going to my school. What did they pay for? Networking, prestige, etc. So unless you have a college fund, scholarship, or someone willing to pay your way you need to consider your financial future whether or not you think it matters right now.

So it seems like your decision is, do I want to go to a school with a degree based around game design, or do I want to go to a computer science school and focus on programming.

I'm a firm believer the school is only as good as the student and sites like these, and others are available for material your school may not cover. If you feel you need a structure of a school to push you into game design, and don't mind being a little financially unstable after graduating I would go to UM.

If you feel you can work hard and become a good programmer at another school that costs $15,000 a year less and push yourself into learning game design on your own then I think you can go somewhere else and become financially more secure.

Either way you will need to study material not covered in the classroom. Either the time your school spends on game design you will need to probably do some self study on programming practices and frameworks, whereas in the other more general schools you will need to spend your self study time on game design. I don't any software engineering job will hire you without good programming skills, but I do know software engineering jobs that will hire you without game design experience.

#3 Confirm4Crit   Members   -  Reputation: 310

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 08:16 PM

I want to stress that it isn't game design, but game programming.
This is UM's track list
GRAPHICS AND GAMES TRACK
(Requires permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies)
CSC 329
Introduction to Game Programming
CSC 529
Introduction to Computer Graphics
CSC 545
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
3 credits from:
CSC 410
Computer Science Project Planning
CSC 411
Computer Science Project Implementation
• At least 8 credits of approved electives. In addition to the generally approved electives, the following are approved for the Graphics and Games track
EEN 596
Maya Animation
MMI 504
Audio Analysis & Synthesis
MMI 505
Advanced Audio Signal Processing

It kinda looks like these are things I could encounter with textbooks, proper documentation, and experience, anyway.

"I don't any software engineering job will hire you without good programming skills, but I do know software engineering jobs that will hire you without game design experience."

That makes hella sense. xD never thought of that.

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