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Is there a Game Programming school that you would suggest?


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#1 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4692

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 02:47 PM

People can learn from the web. But many people like structured curriculums with homework, projects, questions and the alike. And the point of this thread is not to bash or criticize anyone who does or doesn't prefer that method. The point however is just to say, "Hey, if you really want some like that, you should check out X school or Y program." Given the availabilty out there with DigiPen, Full Sail, GameInstitute, and some other free online courses. What would you recommend?


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#2 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22293

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 03:25 PM

For programmers, I like none of them.  

 

I have worked with a few people who have gone to game schools in the past.  Most of these people have been just fine in some aspects, but do not work well in the broad range of software development.  Most of them no longer work here.

 

And then the one exception I know.  He is a pretty good programmer, but he just got bit by the fact that he went to a game school.  He wants to get into graduate school in computer science.  He was accepted a few months ago.  Then the school un-accepted him because they checked in to his history, and Digipen did not have national accreditation.  He appealed, and after review the CS department said they could not accept Digipen's regionally-accredited trade degree as the background for a CS graduate degree.

 

I recommend a traditional CS degree from a nationally accredited school.  You can become a game programmer with that degree.  If you fall upon hard times and cannot get a job as a game programmer, or if you decide you want to try something outside of game programming a traditional CS degree will work just fine.

 

As my co-worker just discovered, although a game school degree can help you get a job in the game industry, a game degree won't cut it if you try to spread your wings anywhere else.


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#3 HappyCoder   Members   -  Reputation: 2846

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 10:02 AM

+1 to frob's post.


Edited by HappyCoder, 18 June 2013 - 10:03 AM.


#4 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 11:40 AM

100% agree with frob.

 

I'd also add that most game schools are really expensive compared to your average state school.

 

edit: to give some scope, I went to Digipen for 1 semester, and it is something like half of my university debt despite being 1/8th of my time.


Edited by way2lazy2care, 18 June 2013 - 11:43 AM.


#5 ApochPiQ   Moderators   -  Reputation: 16079

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 12:11 PM

I'm with frob on this one.

Game schools generally offer a breadth of subject matter related to games, but a woefully inadequate degree of depth in any particular subject. They also tend to deprive students of broad exposure to things outside of games, which I personally feel is a shame.

The people I've seen who are good programmers who went to game schools generally tend to be good in spite of their schooling background.

Traditional CS routes are more valuable for learning IMO, and there are good offerings available online, such as Stanford and MIT's programs.

#6 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4692

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 09:45 AM

Well as far as free online courses go (which I mention in the OP), the HTML5 Game Development course on Udacity is interesting. I just started it.


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#7 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4692

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 09:47 AM


Game schools generally offer a breadth of subject matter related to games,

 

Yeah..... that's the point. Obviously, I'm not asking what Game Programming school is good for learning about General Programming.....


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#8 MarekKnows.com   Members   -  Reputation: 686

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 07:40 AM

3dbuzz.com offers some of the best training that I have ever found online.  Have a look!


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#9 SaurabhKhirwal   Members   -  Reputation: 107

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 08:40 AM

If you're looking for online training, lynda.com, i find, is the best there is.



#10 dpadam450   Members   -  Reputation: 934

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 02:32 PM

I can say that at one point Full-Sail students were not getting accepted at EA sports Orlando for certain teams (not sure if it was the whole studio). They just weren't interviewing very well. I work there, my Lead went to Full-Sail and hes been the lead on 2 of my teams, when I came in there were 2 other fulltime and 1 contractor from FullSail, we just hired someone else that came from DigiPen recently as well. I came in a a "try them out" contractor, me and another guy from Full-Sail were the only 2 / 5 contractors to get full-time after that due to good performance.

People can graduate from any school and suck. I had people from DigiPen that I don't think were very smart get through. What I can say though is that DigiPen does teach CS and I don't get where anyone is coming from on this. I worked in the medical field on software. Software is software. You might not learn the most web technologies and you certainly aren't going to just be a Java guy, but I think the really good people coming out of DigiPen are way smarter than a traditional CS degree.

My friend from DigiPen went to a couple places and both places now are like "why the F did we never look at graduates from this school". My current problem with DigiPen, way too expensive. CS though is the one degree there are resources everywhere to boost your growth. You can learn so much stuff in your personal time.

I would suggest against DigiPen only due to the cost of tuition there nowadays. It's insane. If you go to traditional CS, just stay up on C++ and make some games in your own time. Your own ambition will get you somewhere.


Edited by dpadam450, 22 June 2013 - 02:33 PM.


#11 VladTC   Members   -  Reputation: 153

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 01:28 PM

Sorry for busting in but.. CS is Computer Science ? So basically a simple IT/Informatics degree ? If that's the case, i dunno what's going on around in the world but in germany the "Informatik" courses have almost no programming involved in them.. Though i've noticed Media Informatics containing quite a lot of programming and just a bit of media stuff in it. So i'm really confused about what to pick.

 

Would this course be any good / accepted by a company ? http://www.fontysvenlo.nl/pages/en/courses/bachelor/software-engineering.php (Check structure and content)

 

I am also wishing to become a game programmer in the future and i'm struggling to find a suitable University/ course for that, and instead of creating yet another topic i decided to join this one.


Edited by VladTC, 23 June 2013 - 01:32 PM.


#12 Elandar21   Members   -  Reputation: 282

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 10:41 AM

I am a recent graduate of Shawnee State University with a major in Digital Game and Simulation Engineering Technologies. I may be a little biased, but I believe I earned a good degree and well worth my investment. When I first arrived I knew a little python. The courses I took were the same software classes as the Computer Science degree with the addition of Game focused classes on the side. Those with the "game degree" are able to take the knowledge that we gained and apply to other disciplines easily. For instance we learned and implemented Algorithms, Data Structures, Compiler Design, Automata and Formal Languages, Software Engineering and Object Oriented Programming with the CS students. So it wasn't just games that we were taught, but a well rounded education with a focus on games. On the game side though we learned graphic techniques, AI, Engine architecture, and Optimization Techniques. We made games of various types and in groups and solo which is in my opinion helpful.



#13 bschmidt1962   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1878

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 12:15 PM

If your heart is truly set on games, then some of the game schools (Digipen included) are worth looking at.  One thing that "game schools" can have over more traditional schools is excellent relationships with local game developers, whether it's hosting companies on campus for recruiting, finding internships or just plain old networking (If your artist friend from school ends up at Valve, you now have an 'in' there).    You will also work on projects more closely related to what it is you want do end up doing.  That all said, I went to a very traditional college (30 years ago!), and am incredibly happy that I did for many of the reasons frob mentions.

 

Big disclaimer here: I do occasional teaching at DigiPen.  On one hand that biases me.  On the other hand, all of the staff and faculty I've met there seem truly interested in helping their students learn and move on to industry.


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#14 Promit   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7344

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 03:16 PM

I also don't recommend game development specific programs. If you must go to a game development program, several conventional universities in the US and UK offer game development programs or specializations (UT Austin comes to mind). The only true game schools I'd very timidly suggest are Digipen and FullSail, in that order. I would strongly, vehemently advise against any of the others.



#15 gfxgangsta   Members   -  Reputation: 608

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 05:24 PM

Two other game development programs that come to mind, but weren't mentioned by the OP, are UCF's FIEA (http://www.fiea.ucf.edu) and SMU's Guildhall (http://guildhall.smu.edu) . Any thoughts on those ones?

 

My two cents:

 

-I feel I wouldn't have made it into the industry without my CS degree.

-If you really want to go to a game school, get as much info as you can about what you'll learn there. If the school has a strong focus on graphics programming or engine programming, and all you want to do is gameplay programming, then you're probably better off learning by making games on your own



#16 Dragonsoulj   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2118

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 09:22 PM


Sorry for busting in but.. CS is Computer Science ? So basically a simple IT/Informatics degree ? If that's the case, i dunno what's going on around in the world but in germany the "Informatik" courses have almost no programming involved in them.. Though i've noticed Media Informatics containing quite a lot of programming and just a bit of media stuff in it. So i'm really confused about what to pick.

 

Just going off of my university, before we split CS into two entirely different degrees, we had two tracks: Information Systems which involved a lot less programming and dealt more with business/finance related classes and how computer, and the Theoretical which was more programming heavy and had several programming classes. When the split occurred, we were left with an IS degree and a CS degree.






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