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Help Choosing School


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#1 ZerO_0   Members   -  Reputation: 116

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 07:11 PM

Sorry if I am posting this in the wrong forum but any help is appreciated. So I am in middle of choosing between two schools for Game Design. I am thinking of going to either Art Institute of Las Vegas or The International Academy of Design and Technology. The Art Institute to me looks better and more professional but I know looks aren't everything. I have already looked through the FAQs for schools and in gamecareerguide.com only AI was listed in their schools list. I just want to know if anybody knows if any of these programs are better recongize than the other? If I should even be attending any of these programs? Would I just be wasting my time with any of these programs? I have heard that employers just disregard for-profit schools and dont even interview or even less just throw away the resume.  I have heard for-profit schools are just in it for the money and don't care for their students. I just want to hear from people that have worked in the Gaming Industry what people think of these schools and pretty much if its worth it? I just want to get a good education and get into the industry. Sorry for any typos or spelling mistakes.



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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10079

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 07:54 PM

Hello, zero.

I moved your post to the Game Industry Job Advice forum, since this is where we give advice about schools.

 

You wrote:

 

 

 

1. I am in middle of choosing between two schools for Game Design.

2. I have already looked through the FAQs for schools

3. and in gamecareerguide.com only AI was listed in their schools list.

4. If I should even be attending any of these programs? ... I have heard that employers just disregard for-profit schools and dont even interview

5. I have heard for-profit schools are just in it for the money and don't care for their students.

6. I just want to get a good education and get into the industry.

 

1. Why? Are you saying your goal is to be a game designer?

2. Really? You have read all these?

 

"What Degree Should I Get?" -- Sloperama FAQ #34
· "Game Development Schools" by Joseph Fernald -- Game Dev Schools
· "On Game Schools" by Josh Petrie -- On Game Schools
· "Computer Science Vs. Game Development (or Which Degree...)" by Robert Walker -- Jan. 29, 2011 entry
· "Regular College? Or Game College?" -- Sloperama FAQ #44
· The Whole Game School Thing, Part I -- The Games Game, June 2009
· The Whole Game School Thing, Part II -- The Games Game, July 2009
· The High Cost of College -- The Games Game, August 2011
· "The Cost of Education" by Robert Walker -- February 12, 2011
· Featured Schools on GameCareerGuide.com
· Resources and Schools on IGDA.org
· How To Choose A College -- Sloperama FAQ #25
· Preparing For a Career in Game Design -- Sloperama FAQ #3
· Preparing For a Career in Game Programming by serapth -- INeedToMakeGames.com, Step 5: Education
· Independent Game Projects -- Sloperama FAQ #16
· The Online Education Option -- The Games Game, Sept. 2007

 

 (I assume you mean you have read this forum's FAQs. If you haven't, you can back out to the Job Advice forum and click the link at the right side.)

3. That site's schools list is not well maintained, unfortunately.  But if you've read the FAQs, you already know that you don't actually need a degree in Game Design to become a game designer. 

4. For-profit schools are definitely not recommended.  A state school is perfectly fine. 

5. Yet you're still considering going to one? Why?

6. If you've missed any of the FAQs, you should read them.  If game design is your goal, just get an affordable bachelor's degree at a not-for-profit school in any subject that interests you.


Edited by Tom Sloper, 16 August 2013 - 07:55 PM.

-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#3 ZerO_0   Members   -  Reputation: 116

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 09:49 PM

I actually have read most of those FAQs haven't read them all still working on it. Have been lurking the site for a couple weeks now. Yes, I understand a degree isn't necessary but it helps. I am considering it because I am married and I am looking for a "quick" education in the subject and I feel going to a state college may take me too much time to complete. I work full time and my wife doesn't I am the sole bread winner and I work a lot of overtime to make end meets six days a week or more. So I feel that a for-profit school is really my only option for an education with my schedule. Maybe I am viewing this wrong and should consider going to UNLV.



#4 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10079

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 10:37 PM

zero, I wish you'd mentioned before that you were married.  How old are you?  What's your current job or career?  And what is your planned entry pathway into the industry?  You can get better advice if you're more forthcoming with essential details.  It sounds to me like what you need is the learning, not the piece of paper, so you can make a portfolio. 


Edited by Tom Sloper, 16 August 2013 - 10:37 PM.

-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#5 ZerO_0   Members   -  Reputation: 116

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 08:59 AM

Sorry, I didn't know that was essential detail but I am twenty-four years old. I currently work for Pit Stop, I am a supervisor there. It is a chain of car washes and I basically make sure all the machines are working and replace anything that isn't. Well my planned pathway was to go to school get my education, dedicate myself to learning as much as I could to get a great porfolio and get an entry level postion in one of the gaming studios here in Las Vegas. From there move my way on up I know I won't get a top notch position in a game studio when I start. I know that I will have to work for it and it will take some time to reach where I want to be at. I don't mind the hard work I just want to make sure that I take the best route that is available to me.



#6 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10079

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 09:58 AM


my planned pathway was to go to school get my education, dedicate myself to learning as much as I could to get a great porfolio and get an entry level postion in one of the gaming studios here in Las Vegas.

 

You don't need a portfolio to get "an entry level position" in games - QA jobs don't require degrees or portfolios.  Care to be more specific as to your planned entry path? Are you going to try to get in via programming? Art? Production? Marketing? Level design? 

Your job as supervisor at a car wash chain might be seen to have some applicability to production. http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson41.htm

Gamedevmap shows only 6 game companies ("gaming" is a different thing, as Las Vegans ought to know well) in Vegas.

Gameindustrymap shows a lot more, but on closer examination it's also listing stores and other things not game studio-like.


-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#7 ZerO_0   Members   -  Reputation: 116

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 12:27 PM

Well I was thinking of either through programmiing because its interesting and fun. I have barely begun to learn to program though. That or through art. I can draw decently well but just have to learn the programs. Like I said before I don't mind the hard work.



#8 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10079

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 12:47 PM

Then if programming is your planned entry path, an art school would not be a good choice.  If you want to break in through programming, you need a bachelors degree in computer science.  Your art skills need to be more than just decent - art school would be a good choice, but you should price-shop. 


-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#9 ZerO_0   Members   -  Reputation: 116

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 07:15 PM

Well I am leaning more to the art side than the programming since I have more experience with it but I need much more practice with it like you said. I feel the programming side if I dedicate myself enough I can self teach myself or am I wrong? I read that even though you do the art you still need to know some programming is this true? If so what languages will I need to know or best to start learning with? At the moment I am teaching myself Python. I've heard its a good programming language to start with for beginners. I am also practicing my drawing to get better. I am trying to practice programming and drawing a few hours a day. I want to get really good at drawing before I really start to use programs. Or should I just learn to start using them now as I practice my art? So since I am leaning more towards the art side would any of the two schools I mentioned be good for it?



#10 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10079

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 07:38 PM


1. I feel the programming side if I dedicate myself enough I can self teach myself or am I wrong?

2. I read that even though you do the art you still need to know some programming is this true?

3. If so what languages will I need to know or best to start learning with?

4. I want to get really good at drawing before I really start to use programs. Or should I just learn to start using them now as I practice my art?

 

 

1. Anything is possible, but the probability is low, in my opinion. You would have a non-professional teacher, who doesn't know what you need to learn.

2. It's true that you read that. But what you read is false. You need to read more of the FAQs than you have read so far.

3. Go on the For Beginners forum, where that question is asked and answered every day.

4. It's okay to try whatever you want to. Work at a pace that you find enjoyable.


-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#11 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22271

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 08:52 PM

Sorry, I didn't know that was essential detail but I am twenty-four years old. I currently work for Pit Stop, I am a supervisor there. It is a chain of car washes and I basically make sure all the machines are working and replace anything that isn't. Well my planned pathway was to go to school get my education, dedicate myself to learning as much as I could to get a great porfolio and get an entry level postion in one of the gaming studios here in Las Vegas. From there move my way on up I know I won't get a top notch position in a game studio when I start. I know that I will have to work for it and it will take some time to reach where I want to be at. I don't mind the hard work I just want to make sure that I take the best route that is available to me.


Let's think this through just a little bit in the forum, since the FAQs apparently aren't working.

Do you want to go through the programmer track? Is your preferred job to spend around 8 hours daily writing code? You will need to have some ability and cultivate talents in logical reasoning, mathematics, and computer processing. Do you want to work in algorithms and data structures all day, every day, for the next twenty years? That is the programmer track. Based on your replies, I'm guessing this is a bad fit.

Do you want to go through the modeler/artist track? Is your preferred job to spend around 8 hours daily manipulating models and creating textures? You will need to have some ability and cultivate talents in seeing details and actually creating good-looking art. Do you want to work drawing textures of wood grains, rock surfaces, and making models of doors and crates and rocks and other objects all day, every day, for the next twenty years? That is the moder track. Based on your replies, I'm guessing that is a bad fit.

Do you want to go through the animator track? Is your preferred job to spend around 8 hours daily manipulating control curves in a 3D program? You will need to have some natural ability and cultivate talents in seeing the world as motion. Do you want to work making doors slide in and out, make a cow chew grass, look around, or chew cud, or make ten variations of a creature falling down, or make fifty variations of 'swing a sword with different emotions', all day, every day, for the next twenty years? This is the animator track. Based on your replies, I'm guessing that is a bad fit.

Do you want to go through the QA track? Is your preferred job to spend around 8 hours daily doing mind-numbing tests? You will need some background in games to know what players expect, but otherwise there is a very low bar for entry. Can you go through the entire level bumping into every wall, then do it again sliding into every wall, then do it again sliding backwards against every wall, then do it again running backwards into every wall, making notes of very wall that you could see through, and then repeat the process every few days? Or put on every combination of several hundred hats, shirts, armors, and other clothing, looking over every single model for individual pixels that clip through the model, and repeating the process, all day, every day, for the next few years? This is the QA track. I'm guessing that is a bad fit.

Based on what I have read from your posts, you might enjoy jobs in production or design. Most "game design" schools are really art schools or programming schools that misuse the word "design".

Jobs in design generally are filled by people who are already in the games industry. Your chances of getting hired as an outsider are slim, you will have better luck with the slots in Vegas. Read the FAQs on that field for some ideas to break in. The odds are not in your favor. Even if you really want the job and the stars are aligned for you and you have contracts in the industry , you still probably won't land the job as an outsider.

Jobs in production are extremely rare, but they don't require a strong background in any particular field. What matters is that you are able to communicate well with others, manage schedules, and coordinate different teams to working together. Again, read the FAQs on that field if it interests you. Getting this job is mostly about timing. An individual studio might hire one associate producer once every few years. You need to know the right people and get the job before it is advertised.

Check out my book, Game Development with Unity, aimed at beginners who want to build fun games fast.

Also check out my personal website at bryanwagstaff.com, where I write about assorted stuff.


#12 ZerO_0   Members   -  Reputation: 116

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 09:06 AM

Well thank you very much for the advice and time you have put into replying. I highly appreciate it you have given me plenty to think about and I will read FAQs again.




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