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College or Solo?


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#1 TheTrueFoofy   Members   -  Reputation: 112

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 08:58 PM

Greetings, I am new to the community and hope to become a part of it soon! <3

 My name is Logan but a lot of people call me Foofy so I have adopted that name. I am 17, 18 in November and am Interested in starting my life in creating games for people to play!

 

Introductions aside, I have come across a problem that I am sure some of you fellow developers and people in the game industry may have experienced yourself and would really appreciate any help you can give me.

 I wanted to go to college to get a degree for Game Programming, The first college I came across was UAT (University of Advancing Technology) and upon looking into it, seemed perfect. It was online, and seemingly very friendly. However my Family notified me about their suspicious requirment for my Social security number, which is required for creating the online profile. Plus it's really expensive (60k, roughly what my mothers house costs). Out of pure curiosity I googled student reviews and was not happy with all of the 1 star reviews and comments noting it's a waste of money and effort. I have applied for this college and all they require is my ssn and some paperwork and Im pretty much set.

Curious if there was a better, more appraised option I then came acoss digipen. Another college, Although it seemed to have better reviews, it feels like it is not offering all I want, such as online (Really the only thing i care about, as well as accredidation).

 

So I am here to ask you guys. Should I even do this? Is college even necissary for this field? Or can I teach myself code and make a living off of Indie projects and the communities Involved. This is a serious reach out, And I'm sorry it's so sudden and especially from someone so new to the community. But I would appreciate any help you can give me. <3



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#2 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6109

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 09:22 PM

If you don't allready know how to program i would highly recommend going to school, a CS education at a community college can be reasonably cheap (and you probably have a decent one close to where you live). If you insist on going to a game school you should pick one that offers a proper CS program (Digipen does that, the scam schools normally does not)

Learning by yourself is definitely possible but it requires more effort and will make landing your first job a bit harder, going indie and making a living is extremely difficult and definitely not recommended unless you have a solid backup plan and money to burn.
I don't suffer from insanity, I'm enjoying every minute of it.
The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

#3 TheTrueFoofy   Members   -  Reputation: 112

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 09:27 PM

If you don't allready know how to program i would highly recommend going to school, a CS education at a community college can be reasonably cheap (and you probably have a decent one close to where you live). If you insist on going to a game school you should pick one that offers a proper CS program (Digipen does that, the scam schools normally does not)

Learning by yourself is definitely possible but it requires more effort and will make landing your first job a bit harder, going indie and making a living is extremely difficult and definitely not recommended unless you have a solid backup plan and money to burn.

Awesome, any Idea if UAT is one of those scam schools or should I just go to community college to save money and time?



#4 Sirisian   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1755

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 09:33 PM

For profit schools are generally a sham. You should be looking at and applying to an accredited university for a CS program. You should be programming by yourself already and when you're getting your degree be programming on the side to build experience. The idea is a well rounded education. Try to get scholarships also if you haven't already.



#5 superman3275   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2011

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 09:33 PM

 

If you don't allready know how to program i would highly recommend going to school, a CS education at a community college can be reasonably cheap (and you probably have a decent one close to where you live). If you insist on going to a game school you should pick one that offers a proper CS program (Digipen does that, the scam schools normally does not)

Learning by yourself is definitely possible but it requires more effort and will make landing your first job a bit harder, going indie and making a living is extremely difficult and definitely not recommended unless you have a solid backup plan and money to burn.

Awesome, any Idea if UAT is one of those scam schools or should I just go to community college to save money and time?

 

UAT IS A COMPLETE SCAM SCHOOL, AVOID IT. Seriously though, these schools make my blood boil, especially UAT. Seriously, don't go. It's a complete, complete waste of money. Go to a traditional brick-and-mortar school, it will be way cheaper and you'll learn way more.


I'm a game programmer and computer science ninja ph34r.png!

Here's my 2D RPG-Ish Platformer Programmed in Python + Pygame, with a Custom Level Editor and Rendering System!

 

Here's my Custom IDE / Debugger Programmed in Pure Python and Designed from the Ground Up for Programming Education!

Want to ask about Python, Flask, wxPython, Pygame, C++, HTML5, CSS3, Javascript, jQuery, C++, Vimscript, SFML 1.6 / 2.0, or anything else? Recruiting for a game development team and need a passionate programmer? Just want to talk about programming? Email me here:

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#6 TheTrueFoofy   Members   -  Reputation: 112

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 09:38 PM

 

 

If you don't allready know how to program i would highly recommend going to school, a CS education at a community college can be reasonably cheap (and you probably have a decent one close to where you live). If you insist on going to a game school you should pick one that offers a proper CS program (Digipen does that, the scam schools normally does not)

Learning by yourself is definitely possible but it requires more effort and will make landing your first job a bit harder, going indie and making a living is extremely difficult and definitely not recommended unless you have a solid backup plan and money to burn.

Awesome, any Idea if UAT is one of those scam schools or should I just go to community college to save money and time? -Edit Forgot to add this- Thank you for Saving me 60k my friend <3

 

UAT IS A COMPLETE SCAM SCHOOL, AVOID IT. Seriously though, these schools make my blood boil, especially UAT. Seriously, don't go. It's a complete, complete waste of money. Go to a traditional brick-and-mortar school, it will be way cheaper and you'll learn way more.

 

Is there another online school you recomend that will help me accomplish the same goal?


Edited by TheTrueFoofy, 30 July 2014 - 09:38 PM.


#7 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6109

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 09:40 PM

If you don't allready know how to program i would highly recommend going to school, a CS education at a community college can be reasonably cheap (and you probably have a decent one close to where you live). If you insist on going to a game school you should pick one that offers a proper CS program (Digipen does that, the scam schools normally does not)

Learning by yourself is definitely possible but it requires more effort and will make landing your first job a bit harder, going indie and making a living is extremely difficult and definitely not recommended unless you have a solid backup plan and money to burn.

Awesome, any Idea if UAT is one of those scam schools or should I just go to community college to save money and time?


I don't know about UAT specifically, they seem awfully expensive and bad reviews are never a good sign, any reasonably priced school that is accredited and offers a 4 year CS program or a decent community college that enables you to transfer to a university after 2 years to complete a BS or Masters degree should be a good choice.
I don't suffer from insanity, I'm enjoying every minute of it.
The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

#8 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9869

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 10:57 PM

I wanted to go to college to get a degree for Game Programming,


You didn't need to do that. Any college with a good Computer Science program can give you an excellent start. You should read this forum's FAQs. http://www.gamedev.net/page/reference/faq.php/_/breaking-into-the-industry-r16
-- Tom Sloper
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Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#9 Haytil   Members   -  Reputation: 397

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 11:42 PM

Out of pure curiosity I googled student reviews and was not happy with all of the 1 star reviews and comments noting it's a waste of money and effort.


This should have told you everything you needed to know.

Is there another online school you recomend that will help me accomplish the same goal?


Why are you so focused on an "online school?" Unless you're working two jobs and raising kids, and therefore have no other option, you should be looking at something physical. A community college will teach you a lot more than an "online school."

Barring an actual university or college, you're better off just getting a non-gaming job and using your free time to teach yourself programming and start your own project. If game programming is what you really want to do, then you'll be motivated enough to finish - and in 2 years, you'll have learned far more than an "online school" will teach you, and will also have a completed project with a LOT more credibility for employers to see.

#10 TheTrueFoofy   Members   -  Reputation: 112

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 11:51 PM

 

I wanted to go to college to get a degree for Game Programming,


You didn't need to do that. Any college with a good Computer Science program can give you an excellent start. You should read this forum's FAQs. http://www.gamedev.net/page/reference/faq.php/_/breaking-into-the-industry-r16

 

Didnt even know this existed Thank you!



#11 TheTrueFoofy   Members   -  Reputation: 112

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 12:01 AM

 

Out of pure curiosity I googled student reviews and was not happy with all of the 1 star reviews and comments noting it's a waste of money and effort.


This should have told you everything you needed to know.

Is there another online school you recomend that will help me accomplish the same goal?


Why are you so focused on an "online school?" Unless you're working two jobs and raising kids, and therefore have no other option, you should be looking at something physical. A community college will teach you a lot more than an "online school."

Barring an actual university or college, you're better off just getting a non-gaming job and using your free time to teach yourself programming and start your own project. If game programming is what you really want to do, then you'll be motivated enough to finish - and in 2 years, you'll have learned far more than an "online school" will teach you, and will also have a completed project with a LOT more credibility for employers to see.

 

I can understand how my fixation on online is annoying, however it always just felt the most convenient. I learn better in silence than I do in large lectures.

 

However recent posts, including your own, have really pushed me more toward a community college, so I believe thats what I'll do. Ill probably follow your advice as well and get some tech job such as geek squad ect.



#12 TheTrueFoofy   Members   -  Reputation: 112

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 12:02 AM

-Side note- I really do appreciate all of your replies and I am taking all of them into great consideration. <3



#13 ShadowFlar3   Members   -  Reputation: 1258

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 04:22 AM

If you don't mind me asking, how are you so set on the idea of becoming game programmer if you don't know any programming yet? 



#14 TheTrueFoofy   Members   -  Reputation: 112

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 04:33 AM

If you don't mind me asking, how are you so set on the idea of becoming game programmer if you don't know any programming yet?

Because as dumb as it may seem in your eyes I have ideas, ideas I wish to bring to life. I've done miniscule programming in both HTML and Java and I just loved it more than anything, creating something out of nothing fascinates me, and it was really just an enjoyable experience for me all in all. So why not do something you enjoy, am I right?

#15 ShadowFlar3   Members   -  Reputation: 1258

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 05:18 AM

Ok sounds good, as long as you know game design and game programming are two entirely different areas in professional game development and that as a programmer you very rarely get to work on your own ideas of games or features.



#16 TheTrueFoofy   Members   -  Reputation: 112

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 05:38 AM

Ok sounds good, as long as you know game design and game programming are two entirely different areas in professional game development and that as a programmer you very rarely get to work on your own ideas of games or features.


A sad fact indeed, however I'll find some way to do it, even if its on my own! ^^

#17 Isaac Paul   Members   -  Reputation: 182

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 06:38 AM

If you're good enough to intern thats the best thing you can do because you get to focus on programming all day long. It also gives you a chance to work with 'professionals' (occasionally there is the guy who thinks they know what they're doing).

 

The quickest and maybe the cheapest way is to become friends with someone who is in the industry and knows what they're doing. (or hire a tutor; again make sure they know what they're doing). A lot of teachers don't teach 'clean code' which is the next best thing to learn after syntax.

 

Which this book goes over:

http://books.google.com/books?id=_i6bDeoCQzsC&dq=clean+code&source=gbs_navlinks_s

 

However, I've also been recommended this book but I have yet to read it:

http://books.google.com/books?id=3JfE7TGUwvgC&dq=Code+Complete&hl=en&sa=X&ei=TjfaU6eoOs7NsQTOwYKYBw&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAA

 

If they know what they're doing then they know about clean code.



#18 MarekKnows.com   Members   -  Reputation: 486

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 06:55 AM

Creating a simple clone game can be relatively easy to do if you have the skills to program and make/get art assets.  The problem is that you won't be able to make much money off something like that.  To make a game that becomes viral and makes money for you, you'll need to spend lots of time on it.  

 

My advice to you would be to make a few simple games (from start to finish) to get a feel for the amount of work that is involved.  Once you have that under your belt, draft a design/plan for the game that you want to make that you hope will make you some money.  You can then plan out how much of the work you can do yourself, and how much you will need to outsource to get it released when you want to.  Remember, marketing your game is a big part if you hope that people will hear about it and buy it.  Making a game and releasing it won't make you any money if no one knows about it.

 

Good luck!


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Play my free games: Ghost Toast, Zing, Jewel Thief


#19 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 21261

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 07:02 PM

Considering the schools mentioned and costs involved, this is US centric.

 

Remember that you don't compete in a vacuum.

 

Most of those around you (but not all of them) will have college degrees. For me, there are 11 major universities within a one hour commute. Most game industry hubs are located in educated communities. If you don't have a degree in computer science or similar, or have a long list of major game titles, you will be passed over when it comes to interviews.  It is possible that some studio will get desperate and hire a non-graduate because they like their hobby projects, but those days are mostly in the past.

 

Now it isn't universal. In many regions of the world a CS degree is less common and anybody who has an interest and self-educates in the topic can be hired. But that isn't the condition you described for yourself.

 

 

Again as this is US-centric, shop around for schools. Usually the nearest popular schools are also the most expensive. Employers don't particularly care which school you attended beyond saying things like "I know somebody who went there". They'll judge you on your demonstrated skill set.  

 

SHOP AROUND.  Among the local schools one that is rather popular lately has $1400 per semester tuition. It is located about two hours away from downtown and most kids live in student housing, but the cost is good for an accredited state-supported college. Another (private) local college is $14,000 per semester in tuition. I doubt they are receiving 10 times the quality of education, and wonder if they just have money to burn or foolishly equate cost with quality.

 

I cannot imagine any good reason for paying $60,000 for a degree at the schools that were mentioned. Maybe perhaps you happen to be independently wealthy and your goal is to spread the money around. Otherwise, shop around. Find the schools that charge a tiny fraction of that cost. They may not be the big name popular schools, but they are affordable.


Check out my personal indie blog at bryanwagstaff.com.




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