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ricardo_arango

Programming schools, universities

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Hi. I am programmer, and have partly developed a 3D game with a team of other 3 people, using our own BSP engine, my job being collision detection and response, direct input, and the menu system. I want to further my studies, so I am looking for a college/school/university with any kind of degree Phd/Masters/Undergraduate that could teach me how to build graphics/physics engines, advanced graphic effects such as bump mapping, shadows, shaders, and possibly other areas of game programming like AI, scripting, sound, music, etc. Does anyone know of a certified degree?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
You should search these forums for "school" or "college." You''ll get a ton of results as this question has been asked numerous times and you''ll find tons of info there.

In any case, www.digipen.edu is a good place to start.

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I think the better way to go is to double major in CS and math at a respected college... thats what I''m doing.

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Hey,

I recently went to the Full Sail: Real World Education (www.fullsail.edu) behind the scenes tour and was amazed. However, their "game design" degree was more emphasized on the programming aspect of game development and less on the design. So I choose to look somewhere else and found UAT (www.uat.edu or www.gamedegree.com) and they specialize in the artsy side of the development (as well as the technical side) and was pleased. But after emailing LaMothe he said that nothing can substitute a four-year university and suggested getting a major in computer science and a minor in 3D animation.

Hope that helps.


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Guest Anonymous Poster
I would stay away from schools such as Fullsail and Digipen that claim to give you a "game programming" degree. The biggest problem I have with these schools is that they will not make you very marketable. You will end up with a very narrow skillset. Let''s say you get a job in the game industry and then decide a few years down the road you would rather do something else (you may start a family and need the security of a higher paying job in the business sector, hey these things happen ). You may have a much harder time getting a job than you would have if you had gotten a CS degree from a recognized university. Why limit yourself when you can get a much broader education for a lot less money? Go for a BS in computer science. Many universities offer elective courses in game programming and design, you just have to look through the course catalog. Of course no degree can guarantee you a job, but I think you will have a much better experience and give yourself more options if you go the traditional CS route. Good luck no matter what path you choose.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
DigiPen offers a Bachelor of Science. It is not a "game degree."

If two years down the road you want to change to another field in computer science, your degree won''t matter much. By that time they''ll care more about your two years of experience and what sort of programming you did for those two years then a degree that you got at some school. Degrees are only good (and needed) to get your foot in the door (entry level), after that it''s all about experience.

That said, you can never go wrong getting a degree at a university. It''ll also be easier in many cases (take a look at the insane graduation requirements for a BS at DigiPen if you don''t believe me)

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I have recently had the oppertunity to talk with several very respected figures in the game industry and it seems that everyone speaks poorly of Digipen/Fullsail. I would definitely get a CS degree.

-- Steve --

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I''m somewhat skeptical of the skepticism towards game schools such as digipen. Did these respected figures in the industry actually GO to these schools? Probably not, as they have not been around for all that long. It''s not surprising that they all say to get a CS degree, because that''s what the majority of them did themselves. Forget about all the old folks who got a CS degree because it was their only option...instead talk to people who have actually gone to these schools and get their opinions. Digipen has an insanely high employment placement rate (something like 95%+) and it''s been featured in many game magazines and websites as a great place to learn about game development. In the end, I guess it''s just about doing research on all of your options and then making your own decision.

unkn.Enigma1625

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I''ve talked to a bunch of game developers and while they really don''t have an opinion on FullSail/Digipen for the most part. What I''ve noticed is it just comes down to your demo reel. Show them what you can do with your skills, a piece of paper doesn''t matter too much right now.

I will say the the Computer Science programs most schools offer are laughable at best and their are tons of CS majors out there with no jobs because the market is just flooded.

Also, DigiPen and FullSail''s employment rates after graduation are both well above 75% so they have to be doing something right.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I''ve noticed that DigiPen seems to take pride in their job placement rate for graduates. So I''d have to agree, if they''re placing most of their students in jobs then they have to be doing something right (especially with the economy we have now).

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Those schools do not have an official placement rate. Where are you getting these number from?

Also I am just echoing things which were told to me by people responsible for hiring into the game industry.

Maybe I am biased however, considering right now I managed to land an awesome internship with only 1/2 of a CS degree.

[edited by - spg on July 9, 2003 11:33:26 AM]

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(* Of the 1349 trained students who graduated from October 2000 through September 2001, 78% gained initial employment by December 2002.)


from FullSail.com so take it with a grain of salt, but I haven''t seen any thing else to prove that statistic wrong. Many of the old FullSail students I have chatted with have found employment at game studios and development teams as modelers, artists, junior programmers, and other entry level positions.

DigiPen I was just going by the stat listed earlier in this post and, again, no reason to doubt it from what I''ve seen/heard.

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