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Vanz

Gaming schools, opinions please....

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I keep seeing more and more ads for game creating schools. Just curious about: 1. How respectible they are and how well their students find jobs and the kind of pay they average. 2. Are these schools teaching programming, model making (if so what package do they use 3d max, maya ..etc) and/or game directing/managment. 3. Is having a degree in comuter science or computer engineering considered a step above these schools, step below or are they not very comparible(apples/oranges)? In other words would a game making company be more likely to hire a computer engineering degree or a game making school diploma? 4. Also, one more question, do these schools offer on-line diplomas and are they as repected... Appreciate any opinions on this, thanks. rhuala

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Theres an article on this in the "For Beginners" section and the issue has been discussed *MANY* times before. I encourage you to use the search feature to look at past threads.

My two bits of advice on the issue: Whichever course you choose, you only get out what you put in. And theres a lot more women going to college than game schools

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I''ll second what jerms said and add that college is where you''re most likely to find women who are impressed with your intelligence rather than being intimidated by it -- as long as you''re willing to acknowledge their intelligence as well.

peace and (trance) out

Mage

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Tech schools (which "gaming" schools are) have the distinct disadvantage of teaching you how to do specific things. Which basically makes you infexible and therefore not marketable outside your little box. The ISP I colo with went through quite a few tech school people looking for someone to hire because they had no practical real world experience and they''re competeing with out of work vetrans. Tech school people know how to handle specific hardware in a classroom environment. They don''t learn the concepts so they get completely lost when presented with a piece of hardware they''ve never seen before.

I landed a job doing more application type stuff because I do game programming but in such a way that I know how to apply *concepts* to applications as well. I didn''t learn how to make games. I learned how to program. There''s a big giant difference. Learning how to program makes you capable of doing anything. Learning how to make games makes you capable of making games. And not very good ones at that.

Go to a real uni and get a rounded education and spend lots of time on your own many and varied projects outside of school.

Ben


[ IcarusIndie.com | recycledrussianbrides.com | Got Linux? ]


Will Post For Food

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Guest Anonymous Poster
1. Respectibility ranges from marginal to poor. Many are simplying preying upon wannabes who can''t get into university.

2. Depends on the school.

3. Yes, a degree from a real university is step above.

4. "Online diplomas"? Hahaha...

You''re much better off going to the best university you can and getting a degree in computer science while taking as many math and physics courses as you can.

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Not that this will answer your direct questions, but my oppinion on gaming schools is similar to my oppinion on majoring in pre-med...it''s kinda silly. You can go to med school with any degree, so why not get something related that has other options as well, like biology or physiology. Getting a degree in gaming will help you for the gaming industry, sure, but it doesn''t allow for much else. A computer science or visual communications degree will be just as helpful with that gaming job, but will also offer you other options as well.

Just my oppinion

When you find yourself in the company of a halfling and an ill-tempered Dragon, remember, you do not have to outrun the Dragon...

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Thanks for your opinions,

I already have a mechanical engineering degree and have worked in the manufacturing sector for about 8 years now. I just really like the idea of making games and maybe a career change, although the pay cut would really hurt.

When I went to school I had about 3 buddies of mine that failed out of mechanical engineering and went into comp sci (not comp eng) and did very well (over the years), so I don't see much point or challenge in getting a comp sci degree.

I had no idea what these gaming diploma schools were all about but now I have a good impression. I though maybe they really focused on Maya or 3d Max and high quality 3d engines. I think I may look into getting my masters in comp sci with some kind of thesis on one area of 3d engine design (i.e. water effects). Actually I was thinking a cool area would be to design an engine that took into account building damage. Like having the side of a building collapse when a tank hits it. I haven't really seen this done yet and it would use a lot of the formulas I learned in mech eng...

thanks,

rhuala

ps. also, as for meeting girls, I'm married so that doesn't really matter any more ... *sigh*

[edited by - rhuala on October 8, 2003 2:22:05 AM]

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From experience, if you want to go to a ''game school'' you need to go to either DigiPen or FullSail. There are no other ''game schools'' (colleges that offer game-programs give you a nice certifcate - wow. a certificate)

Now, whether to go to one or not. If you are ABOLUTELY 100% sure you want to be in the games industry as a programmer, go to Digipen (4yr degree + 4 projects = good on resume). If you are not sure you want to be a programmer, go to FullSail. Not to harp on FullSail or anything, but a 15 month program doesnt compare to a 4yr degree. (Not speaking from experience from fullsail, but know all to well about digipen)

As to the remark that ''oh its to specific, you can''t get other jobs'' is crap. I know just as much (probably more) than any computer science major and then some. If I REALLY for some reason wanted to, I could go make business programs - wow sounds fun. To say it''s not as ''rounded'' education would be true, but who says you have to be rounded to be in any industry.

1. Placement for students graduating from DigiPen and FullSail are rather good.

2. DigiPen teaches hard-core programming. A little design and business aspects are thrown in the mix, but make for more of a hassle IMO. You get a brief class on 3dstudio as well, but nothing that would make you a master 3d modeler.

3. No idea personally, but you would assume so. They are not worse, thats for sure.

4. On-line diplomas - haha yeah right. I''ve heard of some offering certificates and it makes me laugh. Like the kind of thing you get for graduating middle school.

In general however, It appears to me that the industry doesn''t really care where you got your education, but that you''ve got one (preferably a 4yr degree). They want to see what you''ve accomplished, what projects you''ve made. If you don''t go to a ''game school'' you better as hell be making your own games/projects in your free time and learning as much as you can on the side. The advantage of attending a ''game school'' is that you can create these projects in a more structured, team-oriented environment, with instructors that have prior experience in the industry to help you along the way.

regards,
-Vulcan

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What about if you go to a general university and get a 4-year BS in Computer Science - would going to a game development college, like FullSail, afterwards to ''specialize'' in game programming put you ahead of the people that did one or the other? (in the eyes of possible employers, of course)


HellspawnXIII
"There''s a lot of stuff in this world that needs stepping on."

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I agree with what others have said that a degree from a uni. where english and math are part of your degree will get you better jobs.

Both probably teach your similar stuff about programming, but the addition of math, science, and english will give you the edge.

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quote:
Original post by KalvinB
Tech schools (which "gaming" schools are) have the distinct disadvantage of teaching you how to do specific things. Which basically makes you infexible and therefore not marketable outside your little box.


I have to disagree entirely with this statement. For a BS in RTIS at DigiPen, in particular, is not like that at all. The courseload is massive (averaging around 6 and 7 classes per semester required for 4 years) loaded with both advanced c and c++ classes as well as a load of theory, math, and physics, and a full-year game project each year and of course some general classes as well). Unlike what you might think, they do NOT teach you how to IE use specific APIs such as Direct3D or OpenGL. You have to learn them completely on your own in order to keep up with your game projects (or take extra classes, which you do not have time for unless you transfer credits/test out of other classes). Everything taught can be applied to any other job in programming. I know many people who know a lot more about programming and theory after only going through 2 or 3 years at DigiPen than people who have graduated with a BS in Computer Science at a University. What DigiPen actually provides is a focused major on advanced programming and math/physics, not on game development -- it just so happens that one of the best ways to teach them is with "Real Time Interactive Simulation," or more precisely, a game. FullSail, on the otherhand, offers a major in Game Design, not programming, so is not the hardcore programming major you'd probably want.

[edited by - Polymorphic OOP on October 9, 2003 12:30:07 PM]

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I''d say get a real academic degree.

There are things like the christian fundie college and fundie mormon college that give these "fake" degrees a bad name.

Yeah, so I''d say getting a degree in computer graphics programming and working in QA will get you much further than getting one of those "crap" degrees.

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1. FullSail does NOT offer a 4-year degree in game programming. Its an associates degree.

2. Check out the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, AZ. They offer 4-year degrees in Software Engineering with a focus in Game Programming as well as a lot of other degrees.

3. If yuo already have a 4-year degree, get a certificate. Some place like FullSail or maybe The Guildhall at SMU.

- Jason

[edited by - wmurdick on October 9, 2003 12:24:23 AM]

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quote:
Original post by Polymorphic OOP
FullSail, on the otherhand, offers a major in Game Design, not programming, so is not the hardcore programming major you''d probably want.


The Game Design title is completely misleading. It''s exactly a hardcore programming degree, with maybe one "design" classs thrown in. The biggest problem they have is people thinking it''s for Game Design and not realizing it''s all programming and they aren''t as interested in being a programmer. You program day and night for over a year straight.

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DigiPen and FullSail aren''t the only schools that offer this sorta thing. You''d be surprised how many schools there are out there. I know there are at least 2 in Canada, and many more than that in the United States.

Just a mention on going to a Game Design school.. if it makes mention of you developing a product, then it surely will be a help to getting into the industry. Last time I looked, a BS for Computer Science doesn''t compare to having the experience of actually making a game. Sure, the Comp Sci kids know programming, but they may not know how to make a game. What Game Design schools try to teach you is how to look at the industry and make something that might sell.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
2. Check out the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, AZ. They offer 4-year degrees in Software Engineering with a focus in Game Programming as well as a lot of other degrees.

I''ll 2nd this one. You really need to know how to engineer software, before you can jump in start "making games". I was very impressed with UAT. Their program looks solid. You can do it all online, or on campus. www.gamedegree.com

-Dan Joseph

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