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DigiPen vs. FullSail

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My opinion:

Knowledge and experience learned at either school can be translated over to different platforms ( PSX, Wintel, etc..).


Six

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I'm currently a student at DigiPen, and the only thing we've done so far is windows/dos programming. Next semester, we are supposed to start snes programming I believe; but no mac.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Sorry I just now read the post I wrote.... I don't understand my point myself, so let me be easier to understand. I am looking into going to one of these two schools to earn a degree in game development. After studying the web pages I noticed that DigiPen sounds like an endorsed school worthy of my time, and FullSail sounds more like a scam to make money.... At FullSail's website they say they are licensed, but they don't say by who, and for what. And they do have a commercial web address, vs. DigiPens .edu address.... I am just looking for advice as to which school if any I should attend for a degree in game development. Thanks for clearing up the DigiPen information; the file about schools stated that DigiPen only taught SNES and Mac programing. I would also like to know if learning how to program for the SNES would be worth my time, it seems to be left in the dust by the PlayStation and N64.....

I know that I am not very clear... but maybe I have made myself more clear...

LostSoul

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As far as the snes programming goes, I think it's mainly to give experience on developing for a console, since it is quite a bit different than making a game for a pc. I haven't looked at FullSail, but I feel that I've learned more at DigiPen than I would have at a regular college (majoring in CS or similar).

------------------
Lich

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Phew I almost missed this post. Thats what I get for not checking the forums in a while.

I'm currently a student at Full Sail, so I'm going to answer some of your questions. First of all DigiPen is an accredited instution. But it just became accredited recently! A college must remain open for at least 2 years in the United States before becomming accredited. And Digipen just moved from canada to the US a few years back. Full Sail is also an accredited instution. They are accredited by the Florida Education Board. Both schools are good. I decided on Full Sail for a few reasons.

1. The schools equipment is extremly up to date, they have every thing you'll ever need from blue screens, to motion caputre, video editing software, Maya, Softimage, Real Film Camreas used in movie shoots, Recording Studios for Voice overs, Intergraph Workstations for programming, SGI Onyx workstations for programming Softimage and Maya Animation and Modeling, SGI server for Virtual Reality programming, A G4 lab for all your Mac programming, Photoshop/Illustrator/After Effects/ and Lightwave 3d modeling experiance, and music recording, DAT machines, and many other usefull tools that I haven't even seen yet!

2. The second is that Digipen's programs lasted longer.

Now you might think that because you earn a 2 year degree at full sail in one year it's BULL S*it. You may earn a 2 year degree but you couldn't possibly learn as much as you would at another school. WRONG. Here is a brief explination of classes for you. At full sail classes last either 1 month or 2 months. The classes meet 2 to 3 times a week. 4 hours a class. And then you have the labs which meet on the same days that the classes meet. These labs last for 4 hours each. So in 1 week you've attended 40 hours of classes. In one month's time you've attended 160 hours of classes. Tests are given every week. Projects are due every other week. Midterms or Finals are given on a monthly basis. In one or two months time you know so much stuff about a specific subject it's unbelievable. Now I don't know how the classes at DigiPen run. But I will say that my old colleges classes for programming and the like had only 2 hours of class time a week and no required labs. So if you figure it out on paper 2 months at full sail is equivilent to a semester at a regular college. Full Sail's program also offers the ability to do cross platform programming. On Macs, PC's and Linux. And the program isn't exactly easy. Of the 20 people in the Game Design class only 4 made it through the Physics and Math course and the C++ course. The rest either dropped out, signed up for another program, or are retaking the class. My major suggestion before making a decision is to go and visit the two schools. I believe you'll find that Full Sail's programs are as good if not better than DigiPen's. And after all in the time it takes you to finish your degree at DigiPen you can have a Degree In computer animation, Digital Media, Film and Video, and Game Design at Full Sail. And not only that you'll have experiance with all the equipment the school has. Which is invaluable just about any where in the industry.

Just my 2 cents.


[This message has been edited by evaclear (edited December 22, 1999).]

[This message has been edited by evaclear (edited December 22, 1999).]

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Thanks, this is just the kind of information I was looking for. I think I will visit each school before I make any choices, and I have requested information from both of the schools....

Really you say only 4 passed huh? Ouch the classes aren't asking too much of the students are they? No one can be expected to master any subject in just a few months time....

------------------
LostSoul

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Well I suspect that most of the 20 people who signed up for the classes had the "Oh well I don't know what this entails, but game design sounds like it'll be pretty cool. I can't wait for someone to give me a tool where I can move my mouse & make a game". Idea of what the course will be. That and the fact it was probably their first time away from home, and they are in one of the entertainment capitals of the world (ORLANDO). Probably combined to make the course very difficult. I am actualy starting the Physics and Math course and a course called General Design Fundamentals next month. And after I finish up the C++ class and the Physics & math class I plan to do a follow up to the article I origionaly posted on the site about Digipen & Full Sail. Though this one will be focused on Full Sail and will outline what I think of the program so far, how much I've learned, and all that jazz. I'll also be throwing up a web page with some of the stuff I've done (animations, user interface designs, and some of the programs I'll be creating while in classes etc...) so you can get an idea of what you will learn in the courses. I'm doing this because I've seen so much written about DigiPen and so Little about Full Sail. I want to let everyone know if it's pure Bull or not. But the quality of what you learn in a school like this is limited to the ammount of dedication you have. I've easily spent over the normal 40 hours a week working on projects for my classes so that I can have a nice Portfolio peice when I get out. If you do the minimal stuff just to pass your going to get left behind by the overachievers in the class. I believe the first thing that was ever said to us when we walked into full sail for classes was "Look around you, the people you see are your classmates and your competitors. When you graduate you will be competing with them for jobs. If you just do the minimal stuff for your classes you'll get left behind." And after seeing some of the projects my fellow classmates have done you can believe it's true.

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Ok, I see what you are saying... I just hope I don't turn out like that... I haven't ever been one to do my home work, etc.... But now that I look back at my life I have started to realize that this lifestyle isn't going to get me anywhere.... I should spend more time actually doing work then talking in these here message boards eh? Hehhe.

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Ok, so you've decided to go to a (specialized) game programming school. What if you can't hang with the game programming biz? Where does that leave you? With a 2 year specialized degree in game programming. Personally, I think it leaves you high and dry if you don't have what it takes. You have nothing to fall back on. Unless you have mega-bucks, getting another degree somewhere else may not be an option.

Something you might want to consider- get a 4-year degree in Computer Science, Math, Physics, or whatever interests you. Then re-evaluate your decision to go to Digipen or Fullsail. If things fall through, you always have a backup plan (in the 4yr degree).

Six

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I'm afraid I can't agree with you there Sixpack. Currently, and in the future according to projections (though those can go wrong, true, but I tend to agree with them in this case) the software industry is such a hot market that most companies simply cannot find all the people they need. The mere fact that they think you might be capable of programming for them will get you an entry-level software engineering job somewhere.

I have an electrical engineering degree. The only programming class I was required to take in college was FORTRAN. I took extras, because I like programming, but I easily found a software engineering job several months before graduation, having decided that electrical engineering topics are cool, but electrical engineering jobs are boring. On my software team of about 15 people, which consistently gets high marks and recognition as one of the best in our company, we only have 2 people who have computer science degrees. Several are physicists, several are electrical engineers, one is an environmental scientist, and a couple are math teachers that decided math teachers didn't get paid enough a couple of months before graduation. Several of them admit that they didn't even know C before being hired, and were trained on the job.

When it's possible to get a software engineering job with the bare minimum of a desire to learn, I would suggest that being a relatively decent programmer, regardless of the degree or lack thereof, is enough to allow you to find a job, and at that point, experience is all that matters... and if you feel that you need to extend your education, most larger software companies will pay for it.

-fel
Comment found on the web: "The fix for Y2K depends on the ability of a programmer to find a date. Considering the extreme difficulty of this for most programmers, the severity of the problem should be obvious."

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Well...It seems to me that most people that make it big in the buisness world are those who go full steam ahead into what ever they do. Having a Fall Back plan just means that they aren't prepaired to suceed. Full Sail fully prepairs you for just about any job you might wish to persue when you get out. YOu get hands on modeling experiance, photoshop experiance, animation experiance, and programming experiance. And seeing as I can't think of one single thing an APP uses that a game doesn't it seems to me that you could get into any field you want to persue if you've got the demo's and willingness to learn.

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Alright I have been reading the information on game development schools here.... And I have visited the FullSail and DigiPen sites, and DigiPen seems to be the school to go with. I can't make heads or tails of the FullSail web site, and the DigiPen site couldn't be better laid out.... But I did catch something about SNES/Mac programing for DigiPen, nothing about Windows (Where the whole game market lays as far as PCs go) Can anyone comment?

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Dont forget that Game Programming is a WHOLE LOT like 'Multimedia Programming', and MM programmers get paid a fortune to do really really easy (often) apps with bouncy logos for corps.

If you ever need to fall back on non-game jobs, you have a great chance with web companies, and any company who wants to improve their 'web presence'.

-Geoff

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