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Have You Tried gameinstitute.com?

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I'm considering taking some online courses in the area of game programming. My goal is to create small games of my own and / or get on with a game development company (Bioware is here in Edmonton for example). Has anybody tried gameinstitute.com? What about gameversity.com? Any recommendations? Are the courses worthwhile and applicable to game programming as a profession? I would appreciate any advice you can offer.

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I have no experience with the programs you mentioned, but at a guess, I'd say you're better off in a situation where you can interact personally with your professors. Granted, finding courses specifically about making games can be difficult, but you should be able to find courses that cover programming techniques in graphics, modeling, software design and design processes, and the like. All of these are applicable to game programming. So I'd say take some more general Computer Science courses (if you haven't already), and make some games on your own time that you can show to potential employers.

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I have a full time job and I spend a lot of time with my 3 kids, so online courses are my best option. I simply can't attend classes regularily. I like that I can sit at my computer late at night and ge the work done. I believe in the idea of correspondance, but I'm unsure of the quality of the material at gameinstitute.com...only because I've never tried it. I have books from at least 2 of the people teaching though.

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Quote:
Original post by Low Bias
I have a full time job and I spend a lot of time with my 3 kids, so online courses are my best option. I simply can't attend classes regularily. I like that I can sit at my computer late at night and ge the work done. I believe in the idea of correspondance, but I'm unsure of the quality of the material at gameinstitute.com

we all stay up late at night ;).
to address your question, i highly recommend teaching yourself. the fact that they (gameinstitute) teach directX in three parts along with how to make your own OGL renderer amongst, many interesting topics may be appealing, but i just don't see a reason to throw $125.00 (my college cs books don't cost that much) out the window for it. perhaps i'm just cheap, but it is something to consider as many useful books (on game programming) are less than half that (~$50.00). a resourceful person can find many sources that equal to the knowledge found there, just in a less structured format. here are several free sites that provide tutorials on game programming (don't forget to just google)
flipcode
gametutorials
NeHe
and don't forget ....
gamedev articles and reference section

if you do decide to take courses at the gameinstitute, the above sites can be a great aid in understanding the material. good luck with whichever you choose.
cheers.

<edit :: fixed grammatical errors

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I have taken many courses from GameInstitute, and for the most part I am quite satisfied. Some courses were a little too wishy-washy for my tastes, or too introductory, but the courses on BSP theory, mathematics, most of the terrain course, and the Direct3D course are quite superb. Don't expect to be John Carmack after going through GI, but consider yourself that much closer to your goals.

Btw, I live in Edmonton too :)

~Graham

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Guest Anonymous Poster
honest advice? i also have 3 kids,34 years old and been in the same spot.

Buy a couple of good books,as others have said(i have taken lots of courses at GI)...its basiclly money down the toilet.

Except for j.d.gos (did i spell it correctly?) gary/adam simmons are not working pro's in the industry(never have been)used to run an amateur GD forum called Mr.Game Maker,but that is all.

Mr.Lamothe pokes his nose in from time to time,though i really shouldn't comment about that..as i have nothing good to say,best keep stum.

I'd have a GOOD look around first,if you already have a good stable job before making the mistakes i made about getting into the game industry,the people who will be really making money
won't be you,as the industry is mainly based around empoying niave kids (who think its like being a movie star:)

Read the recent EA(onr of the top game companies) news about crunch times etc etc.

So basiclly,i'm saying grab a couple of good books,and do it as a hobby if your interested in 3D/Games,but don't throw your money away,or line other dishonest peoples pocket's when you have your family to feed :)

Just some friendly advice.

There isn't much money to be made in this field(not by programmers anyway).


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My opinion would be biased of course, so lemme just point you to this thread. Here you will find other people's opinions as well as a link I posted to yet another thread that contains even more links I posted to about 5-6 threads on this topic (online learning, with opinions on GI and GV).

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IMO, the #1 reason to take classes- not just at gameinstitute.com but in general- is because it forces you to study when you otherwise wouldn't... These days with so much info freely available on the net, there's no reason you can't learn this stuff on your own; it's just easier when you're saying to yourself "gee, I better study since I paid $90 for this!"

That said, I am currently taking "Physics for Game Developers". I want to learn physics in a rigorous way, and I know if I do it by myself, I can do it, but I might be tempted to gloss over some details. Also I wonder maybe putting gameinstitute.com on my resume might count for something when applying for jobs. If nothing else, at least it would show employers I'm the kind of motivated guy who is always learning new things.

roos

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