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shanytopper

I want to study game design seriously

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Where is considerd the best place in the world to study game design from an academic point of view? So far, the best place I've read about is UAT, but I dont know how good is this place considerd the best in the world. Money is NOT an issue. Place is NOT an issue. Only the quality of the studies. So, what do you pepole say?

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I'll start by saying I know nothing about schools that specialize in game design and that I'm an "outsider" with no true experience in the "industry". I checked out UAT, and it worries me. The list of their classes is very narrow, with just gaming. Of the listed faculty there, only three of them have a college degree listed as credentials (and notice they have Bachelors degrees from Universities, not Gaming Desing Schools), only one of them has said he worked at a game studio, and one of them listed that he's worked at a gaming STORE as a credential. In high school, I was a cashier at Caldor; it doesn't make me an expert in retail sales.

I can tell you that going to an actual University, a real, accredited one, the type that needs SAT scores and admission applications, and getting a degree at one, will be just as good, and most likely better than a Game Design Bachelors Degree. This isn't to say UAT isn't good. But please do very thorough research on the place. Go to their Tempe campus and see how classes are set up. How good do the faculty seem to be?

Now, if money is no object, you could go to a normal University and get a degree there (which will be more well-rounded) and also do UAT's online courses at the same time. Then you'd have the best of both worlds. It would mean a lot of work and not so many beer parties, but would be a good stepping stone for any ambitious young person.

Now, all of that said, there's no best place to study, IMO. Your mindset and willingness to learn and to work hard at it are the best place. My degree is a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and when I went to college, there weren't really any computers to learn on. The computer science majors worked at dumb terminals on a mainframe that took up an entire story of a building. Despite this, however, I am doing fine with computerized game design, because I had a well rounded degree. Because I went to a University, I had classes in creative writing (great for writing game story), expository writing (game design document), psychology (how the player thinks and approaches a challenge), drawing (how things move, shapes, composition), filmmaking (motion, movement, sound, composition) and sculpture (how things exist in a 3 dimensional world).

Who are your game design "heroes"? Check out what education they have and where they got it. How did the people who are where you want to be get where they are?

Definitely do some research before going to a Game School.

I wish I could offer more, and I wish you the best luck. :)

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I would seriously make at least a couple small 2d games by yourself before making a final decision. Making games is very hard work...get ready to spend 16hrs a day for the first year or so if you are even lucky enough to get an entry level position.


The only way your going to know if you are even capable of doing it or even like doing it is to make a few small games yourself.

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If you're really keen on the Game Design aspect of things, you might want to look at Full Sail or Digipen? Wherever you're going, I'd make sure they're giving you a good Bachelor or Masters Degree. If your grades are up to it, some of the Ivy league unis have some amazing Game Development Degrees and Post Grads (Carnegie Mellon, MIT, etc). USC also has a very interesting degree and post-grad program, headed up by Tracy Fullerton.

Whatever you do, look at
- Who's teaching?
- What are they teaching (Syllabus should be online)?
- Do a quick google; what kind of projects did past grads do? Where are they now?

Allan

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DigiPen is not a design school. As far as I know, niether is Full Sail, but I didn't attend there so I can't say for sure. DigiPen, however, is a highly technical program and its not where you want to go if you want to be a game designer.

"Design" is not a science and you won't find very many places offering to teach it to you. Those that do probably aren't going to be very good. There are also very few, if any, job openings for "guys with game design degrees" out there. If you want to be a designer, chances are you are going to have to get your foot in the door as an artist, programmer, or maybe -- maybe -- a scenario/level designer or writer.

To that end, a liberal arts or humanities degree might benefit you. Consider courses in architechure or philosophy. Stuff that makes you well-rounded so you have a broad base of knowledge to draw upon.

Good luck.

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Quote:
Original post by shanytopper
Where is considerd the best place in the world to study game design...?

Money is NOT an issue.
Place is NOT an issue.

Only the quality of the studies.


shany,
Read articles 3, 25, 34, and 44 on my site. You don't need a "game design" school. You need a top-notch education. Since you're rich and can study anywhere, I recommend Oxford, Harvard, Princeton, Yale... Find out where the most brilliant writers go to school (since you want to study game design, not programming or graphics).
Good luck


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Quote:
Original post by shanytopper
Where is considerd the best place in the world to study game design...?

Money is NOT an issue.
Place is NOT an issue.


It does not matter what "the best place in the world to study" is. Only one factor is important: How much work are you (the student) going to work for your education?

If you are that rich then go to MIT, Princeton, or some other nice school. That does not mean you will learn anything. At those schools, you better be putting in enough effort that you don't get kicked out, and you must be able to show your skills.


Story time

I know two people who went to Princeton in technology degrees. They were second- and third- generation rich. The second-generation rich was one of the first CS graduates at the school, worked hard, and has done incredible things over his life. He now owns and runs several technology companies, including the place I work.

The third-generation rich (their child) slacked off in school and has never been able to hold down a job for long. He never learned how to work and assumed that Daddy's money would bail him out of all problems. Well after college he continues to live in the basement, even with the Princeton degree.

I also know many people who struggled and worked their way through local junior colleges, went to no-name state colleges, and were then moderately to very successful in their careers. These people learn to work hard, are generally both more frugal and more generous (if you know the type you understand), and can quickly gain enormous power within organizations to accomplish great things.

Looking at some famous people in games: John Carmack dropped out of college because he thought it was a waste of his time -- instead he learned things on his own and did an enormous amount of work. Chris Sawyer didn't go to a big name school, but worked hard in his career. Will Wright went to a state college and dropped out after five years. Many founders and important people in today's studios have similarly bland educational backgrounds. The key factor is not the school, but that they constantly learn and also know how to work.

The moral of the story

It really does not matter what school you go to. The main factors are what you learn and what you produce using that knowledge.

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> ... the best place in the world to study game
> design from an academic point of view

Do you have an idea of what a game designer's day looks like? Sounds like you never talked to a veteran game designer. Might be a good idea to talk to one. Here are 2 contacts you can easily find in many games development book: Patrice Desilets (pdesilets@ubisoft.qc.ca), and Francois-Dominic Laramee (francoislaramee@videotron.ca). If I were millions rich, I'd fly to San Jose next week for the Game Developers Conference and take them to dinner. Alternatively, the book "Game Design Perspectives" (from Charles River Media) might give you some extra information and industry contacts for your endeavor.

As a game designer, you need a general culture background. You should be well-versed in arts, litterature, project management, cinema, psychology, history, architecture, etc. Schools tend to spread "current" knowledge so you can be up to speed with the industry; unfortunately, the last thing the market needs is yet another "Lord of the Rings" look-alike. Anything else that would let you stand out of the mold and expand your creativity would be good.

> If you are that rich then go to MIT, Princeton,
> or some other nice school.

Just one word of caution about those schools. They have the reputation of encouraging an elitist behaviour; it's easy to get tagged with the "Havard MBA" syndrome afterwards. Employers can smell Prima Donnas from miles away, and this makes it difficult to get your first impression right on your job interviews.

-cb

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Odin - thank's dude, been real helpfull

The rest of you guys - I didn't wrote that I'm intrested in learning game designing "just to get a job", so places like Harvard which aren't teaching game designing are just not helpfull for me.

What I am looking for, is a place where I can learn it in order to be the best game designer I can. (ofcourse, I know it have alot to do with originality and hard work which can't be teached, but just like there are schools for screen writers, that are ment to make them better, I'm sure there are schools for game designers)

So far, the best place I read about was indeed USC that Odin talked about. (they call the degree "interactive media", but it's basicly game desiging)

anyone can recommand somewhere else?

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I'm going to go out on a limb here. You didn't read what we wrote. I'll put it in spaces, so you can see it.



There is no best place to learn game design.



Was that enough space? If not, I can edit to add more. Go to a good school, if you can get in and money is no object. What are good schools? Your High School guidance counselor will know. Personally, I had to put myself through school, and I went to Rutgers University. That turned out to be fine, since I have a hard work ethic and good study habits. I will enclose the next point everyone made, that you ignored, in space.



A school is only as good as the effort you, the student, will put into it.




Your High School guidance counselor will have a lot of resources for what schools offer what, and they will have lists of the good ones currenly. I can't help you with current education, since I only know what schools were considered good when I was 18, which is a couple decades ago.

To study game /design/, you only really need to play games, dissect them in your mind (what makes them fun, how do they work), buy a bunch of books on game design or even check them out from a library, and then you design and you learn from mistakes. That's it. No school can teach you what to make. The Game Design School might even be worse, since they could possibly be teaching you that "Game Design is X." Game Design is like writing. There's no single way to learn it, no single way to do it, and no school can make you into a great writer if it isn't in you to begin with.

Again, good luck. Everything I wrote to you was not about how to "just get a job". It was about how to learn. I can't guarantee that if you go to Game Design School, you will get Game Design Job. I can't guarantee that if you went to Harvard Law School that you will pass the bar exam. Now for more space.




If you were looking to "study game design seriously", you don't even need a school to do it.

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