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Game developement schools

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It may be a little early to ask this now, i'm currently going my first of three years in the upper secondary school (not sure how you call it where you live), but I like to plan far ahead, so i've been thinking of going to a school abroad after this education. I want to be a gameprogrammer and I don't know any schools or which schools that are good and which are the most suited for me, but i'm sure some of them focus on designing and other stuff which is not for me. I'm prepared to spend a lot of money on this education if necessary. Which schools are the most common/popular schools and which is considered the best? What are the requirements to begin the education? Right now i'm going to a 3 year secondary school, it's more like a continuation on normal school, but more specialized. It's mostly basic computer science with hardware, webdesign and electricity courses. The next year we will be choosing what we want to do for the next two years, for example programming, networking or highschool preparation. Highschool preparation is mostly physics and more advanced math. Where I live that's a requirement to start high school here. I don't know how much that is worth when i'm going to start a school abroad. How much is a degree from a gamedevelopement school which is about 3-4 years, worth when searching jobs later on?

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I haven't attended one.But from the time i have spent on these forums , the heavy weights are :

Digipen :www.digipen.edu
Full Sail:www.fullsail.com
UAT :www.uat.edu

The fees depend on the college you are planning to attend, I'm pretty sure you can find info at the respective websites.

Good luck!

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My advice to you would be not to attend some specialised games programming course. Instead, go for something more traditional such as Software Engineering or even Mathematics. A combination of those two would be great (e.g. software engineering with a few electives in trigonometry/algebra). After all, game programming is just another sub-category of software engineering.

Also, don't be fooled into thinking that these game programming schools will transform you into a game programming guru. You are what you make of yourself. You might even get bored because the 3-month OpenGL 1on1 course drags endlessly on and you find yourself reviewing a single OpenGL function per hourly lesson!

P.S.: Have you talked this over with your parents? Your tutors at school? Seek their opinion too.

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Visited UAT's homepage and that school really got my interest, didn't look into the other websites so much but I will do that later.

About reading software engineering, it seems all the schools that was posted here was software engineering. I wonder if the schools has some requirement for previous knowledge or if they teach from basics, if that's the case, things could get hard :)

I didn't think these schools will turn me into a game programming guru, or actually I thought that, but if you want to become a gameprogrammer the best choice is to go to a school where they teach that right?

Haven't talked it over with the tutors at school because I don't think they can come with any advices on this matter, my parents only ask what school I was thinking about which I didn't know.

Anyways, thanks for your replies, now I have something to think about. I will post again if I have any more questions.

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I am currently in my fifth month of school at Full Sail for game development. I personally love the school, but, it is very tough. About 75% of my original class has already either failed 2 or more classes or failed all the way out of school. It's a bachelor's degree in 21 months so it is very very accelerated. I'm at a bit of an advantage as I already have a few years experience, but either way, I love it.

But, if you really want to do it, and are willing to spend most of your free time programming, I can vouch for Full Sail. One thing I will say, is that the math is pretty weak. If you wanna really learn some complex math, try a traditional school. I'm personally gonna have to do some personal study to up my math knowledge.

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5th month, and you're at 25%? So it's like having a 2.5-month half-life? After 21 months, you should be working your way into the last 1/256th? Ouch.

Digipen is an excellent place to go if you want to do a lot of math and game programming. You're required to take at least 7 semesters of calculus+others, and there are at least 20 math classes listed. Take a look at the catalog sometime.

If you're thinking of taking trigonometry/algebra, you're in the wrong field. You should be taking quaternions and linear algebra. If you're taking trig at 'college' then you're also not at the right place.

Digipen educates rather than trains. You don't learn OpenGL in massive detail, it's assumed that you can figure that out for yourself. You're taught how to build a 3-d engine itself, rather than how to use someone else's.

Digipen is like a 6 year-degree crammed into 4. You make more games than 'game degrees' (5 full games over 4 years), you learn more math/physics than a CS degree and more pain than almost every degree.

It's not for everyone, but graduates (and many before they graduate) get jobs writing code at big-name game companies. There are never guarantees, but you should speak with some grads from Digipen if you're serious.

RM

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Some people are afraid of the attrition rate that Full Sail has. However a lot of people (myself included) realize that this points to the challenge that the degree consists of.

Digipen is indeed a fantastic school, everyone I've met from there is very well versed in the black magic that is game programming. Don't be mistaken though, I've never seen anything come from there that I haven't seen at Full Sail. We too are required to create a full featured 3D engine for our final project. It's a 5 month course in which you have to create a complete game from scratch, including design documentation, technical documentation, and all of the code. You are allowed to use one 3rd party API (FMOD is by far the most popular choice).

Both schools will give you a good education and will certainly teach you how to make games. But as the linked article above makes abundantly clear, be 100% sure that this is what you want to do. If you don't you will be part of that 75% that fails classes or drops out in the first few months at Full Sail. I started with 43 in my class and ended with 13. But those 13 are some damn good programmers.

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Morpheus--

How much of it is education vs. selection? I mean, that Dirty (baker's) Dozen that made it out were probably pretty impressive going in. If, on day one of FullSail, you had looked around and tagged the guys that weren't going to make it, could you have saved them $60k and a load of pain? If so, then FullSail just needs to work on their admissions proceedures.

How many of your 13 were already effective computer programmers when you started?

Should it be called a graduate program more than anything else? What do you think the chances of a high-school grad making it through the program are?

RM

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