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Monkhouse

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Hi everyone, Im Monkhouse. I am 17 years old and I am currently still in highschool. I am searching desperatly for the best college I can afford for Game Design. (Mainly Game Programming) Here are the colleges I am looking at: Collins College of Arizona:(Accepted to) Tossed, pretty much ruled it out. DeVry University: (Accepted to) Arlington Virginia or AZ. Been leening toward this one. But not too sure. UAT (University of Advanced Tachnologies): (Not Accepted Yet) Tempe AZ. Just found this one, I am finding out more about it. Dont know a whole lot, but heard its a good school, and It offers a bachelors in both Game Design AND Programming as seperate courses. ---- So Tell me what you all think about these colleges, I want both your brutal and good reports. And If you have any suggestions about other schools, let me know. Budget: up to $65,000

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There is no such thing as a game programming degree. Anybody who says otherwise is selling you something.

Game design is even more amorphous -- game design is not programming. Game design isn't something you really can teach on its own.

I think DeVry is worthless, and I wouldn't even bother considering it. UAT I know nothing about.

Tell me what you think is wrong with colleges offering computer science programs (if you want to be a programmer) or humanities / history / liberal arts programs (if you want to be a designer)? By not considering them, you are only hurting yourself.

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if you are 'seeking' game design, then look into a technical university such as devry, full sail, etc. But in all honesty, I wouldnt take that route. I cant say much for devry, but I went to University of Central Florda, which is right down the street from Full Sail, and the people i met that went to full sail were ridiculous. One guy even laughed at me because I took calc 1-3 over 3 semesters and he did it in 1 month.

But one thing to keep in mind is that game companies, while they look at your talent more so than anything, they know what they are getting when they get someone from a tech school vs someone from an actual university.

If you want to be a programmer, go to a university for software engineering or computer science. While you are there, there are clubs on campus with people just like you. Join those clubs and learn from experience through that route.

Plus the population of males at Full Sail is upwards of 95%. Which is great if you are a girl. If not... well you get the point

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Hey man,

Im just like you buddy, Im 17 years old, just graduated High School. Im in my first semester of college. I was thinking about going to Devry University, I really wanted to go, but I searched google for stories about them. 95% reviews I read were bad, so I decided not to go. Im currently going to a city college just doing general stuff (math, english, history, science). After Im done with that Im going to transfer to a University and take Comp. Science. I think you should take the same route, plus its a hell of a lot cheaper. You have a pretty big budget, but who doesnt like to save money? [smile], but thats just my $0.02 .

P.S. - Devry is like $52,000 for like 2 1/2 years of college!!! Dont do it dude...dont do it.

Hope that helps [smile]

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Quote:
Original post by jpetrie
I think DeVry is worthless

This is from experience I presume?

When I was home I was attending DeVry for a Computer Engineering and Technology (CET) degree at the same campus (Arlington) that you are looking at. In my opinion here are the positives and negatives concerning your goal:

Pros:
1) business like atmosphere, students behave well, a good percentage actually study, and occurances of stupid college kid behavior is much lower
2) job fairs and proffessionally associated clubs: those will help you get a job when you graduate
3) small class sizes: you will learn and you will have the ability to get immediate feedback from the proffessor (learning is best when it is a two way converstion)
4) the labs are very nice and very hands on

Cons:
1) The VA campus seems to be best for electrical engineering majors, in my experience classes on programming are lacking (although my CET degree is a mix of EET and CIS) and even the students with business majors need more help than they get. However, it is also true that most schools don't teach "programming" they teach "computer science." Anyway, I've had difficulty finding advice on current trends in software.
2) Even CIS is not computer science, it looks more like web design
3) Very small female to male ratio.

I am sure that you will be looking at the GSP degree and as far as I see it the degree seems very narrow and may be overly focused. It is a very new program and I am not in the industry yet myself, so I can say little for what it may do for job prospects. On the plus side, it does teach many things that you will not find in CS, CIS, or CET.

If I were into hardware more then I would definately say DeVry is the best way to go. If you're going for hardware of even web design/networking/db stuff (CIS) DeVry will likely get you a job right out of graduation. I've seen many graduate and go right into their respective feilds with those areas.

Personally I may transfer when I return (I did 2 years of CS at UMD already) but if that turns out to be more expensive (time wise obviously, DeVry is not cheap) then I'll probably change degree's or finish it. Although, I honestly doubt that good advice on this will come from the net though.

Now that I think about it, advice on schools from this site (perhaps any site) are likely to be biased. Everyone likes to think that their way was the best one. Personally, I believe that you have to find your own path and to do that you should arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible. I've used course outlines (for given degrees) as my primary intel although that alone will not give the full story.

Good luck.

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Quote:

This is from experience I presume?

Yes, and from the information about their courses, interactions with former instructors and students, and things of the sort.

Quote:

Now that I think about it, advice on schools from this site (perhaps any site) are likely to be biased. Everyone likes to think that their way was the best one. Personally, I believe that you have to find your own path and to do that you should arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible. I've used course outlines (for given degrees) as my primary intel although that alone will not give the full story.


Of course; advice from anywhere will be biased. The most important thing the OP can do is consider all of his options; all I've presented here is my opinion; I'm advocating nothing more than then what I think should be common sense. Considering only schools with "game development" programs is detrimental to your education, which is one of the most important investments -- if not the most important investment -- you will make.

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Well, all that info is helpful.

It seems that Full Sail is popular, but my parents forced me to rule that out in the beguining because of cost. That was the first school I looked at.
It also seems that you guys got the Idea that I want to be a normal programmer. I dont want to just program, I want to be a game programmer. I want to program games because Im not good at the art and story line, or level design side of it, but Im pretty good with the text and program side of it.

And it also seems that DeVry isnt very popular. So now I got Full Sail and UAT on the plate.

UAT splits their game development program into 2 parts:
(1) Game Art/Design - Focuses more on the level design and character models and other art factors of game development. with a little bit of the programming side.
(2) Game Programming - this focuses more on C++ classes and AI programming, game modding, etc. with a little bit of the design side.

So I dont know what you meen by there not being any such thing as Game Design and Game Programming classes. Go do your research on that a little more.

And for the guy that was saying not to go to Devry because of cost...I havent found a Game Design program that is Under $50K.
Art Institute = $72K
Fullsail = $63k
Collins = $58k
DeVry = $54k
UAT = $55-60K (Havnt looked into this enough yet)

Anymore thoughts on this subject? I Dont like going into something like this blind.

I want to work on games, I cant draw anything awesome, and I havnt ever touched a graphics or 3d modeling program in my life, and I dont think Im very creative when it comes to game levels or story lines. I LOVE videogames, I understand programming languages, and I like writing script, so thats why I am leaning toward Game Programming.

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Have you thought about your college experience as a whole? The reason I've ruled out anything like Full Sail is because of the ridiculous rigor of their courses and/or non-collegiate atmosphere. I WANT to have "stupid college kid occurences" as someone else here put it.

Just somethin to think about

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Quote:

It seems that Full Sail is popular, but my parents forced me to rule that out in the beguining because of cost. That was the first school I looked at.
It also seems that you guys got the Idea that I want to be a normal programmer. I dont want to just program, I want to be a game programmer. I want to program games because Im not good at the art and story line, or level design side of it, but Im pretty good with the text and program side of it.


I know exactly what you want. I've seen plenty of people with the same ambitions. Unfortunately, it is you who have the wrong idea. Game programming is fundamentally no different from "regular" programming. A regular computer science degree will not neccessarily benefit you any more, or any less than a "game programming" degree. There are trade offs. But you are playing dangerous games not considering them.

"Game programming" programs like those at Full Sail, Digipen, tend to focus more on practical applications, less on fundamental theory. "Regular" computer science programs tend to have their focus the other way aroun. Personally I find the theory and fundamentals to be much more important, but that is something you need to weigh yourself -- either way, whichever you choose, you'll need to study the other side of the equation on your own time if you want to be successful, so the one you feel you'll be able to do better on your own should be a motivating factor in that -- I suspect it's game programming and practical applications you'll have more motivation to study on your own, which leads me to suggest that you take a computer science degree. But that's up to you. All I'm saying is that you should consider the option.

I'm not saying that game programming degrees won't get you a job outside the industry should you ever change your mind (which might happen, as much you think it won't; it did to me and I used to be just as sure as you are now). That argument is really difficult to make; there's really no evidence one way or another (I have a degree from DigiPen, now I work in the defense industry, so it *is* possible). Just think about all your options.

[Edited by - jpetrie on October 6, 2006 5:32:28 PM]

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HEY! Im going to Collins College in AZ right now, im just entering junior year, and funny as it is my main thing is programming! Small world.
Collins is actually split into 2 campus's, the BIG "east" side campus and the small "west" side campus, the small one hasnt been up a long time but its growing. Im going to the west campus, if you want on one of the days I dont have work after school you can come down and I can show you around and lay some information on you on my general experience on the pros and cons of going for a bachelors at a college, and more specifically collins. The big plus of being with me you won't have to worry about the staff poking and prodding you trying to get you to sign up and feeding you biased information on the school. And you can ask other students how they feel and what they think. Another nice thing is nerds in a general way have a keep to themselvs mentality, making them not very warm n friendly, however my specific class is very lively and talkative and will be more then glad to force the oppinions on you, lol.

If your interested PM me, if not I can just summerize what I feel.

P.S. I got a friend going over to the Art Institute, real cool guy, If you want I can ask him to show you around there too, your not considering that place but hey theres no harm in checkin it out, more information for you.

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