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College Advice? -Game Design

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Hey one and all, Im currently a senior in high school who is looking around for a good place to get a Game Programming degree. The places I'm looking into are Digipen, Full sail, Art institute of Portland, etc. Have any of you gone to these places or have any advice on how I should decide which one to go to? I would much appreciate any advice you guys could give. Thanks

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I job shadowed at Simutronics Corp. in St. Charles, MO. and a lot of people said that game design colleges are an expensive waste. I was recommended to full sail and told to just study what sounds interesting, they said psychology is a pretty common major for game devs too.

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Quote:
Original post by overlord220
I job shadowed at Simutronics Corp. in St. Charles, MO. and a lot of people said that game design colleges are an expensive waste. I was recommended to full sail and told to just study what sounds interesting, they said psychology is a pretty common major for game devs too.

So you were advised to stay away from expensive schools like Full Sail, and Full Sail was recommended. Pretty confusing! (^_^)

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I highly recommend getting your 4 year degree first. That's pretty important. Then if you wanted, you could look into attending a place like the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA) for a Masters degree (http://fiea.ucf.edu).

The best thing to look at when you are considering a game school is their alumni job placement rate. Also find out what companies the alumni work for.

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Thanks all for the advice,
Zer0Wolf, I plan on studying Game Programming, but Ive just recently been looking into the art institute of Portland which offers programming but teaches you design as well, so in a sense I plan on doing both.

A lot of you are saying to get a real degree first, but all the colleges like Digipen and the Art Institute end up giving you a bachelors degree in game programming, why is that worse then a bachelors degree in anything else?

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... because it is not about the degree you want. It is about the education which you want to have and which - more importantly - you will be expected to have when you want to get into the industry. A Bachelor may be a Bachelor, but someone who knows how parsers work because he took an NLP course will be hired to work on the dialogue module of a next-generation RPG while the one who went to a game design college to avoid all computer science whose purpose needs more of the keyboard than W, A, S and D won't.

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If I did 5 years of digipen I would get a computer science degree with the game programming degree. Im not doing it to avoid important classes. I know I can make myself successful no matter where I go, because Its more important to be creative and understanding of what your doing then just learning technical skills. I just want to be at a place that will teach me new ways of doing things and provide a good source of connections to future jobs.
Its just weird because ive heard from some professionals that gaming and animation schools are great because they get you started on the career so you can make a name for yourself. But then ive heard a lot of pro's say that I should get a general computer science degree. But I really think Id do best at a game school, because Im not just looking for technical skills, I want to be able to apply art to programming, not just programming.

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One important question is if you have any computer science experience? If not I would say go with a four year degree in computer science from a standard college. I had four years of computer science classes in HS and I thought I knew how to program but after graduating with my degree in CS from Virginia Tech I realized that I had no idea what I was doing... even though it worked at the time. You will learn A LOT from a university about computer science and teaching yourself how to create games is something that can be taught to yourself much easier. Especially if you are creative and dedicated. Plus college is a lot more fun with a lot more girls than a game college... You don't want to be surrounded by nerds all the time who's idea of a cool party starts with L-A-N instead of B-E-E-R.

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