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CloudLizard

Fullsail or UAT? and another question...

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okay so I can't decide whether or not to go to Fullsail or UAT. I'm just a sophomore but I want to think about deciding which one now. I don't want to go to westwood because i've heard that the teachers there aren't all that good and fullsail and UAT are places that I've heard some pretty good feedback about. I'll apply to both, but I don't know which to go to. I would go to digipen, but I live in texas and that's a bit more money than I want to spend GETTING TO a college. I was wondering maybe some people could tell about their curriculum, how much money it cost, etc. I know that I have to do a lot of work outside of the classroom to really get somewhere once I get out, but I just want some opinions and information also, my second question. I really want to get into game programming. but i don't know... let's say I don't know ANYTHING about programming. I'm not sure what classes I should take while i'm in high school or stuff that I should do outside of school (make small demos for fun or practice maybe) I have an idea as to where to start, but just want some opinions. I pretty much know where I want to end up, I just don't know where to start really.

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If you have no programming knowledge or experience, than I can NOT ADEQUATELY EMPHASIZE this point:

You should go to a regular college (or start at a community college even) and begin a course of study towards a computer science degree. This allows you to "test the waters", so to speak, and see if it is something you like and are good at before committing huge sums of money to one of the "game design" schools. If you don't like it, you have options and are left with some transferable college credit.

Additionally, it is my opinion--there are tons of threads about this--that a traditional BS in Computer Science is superior in most cases anyway... you will have more of a well-rounded education and a more solid CS knowledge, which can be applied to any number of topics, including game development.

EDIT:

To answer the second question... don't work with an eye toward "getting into game programming". Work with an eye toward becoming the best computer scientist that you can, so that you can choose your work (whether it be games or whatever). Take as much math as you can take, and learn it as well as you can. Computer science and math are related in a way that is very hard to describe, but which you will later understand. An emphasis on math will in many ways prepare you for success in the field of computer science more than "programming" classes will--of course you want those also--but the math is the foundation from which CS concepts are derived.

If you do those things and enjoy it and excel, you can do just about anything you want in the field. As you learn to program and begin experimenting with things that interest you, you can should begin to work on game development related things--graphics, AI, etc., all of which are more easily mastered with a solid math background.



[Edited by - smitty1276 on February 6, 2008 5:54:08 PM]

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As smitty said, go to a general college first. Get your Bachelors in Computer Science there, then go to graduate school at a game/technology institute to get your Masters.

The problem with getting your Bachelors in Game Development is that game development is only a small part of Computer Science. If you're specialized in Game Development (Bachelors in Game Development) then to your employers it might appear that you're not qualified for a position outside of game development (but still within the field of computer science).

Also, it is possible to get your Bachelors/Masters in Computer Science at a game/technology institute. This might be more of what you're looking for if you are sure that you want to go straight to a game/technology institute out of high school.

<opinion>
The point is that you don't want to get a Bachelors or Masters in Game Development, you want to get it in Computer Science.
</opinion>

Quote:

Take as much math as you can take, and learn it as well as you can. Computer science and math are related in a way that is very hard to describe, but which you will later understand.


The field of Computer Science was derived from Mathematics. That's how close they're related!

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why is it that people want to go to private colleges that don't have that good a rep. for quality education? If you are paying 30k a year for school you ought to be going to some place really good (westwood or one of those other private colleges costs more than Harvard). Why not go to UTA, UTD or some place with a decent technical program that is fairly cheap.

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Quote:
Original post by CloudLizard

also, my second question. I really want to get into game programming. but i don't know... let's say I don't know ANYTHING about programming. I'm not sure what classes I should take while i'm in high school or stuff that I should do outside of school (make small demos for fun or practice maybe) I have an idea as to where to start, but just want some opinions.
I pretty much know where I want to end up, I just don't know where to start really.


You might want to try programming first. You may realize it's not your thing. How's your math and logic? Not by grades, how comfortable are you with that?

But going to specialized CS schools without having the faintest idea of what they really involve is problematic. It's very likely you'll find they're simply not your thing.

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Original post by Antheus
Quote:
Original post by CloudLizard


You might want to try programming first. You may realize it's not your thing. How's your math and logic? Not by grades, how comfortable are you with that?

But going to specialized CS schools without having the faintest idea of what they really involve is problematic. It's very likely you'll find they're simply not your thing.


I've taken video game programming into consideration because I know that you need to be really good at math to do it. and I also I really like video games and actually like the idea of creating them, making them my job. even if it's 12+ hour work days. i'm used to long hours of work and lack of sleep. Most of my classes are advanced, including math, so all are for 1 grade level ahead of what i'm in now. I like math and my arithmetic skills are really good so I don't need a calculator all that much.

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Original post by CloudLizard
Quote:
Original post by Antheus
Quote:
Original post by CloudLizard


You might want to try programming first. You may realize it's not your thing. How's your math and logic? Not by grades, how comfortable are you with that?

But going to specialized CS schools without having the faintest idea of what they really involve is problematic. It's very likely you'll find they're simply not your thing.


I've taken video game programming into consideration because I know that you need to be really good at math to do it. and I also I really like video games and actually like the idea of creating them, making them my job. even if it's 12+ hour work days. i'm used to long hours of work and lack of sleep. Most of my classes are advanced, including math, so all are for 1 grade level ahead of what i'm in now. I like math and my arithmetic skills are really good so I don't need a calculator all that much.


< cynical > Computers are calculators. < /cynical >

On topic: go to college and get your degree. Trust me. Having a degree proves that you can finish a relatively tough part of your life without quitting and shows people that you're well rounded. A lot of people discredit classes that they would consider "not important" simply because they don't fit into their life's desires later on. Thought like this is foolish and irresponsible. What you learn in general university classes is that there's a lot more to life than just what you enjoy. You'll get a broad overlook on many aspects of life and most likely find yourself in the process.

That said, denying yourself the college experience simply because you want to focus on what you enjoy now is downright dangerous.

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I am looking at Digipen or Full Sail for when I get out of the army and from reading a lot on both as well as talking to people on both sides of the fence I have come to find on very important thing.

My recruiter told me this, "You will get out of the army as much as you put into it."

And if you think about it, the same goes for any college including Full Sail. So basically all I'm saying is do the best you can, never let yourself just coast through it. Just because someone went to Harvard Law does not make them a good lawyer. Its the ones who study every waking moment and who dedicate themselves to there education that make it big.

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Quote:
Original post by Wolfwood723
Just because someone went to Harvard Law does not make them a good lawyer. Its the ones who study every waking moment and who dedicate themselves to there education that make it big.


Yeah, but you're overlooking an important point... if someone sees someone who graduated from Harvard Law, you know that they studied every waking moment and that they dedicated themselves to their education. It's an implication that goes with the Harvard degree.

When you are considering a traditional 4 year CS degree vs a degree from a Full Sail, etc., the traditional degree is something like that Harvard degree, while the Full Sail degree costs more and might represent that hard-working guy... but, then again, it might not.

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I work at a big company in the games industry. I've met a lot of programmers, designers, producers, artists, etc. Guess how many people I know that graduated from Fullsail, Digipen, or UAT? Zero.

That's not to say none of their graduates get hired in the field, or that I'd have a problem hiring one, it's just an interesting observation.

This probably sounds like a broken record, but: Go to a regular college and take computer science, or visual arts (2D or 3D, or both), or some general arts degree (depending on the area of games you're interested in). You can always focus on game development whenever you get the chance to work on a thesis, or honours project, or any sort of final project of your own choosing. I know where you're coming from though. I wanted to go to digipen from the moment I saw an article on the school in Nintendo Power when I was 13 or so.

One more benefit of a regular college is that you can get a more rounded education, study multiple disciplines, change majors if your interests change at a later date, and meet people with all sorts of interests and backgrounds.

That's my two cents. It's up to you in the end though.

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