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nightwreath

A hello and a degree question

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Hello friends! I am new member of the site and just wanted to take a moment to greet everyone here. :) Like most here I imagine, I am an aspiring game developer and have been an avid gamer since I was a young boy. I'm 29 years old now and want to find a good online school to get my degree. I also wanted to ask if some of you are familiar with any of the Online Computer/Game Development Programs such as Westwood College Online, UAT, Baker College, or even non-degree courses like those offered at the Game Institute. I work full time right now and don't have the option to move off to school in another state. My finances are also pretty tight, and I will probably end up having to pay for school mostly out of my pocket. (im trying for some federal aid but i wont hold my breath) So if any of you are familiar with some of these programs and could provide me with a little advice for finding an affordable, online degree in computer science, programming, or game development...I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks so much and I look forward to learning from all of you!

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My apologies if I posted this in the wrong forum. I just saw the beginner's tab and figured that would be a good place to start. If a mod thinks this should be moved to a different forum that's fine by me. Thanks. :)

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Well what is your current degree/work experience/hobby experience (if any)?

With no degree, it might be more prudent to go get a basic CS degree.
With a good CS degree and/or experience it might be a better choice to just practice making some demos.
Can't really tell without more background info.

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I have a High School degree and my work experience is varied, from some time spent as a Direct Care Worker in Health Care, to the past four years where I have worked an lower level leadership postions in Retail. I currently sell computers everyday at work and help run the Digital Technologies department of the store I work in. I have no pc programming/development work experience and on the hobby side, my only hobby experience deals with the playing of games, not learning how to make them. At some point I have owned nearly every console ever made...and I have been an avid pc gamer since the days of the Commodore 64. During my years I have delved into nearly every kind of game genre imaginable, playing everything I could get my hands on.

I have also been writing since I was quite young...everything from short stories, plays, poems...you name it. I began taking an interest in game development the more I began to learn about MMO's during the earl days of Ultima Online and Everquest. The potential for that kind of genre truly peaked my fascination for what could be possible in a video game. So I started reading up on the field and garnered a very beginner's level understanding of languages such as BASIC and C++.

But I have no programs, demos, or levels to show from that period of research, as I had many other responsibilities at the time that I did not neglect. My life took me elsewhere for a few years and I let go of such dreams. I was stuck in the "working" grind and began to lose hope of ever pushing forward and going back to school. But the last year of my life has changed that and now more than ever I know I want to go to school for game development. Games are one of my passions and have been for many years, so why fight it? :)

Well...sorry if that was a little long-winded. But hopefully you now have a better idea of who I am and where I am coming from. Thanks for the response!

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well it appears as though you are a fan of gaming and would like to get into programming( no programming experience ever).

my advice is get a cs degree.. then from there try to get into game companies... go off of there needs/wants... if you think after a cs degree a game developing degree is also required then do so

sorry i can offer no advice on those programs because frankly i don't know im only 16 ha

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Since you asked about Online options I will chime in.

I go to DeVry online and I love it. (They're actually a really good school despite the commercials). That being said...

The school is very fast paced. Most colleges will have you do 4 classes in 16 weeks for full time, DeVry does the same however you have 2 classes for 8 weeks, then 2 more classes for 8 weeks meaning your doubling the workload of the classes. (I prefer this approach but some may not.)

Online school, just like regular school is also a lot of self study. The professor does post the lectures and you can ask questions on the class forum, email the professor, or call them. (They are real professors too. Some teach at devry, others at other colleges, one professor at devry I had when I went to penn state!.) You will be doing a ton of reading and a ton of projects. The easier classes its not so bad but the tougher classes you really have to keep on top of. The school also has very strict deadlines, and by that I mean if its late, its a 0. Period.

The school minimizes gen ed courses and focuses more on the core courses which in my opinion is how it should be. If I am paying for a programming degree I want to do programming and computer science with a sprinkle of gen eds, not the other way around. The school is also year around so don't be fooled when you see "3 years, 8 months" or whatever they say for a degree. You literally go year around with very small (3 days usually) breaks between semesters. I think Christmas is a week. Its a lot of work.

Its also a lot of math. Your math won't even start counting towards graduation credits until you hit calculus. You can start as low as basic algebra and work your way up. I also love how their math system is set up. Its hard to explain online so I'm not even going to try but its great.

I went two two regular campuses before I went online and I prefer online. Not only do you learn more faster, but you have more time to study since you have no commute, you can go at any time, and you aren't slowed down by the rest of the class. All the information is there at once on the screen. The only thing that changes throughout the week is the class discussions. I'm really happy with my decision and I am learning a lot.



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I have been looking into Devry! At the moment though, my problem will be affording college as much as anything. How is the tuition there? Are there options for those who qualify for only a small amount of federal aid? Thanks for the responses and keep em' coming! :)

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If you call them (they do ALL the footwork which is nice, all they will want from you is a few signatures) but they have all types of payment plans they pull from to get you the financial aid you need to start. Also if you need to buy any books (most classes the book is available to you in pdf form) you can put it straight on your tuition.

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