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chrisx16x2008

College path for for game programmer?

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please only reply if you know what your talking about... OK so I am about to graduate and i want to become a general app programmer and/or Game programmer. I wanna take an online course because there are no good colleges around me and i don't wanna relocate at the moment. I have looked and searched Google, but don't really know what to do for college. I have heard not to get a special game programming degree just to go into computer science. I have also heard you need a good programming course to learn to apply programming to games. Another thing is i can't find any online computer science courses, only Information Technology. My dream job would be to make my own game dev/ software dev. company. Although i needed pointed in the right direction and I wanna do it the first time around. I don't wanna have to be told that i didnt take the right courses in college. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Here's what I think about "game schools" versus traditional schools.

I would recommend that you look for a computer science degree given by the "best" four-year college or university you can afford. "Best" is relatively subjective, of course -- a lot of picking a college is a very personal thing based on how you like the campus, the locale, the culture and the people -- but some of it can be sortof objective. If the place is reasonably well known for computer science or math you're probably fine. Online "colleges" (versus brick-and-mortar places with online classes) can be sketchy and have bad reputations. Besides, you shouldn't discount the social and shared-experiences aspect of actually attending college physically. Yes, somebody have tepid to unpleasant experiences doing so, but others enjoy it quite a bit.

Another option is to consider going to a community college to get general education courses out of the way, often for cheaper. You should have an idea of where you'd like to go to school "for real" though, because you'll want to make sure the credits will transfer.

As for specific schools, you can find plenty using Google for "computer science" and "college" or "university." Are you willing to travel far, or do you want to stay nearby? If so, limit your search by those criteria, take a look and the courses offered by the schools you dig up, perhaps look them up in the college-shopping magazine's you see in the bookstores, et cetera. Visit them if you can.

Here is a quick list of places in IL. Have you found these places unpalatable for some reason? What makes you say they "aren't good?" How far away is too far? A few miles, or within the same state, or what? "Not willing to relocate" could mean a variety of things.

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Looks like you have done a fair bit of (accurate) research. That said, online colleges just aren't there yet. If you want good options, be more flexible. UIUC has a good CS program last I heard.

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Well, I'd also add that there's nothing stopping you from making games (as a hobby) starting right now. You don't really need to go to college to program as a hobby. There's no magical, mystical thing that happens in college other than you spending lots of time learning. No reason not to start learning ahead of time while you decide.

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I would recommend the Game Institute for many reasons.

Clicky

1. The faculty of professional game developers with long enough histories to offer a great deal of credibility.

2. The extremely low prices.

3. The very high-quality and involved material.

4. They offer college credit ( I think it had to do with a place called Excelsior, some credit bank or institute) and courses for other marketable skills outside game development.

5. The schedule flexibility, where you define the weeks you are "attending".

6. If your situation is heavily focused on game design, and other avenues are either not of interest or not likely to be obtained soon.

Given I have no colleges near me, this was perfect. The lessons were brain-busting, but I am thrilled with what I learned there I do not believe you'd regret going.

of course I agree with jpetrie that the social experience can have it's benefits and the GI has little to offer there... You may want to look at craigslist posts if it's difficult to determine a manner to meet other people for this, or use GDNet+ gatherings, if your state is active enough in game developing.

And like jdindia said, you can jump to hobbyist game development, which can be a great first step and can make the workload a little easier to take on, since it comes at a heavy rate. Overall, whether you are online or near/close to college etc. really matters very little given the vast different ways people learn. I've been holding a mouse for many years and I only really benefit from material if it's displayed on a monitor. Being in school was not an effective avenue for me, so that became an issue requiring a PC to be remedied. That's just me. Ask yourself of your preferred method, and there you go, really. I don't think any of us can really tell you one way or the other about this, so it's just suggestions out there.

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