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Roberts91

Completely drained on searching for college

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I've been searching for the right college for me for the past three years in the meantime I've gotten my GED, completed some college core classes at a local community college mostly english and math classes. In my search I've looked into what seems like a 100 schools. I've seemed to have narrowed it down to 2 schools. Full Sail University and auburn university. While these are two completely different schools one offers a Computer Science degree and the other offers a Game Development degree they are essentially the same as far as curriculum goes but for the fact that Auburn University has a lot more general education courses required while Full Sail offers more game development specific courses. While they both teach you the ins and outs of how to program Full Sail of course has an emphasis on game programming. I've already applied to Full Sail and should be starting 8/30/10. Family memebers have opted against Full Sail because of the price. And you guys and other game dev forums have opposed Full Sail and schools a like. Which in turn 99% of those people saying to get a traditional CS degree have never been to one of these Game Development schools. Which with all do respect to those who oppose Full Sail have no clue what they are talking about because they've never attended the school much less have very little knowledge about the school. Thus in my mind these people can't form valid opinions on the school. So I'm pretty much drained on choosing a school at this point and I've come to the point where I don't care what school I go to and even closer to the point of not caring to go to school at all. It's kinda hard to do what you want to when the whole world is against your decision.

Hopefully this post didn't sound to stupid as of right now I'm just mentally and physically drained.

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Original post by Roberts91
I've seemed to have narrowed it down to 2 schools.

Have you made a decision grid?

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It sounds to me like you already made your mind up on Full Sail, and you're just looking for validation of that decision.

To be frank, your post comes across as "everyone who disagrees about Full Sail doesn't know what they're talking about." Now you're totally entitled to decide to attend there - I'm not trying to dispute that. But being that dismissive about dissenting opinions is... a bit dangerous, IMHO.

I totally respect the fact that you're facing a tough choice, and that at this point it is probably easier to just take one route and go with it. If you feel that Full Sail is the best option, then go for it.


But fishing for affirmation is a good way to catch sharks. Those with reasons against Full Sail are not necessarily wrong. Honestly I'd have to side with the people who told you that a traditional CS degree is a far, far wiser decision in many regards. Did I go to Full Sail? No. Does that make me unqualified to hold that opinion?

Well, let me put it this way. I've never stuffed my face into a blender, but I will maintain to my dying day that doing so is a pretty bad idea. Do you still feel that my lack of firsthand experience disqualifies me from having an opinion?

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"the whole world is against your decision"

A guy drives his car on the highway, and listens to radio:
"breaking news: One maniac is driving against the traffic on the xy highway"
"One?!! All of them!!"

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Original post by Roberts91
...I've already applied to Full Sail and should be starting 8/30/10. Family memebers have opted against Full Sail because of the price.

This is a perfectly valid reason and shouldn't be dismissed. If you can afford it that is fine but you need to make that decision based on your financial situation and not just because you want to go there.
Quote:
.... And you guys and other game dev forums have opposed Full Sail and schools a like. Which in turn 99% of those people saying to get a traditional CS degree have never been to one of these Game Development schools.

1. You have never attended one of these schools so your opinion is equally baseless.
2. You made up the 99% figure in an attempt to devalue opposing opinions.
3. Even if the 99% figure was accurate that still leaves 1% who have attended so their opinion is still more valid than yours.

As ApochPiQ said - you appear to have already made up your mind and are trying to get validation for your opinion, rather than actual information. As Tom suggests you should be making this decision by using a decision grid as it helps to eliminate some of the emotional aspects of the decision process.

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I dropped out of high school in the 9th grade and got my degree I thought just because I was going down a road that isn't traveled as much as the other that I would be fine. Even while working towards my GED I debated to myself should I drop this and go back to high school right now? I never went back and I regret that because no matter what anyone tells you, a GED is absolutely nothing compared to going to high school. I've missed out on so much and so many opportunities by just dropping out and settling with a GED. I was only 16 years old I had no clue what I was doing. Instead everyone seen me as a criminal and punished me by sending me to a detention center locking me up instead of actually helping me.

I just don't want to make another mistake I want to get the best education possible. I want to make games for a living. I want to work at my dream job. And it all comes down to what school I choose to go to? That's not very fair. You should be able to pick a school that's right for you and a school that you know you'll get the most out of and just run with it.

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Original post by Roberts91
I just don't want to make another mistake


Good for you! Not everyone learns from that kind of mistake, so you're already a little bit ahead of the game on that front.

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I want to get the best education possible.


If this is the case, you really owe it to yourself to consider a traditional 4-year school over a dedicated "games" school. You will get a far more well-rounded education overall, and end up with a lot more options in life should you decide to move out of games in the future. You already know how limiting it can be to be stuck with just a GED rather than a full high school diploma, and what kind of stuff you missed out on besides just the class content - you'll be doing the same thing all over again here.

Quote:
I want to make games for a living. I want to work at my dream job. And it all comes down to what school I choose to go to?


Not quite. The school you attend will make a very big difference, yes, but what you put into it yourself will also be a major factor. It's like any other field: the school will determine the quality of education you have available, but the quality of education you receive is really up to you.

Quote:
That's not very fair. You should be able to pick a school that's right for you and a school that you know you'll get the most out of and just run with it.


It mystifies me to this day that anyone has this expectation that anything in life is meant to be "fair." I honestly can't think of very many things in the universe that are fair, so in general I'd say one should expect unfairness to be the rule, not the exception.

Either way... you can pick the school that's right for you and "just run with it." That's not the issue here. What people are trying to tell you is that you might have a skewed idea of what's actually right for you.

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Original post by Roberts91
1. I want to make games for a living. I want to work at my dream job. And it all comes down to what school I choose to go to?
2. That's not very fair.
3. You should be able to pick a school that's right for you and a school that you know you'll get the most out of and just run with it.

1. No. It doesn't. Whoever told you that was wrong.
2. Most of life is unfair. Whoever told you life is supposed to be fair was wrong.
3. You are able to do that. Apparently you don't believe it.

Lastly, you do not seem to have read the replies you've gotten. You just keep on with your original rant. You need to respond to our responses -- you can stop ranting now, it doesn't make for good conversation.

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Original post by Roberts91
I just don't want to make another mistake I want to get the best education possible. I want to make games for a living. I want to work at my dream job. And it all comes down to what school I choose to go to? That's not very fair. You should be able to pick a school that's right for you and a school that you know you'll get the most out of and just run with it.


I understand that you don't want to make a mistake but my best advice is to stand by the decisions you make and just evaluate your decisions as you go along. I don't want to sound mean but chances are you will make a mistake along the way. Learn from your previous mistakes and try not to make them again (continue though with school).

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I went to a game and simulation programming school, the professors were great and had first hand knowledge from working at EA and some larger simulation companies. The problem wasn't the professors, the problem becomes that MANY game design schools (full sail included) try to pack a class into 4-8 weeks, now this is fine and dandy if its a small amount of material, but when you start talking people who have never programmed in their life or done anything serious, they will need time between classes to figure things out. They also tend to have to gloss over a lot of things and just briefly mention certain areas.

I've been programming and scripting since I was 12, but I only within the last 4 years have done C++, when I first started at that school they had us taking classes in C# because they said it was the language for future game development. Then they switched the entire thing to C++ and never taught about pointers, or seg-faults, or memory leaks. They were trying to fit too much in too short of a time, and also required online message boards (which these were on site classes). They also give you a bunch of classes to try to make you well rounded. The problem with this? You will almost never get hired as a designer straight away (its possible but mostly if you know someone). You will also not be as good at any discipline when compared to someone with a degree in just CS or Art.

I found that last point a major problem. I can understand some electives if people would like to take it. Trying to make a well rounded person for a game company in 21 months will not happen, they will not be an amazing artist nor will they be an amazing coder (unless someone was already either one before they went). Now I have switched schools which is going to take me a year and a 1/2 more to graduate then I should (I am 22 now), but in 2 semesters with only 3 total CS courses I feel I have learned more programming skills then I ever did at the other school. This comes from personal research and being on a competitive programming team, going to ACM and CMU for some contests was an amazing experience.

My general consensus on my experience is it will be what you make of it, but if you want to be specialized (or even a designer eventually) do something specific and that is hirable outside of a single track. Do you think game designers in the industry now had degrees in game design? hell no, they have CS or Art degrees or no degree at all. Everyone has ideas, once you learn to document them you are fine, its getting your foot in the door that is the problem.

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