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Daivam

What to think of gameinstitute.com?

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What does everyone think about the site gameinstitute.com and it''s class offerings? Does anyone here have experience with them, and if so would you say they are worth it? $50 is a lot less than the cost of a college course, not to mention loads more convenient, yet still far more interactive than a book. But I''m worried about getting my moneys worth. $50 is still a bit for me, and that''s 3 or 4 used books if I spend thriftily. What do you guys think? Should I go for it?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I''d say that I''d pay 50 bucks to be taught by the likes of an Andre Lamothe or Stan Trujillo, but something seem a little fishy to me. 6 weeks is not really enough time to get enough. Hell, for 50 bucks you can''t expect much more. So if the instructors are really dedicated I would go for it.

Then come back and tell us how it was

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quote:
Original post by Daivam
$50 is a lot less than the cost of a college course, not to mention loads more convenient...


One statement: "nothing good comes easy."

Whatever you choose, dedicate yourself o it and you''ll do well. Good luck.

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Yeah you''ll probably think this is a biased report, especially since I do PR for them!! But I don''t care, cause it isn''t.

To tell the truth these are really cheap prices for what you get. Depending on the topic 6 weeks may not be enough indeed, which is why we have some 12-week courses. The classes are centered around community, so you''ll definerly meet and prob get to know knew people very well. Everyone helps each other through chat and message boards and email. You get an audio lecture and textbook chapter every week. Best of all is that after you complete the course, it is forever open to you You are considered alumni and can come back to post on the boards and such. I took the Game Mathematics course and had a blast. I think you''ll enjoy and get a lot out of it. Any problems and you contact me pronto k? Good luck.

Drew Sikora
A.K.A. Gaiiden

ICQ #: 70449988
AOLIM: DarkPylat

Blade Edge Software
Public Relations, Game Institute
Staff Member, GDNet

Online column - Design Corner at Pixelate
3-time Contributing author, Game Design Methods , Charles River Media (coming GDC 2002)

IGDC - the International Game Developers Chat! [irc.safemalloc.com #igdc]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Gaiiden, honestly how accesible are the instructors?

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very accesable. They have "office hours" during the week where you can meet in the chat and barrage them with questions. Some of my class'' chats went on for over 4 hours and were great.

To be honest I have gotten email from a student who had an instructor that was absent for a long while, but we resolved that to the satisfaction of the student which is why if you have any problems, don''t hesistate to get in touch with me.

Drew Sikora
A.K.A. Gaiiden

ICQ #: 70449988
AOLIM: DarkPylat

Blade Edge Software
Public Relations, Game Institute
Staff Member, GDNet

Online column - Design Corner at Pixelate
3-time Contributing author, Game Design Methods , Charles River Media (coming GDC 2002)

IGDC - the International Game Developers Chat! [irc.safemalloc.com #igdc]

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Guest Anonymous Poster

I took the terrain rendering course. The text was nice and was well written. Probably about 100-120 pages all told, so definately less material than if you''d bought a game dev book. You pay extra for the opportunity to ask questions - though in my experience book authors will often answer questions anyway if you can find their email.

I''d only sign up for a course in something I couldn''t find a decent book on elsewhere. (Like BSPs or terrain, but not game math or intro to C.)

6 weeks is plenty, guys. I attended a nationally known private university (and paid through the nose for the pleasure!) and the terms there were only 7 weeks long. That''s right: Calculus? 7 weeks. Relativity? 7 weeks. Organic Chemsity? 7 weeks.

Of course, we got a lot more material per week than game institute provides, but I guess that''s the difference between $50 and $4000 per course.

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actually the math course was 12 weeks. If I had had to cram all that stuff into a 6 week period I would have gone out of my mind! 6 weeks is enough for some courses

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I took the 12 wk OpenGL course. It wasn''t all it was cracked up to be. The instructor was lax & did not answer posts, and we didn''t get the promised game at the end of the course. After about 2 wks of complaints to the message boards and people like Drew (who by the way I think is top-notch & did his best to help the situation) the instructor made an apology and has started posting the code that was first promised. So I am now into week ~16 of the course, 12 weeks unsatisfied, 2 wks bitching & now new code once a week. I suspect we are getting new code as the instructor writes it for the current iteration. Also, as a side note the course is _OpenGL_ yet parts of the supplied code use DirectX8, which requires a 144Mb download. So if you use an alternate OS or don''t have the bandwidth for the DX8 SDK then you might have issues. On the whole I was disappointed with the course & I don''t have time now to review the code which we should have gotten in the first 12 weeks. Because GI is totally internet based I suspect that each instructor is pretty much running their own little world, so each course will likely have a huge varience in quality. I would like give these guys another chance, but am NOT going to fork out money to be burned again. All in all, I really like the ideas of the place but cannot recommend them over reading tutorials or buying a good book.

Just my own disgruntled opinion.
Brad

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Thanks for your post Brad. Unfortunetly these things happen to people and I''m not saying "tough luck" and I was glad you came to me and made me aware of the situation. Plain fact: We are still considered a start-up. We may have a lot of students and such but we''re still gonna experience bumps like these, and people are going to get burned

All I can say is that I''m here just like I was for Brad and I promise to work things out so that everybody wins. Egads I sound like a politician!! Now nobody''s gonna take me seriously! NOOOOOO!!!!!

Anyways I hope to see some of you on the enrollment list sometime in the future. We''re ramping up and if things go as planned, we''ll have some pretty cool stuff to show off

Drew Sikora
A.K.A. Gaiiden

ICQ #: 70449988
AOLIM: DarkPylat

Blade Edge Software
Public Relations, Game Institute
Staff Member, GDNet

Online column - Design Corner at Pixelate
3-time Contributing author, Game Design Methods , Charles River Media (coming GDC 2002)

IGDC - the International Game Developers Chat! [irc.safemalloc.com #igdc]
NJ IGDA Chapter - NJ developers unite!! [Chapter Home | Chapter Forum]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
A friend of mine took the BSP and Terrain Rendering classes. He liked the Terrain Class and Loved the BSP class. Said it was worth every penny.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I took the terrain and BSP courses.

The terrain course material is very good in my opinion, but the instructor was not around as much as I would have liked him to be. It was still worth the money though IMO.

The BSP course was fantastic! The material is great and the two instructors are incredibly dedicated, friendly, and most of all helpful. I''ve heard time and time again that this is the best course that GI offers and I agree.

As said above, I''ve heard bad things about the OpenGL course. Stay away from it...

As for the other courses, I''m not really sure. Ask for opinions on specific ones that you''re interested in and see what kind of reply you get.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I almost done with the Direct3D course. I''ve got a few DirectX books on the shelf, but you can''t talk to the author of a book you bought at amazon. Communicating directly with the instructor makes all the difference to me. For the price i think its well worth it as the cost of my directX books add up to more than the course.

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yes, the BSP and the terrain courses are our most popular offerings to date.

_________________________________________________________________

Drew Sikora
A.K.A. Gaiiden

ICQ #: 70449988
AOLIM: DarkPylat

Blade Edge Software
Staff Member, GDNet
Public Relations, Game Institute

3-time Contributing author, Game Design Methods , Charles River Media (coming GDC 2002)
Online column - Design Corner at Pixelate

IGDC - the International Game Developers Chat! [irc.safemalloc.com #igdc]
NJ IGDA Chapter - NJ developers unite!! [Chapter Home | Chapter Forum]

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I am on the 5th week of the Pathfinding class, and must say that I really enjoyed Brians writing style. Very well done!

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Guest Anonymous Poster

Has anyone taken the ''Network Game Programming with DirectX 8'' course at the Game Institute? I can''t decide whether to take this course or buy the ''Multiplayer Game Programming'' book.

I have been leaning towards buying the book for it''s additional information about socket programming and other DirectX API''s like DirectAudio and DirectInput. But, I''ve also read some reviews complaining that more time needs to be spent with the directplay chapters. So if anyone has taken this course or read the book, I''d like your opinion.

------

Now I would like to say that I have taken two Game Institute courses so I know how the format works. The first course I took was the Advanced BSP course which I highly recommend to anyone who''s interested in BSP trees or even getting started with 3d game programming (a little Direct3d knowledge is required). Over all, it was Excellent and I give 5 out of 5 stars . Great job Gary and Adam!

The other course I just took was the Direct3d course which I was kind of disappointed in. Here I would give it 3 out of 5 stars.

It''s not that it was bad, it''s just not as complete as the BSP course. There are way to many assumptions and not enough explanation in the textbook about how the eiSDK code works. Sure the code is there to look at but it''s not exactly the easiest thing to trace thru, especially for someone with only C++ programming experience. A lot of this stuff is still new to me, such as loading ZCB files. With so many c++ classes interacting with other classes it becomes confusing to sift thru just to find out how something works. I think if they explain more on how eiSDK works in the textbook and put some more comments in the code this will turn out to be a 5 out of 5 star course. On a side note, I will say I have learned a lot from studied the eiSDK, which is what it''s all about. And from what I''ve gathering about the code, I think the framework is well thought out once you begin to see how everything works.

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