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I was wonder about this school. How much does the gamedev corse cost? Second Is it worth the arm and leg I have to give for it? thnx in advance!

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Hey there. I attend FullSail. It is a pretty good amount, but, I think it is well worth it. I recently posted my astroids clone that you do during one of the classes there, and, I havent programmed before I went to the school. That game I posted, is What I was able to do, in 4 months of programming, and 1 week of DIrectX. The school is extremely fast paced, and intence. Looking at orughly 40 hours a week of in game classes, and many hours out of class. Good majority of classes in the game class, are from 5pm-1am. We are considered lucky, cause a lot of people will get lectures at like, 9am or 1pm, and have labs between 1-9am. Also, they have guest speakers that do come in and talk to us. Back in MArch, we had Jason DalaRoca(Sorry for butchering you name) founder of IGDA, a few guys from the companys in the area, and the high light, John Romero and Stevie Case. THe teachers as well, will help ya when ever you need help. In fact, the class im in now, the teacher gave us all his personal info, so if we need help, when ever, call him or look him up on-line, and hell help as much as he can. But it is fast paced, and intence. A lot of people get burnt out though, but if you have the passion, then it shouldnt be a problem. If you want more info, feel free to e-mail me at

jprettyfs@yahoo.com

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Guest Anonymous Poster
however...the school isn''t so highly thought of amongst some of the games industry employers.

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Well you cant really say that you programmed the whole game as you say u cant release some of the source as it is propietry to fullsail, impling that you did not code the whole thing... and I would not be wanting to work in the games industry once I have a family or something and the hours are total shit, so it will be harder for you to get a job if all you know is games...
Also what are the final year projects like?

CEO Plunder Studios

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Hopefully by tommorow night, ill have my own DirectX classes done, bout 90% there now, so, my games full code, will be up tommorow or monday.

The game design program, last 15 months. Longest degree program at the school. The final game project, has been, well, everything in the book. Groups have made RTS's, FPS's, strategys, and a few have tried a MMORPG type game. The last 3 months of the degree goes with one month of Asset production/AI, and the final two are all working on the final project. How the whole deal is graded, is by milestones. We have to come up with an Idea of a game, and "pitch it" to the instructors. If they like it, we then get a "budget" and then a list of milestones for the game. Every milestone, they review what we have, and make sure its all up to par. Basically, at the end, we need to have a fully working game demo up and running. There has been some good final projects, and, there has been some bad ones. Some just look like the group fell apart, and decided to do nothing to the games, but, thats their own fault.

Yeah, the Teachers/admissions reps keep telling us the hours in the industry is crazy, and if we really want this, then be prepared for the long hours. But, I love games, and loving programming more and more, so, I'm ready for it. I have no real social life now, so, it wont bother me at all, heh

Peace

[edited by - Prettyboyfs on June 2, 2002 2:42:19 AM]

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"however...the school isn''t so highly thought of amongst some of the games industry employers."

Then again, some absolutely love it. Take a look at Romero''s web page. (http://www.rome.ro/)

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I''ve never been to fullsail, but I would think that cramming that much education into such short time would overload many people, especially if they''re newbies starting out. Not that they couldn''t do it, just that they couldn''t do it in that amount of time... but people need time to reflect on their knowledge, experiment by writing all sorts of programs, learn from their mistakes and so on in order to progress... and that takes time... can''t really push it can you?

I just don''t see many people (especially those who were newbies going into fullsail) really being "prepared" for the industry after just one year of study, no matter how "intense" that year was. As they say, Rome wasn''t built in a day...

What do fullsail grads think of that?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Sordith
"however...the school isn''t so highly thought of amongst some of the games industry employers."

Then again, some absolutely love it. Take a look at Romero''s web page. (http://www.rome.ro/)


Read the page, after being treated like VIP''s and possibly even paid at the very least for his expenses he''s not likely to say otherwise is he.

Besides, this guy is hardly a good example having screwed Ion Storm into the ground. No wonder he''s publicising schools. Probably needs to take jobs like these after selling his Ferrari.

As for the other guys comment...who the fuck is Ginger Smith?

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Mr poster, if you can name the other 5 people in charge of Ion Storm, ill be impressed.

If anyone does have questions about the school, from a student prespective, please feel free to e-mail me at

jprettyfs@yahoo.com

Thanks



[edited by - Prettyboyfs on June 2, 2002 5:10:42 PM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Mr poster, if you can name the other 5 people in charge of Ion Storm, ill be impressed.


How childish...I know the names of these people and you don''t. I''m not particularly sure why being able to name drop is relevant. Does knowing the names of these people make you feel important young schoolboy?

You also say ''other five people in charge of Ion Storm''. So tell me who is the first one that we''ve mysteriously been talking about?

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I''ve been through the tours that Full Sail gives and they are quite impressive. Full Sail definitely likes to pamper visitors and they have quite a lot of expensive equipment. However, I know of many (6+) graduates of the Film program (one who was the valedictorian) who are working at menial (ie. Walmart) jobs a year or so after graduating.

I think the consensus is that the industries don''t think very well of specialty schools such as Full Sail. That and the price, (35k for an Associate''s degree), made me decide to just get a regular four year degree instead. I''ll also have something to fall back on in case something goes sour.

But I''ve always thought that school is only as good as you make it, so for all of you already attending: "Good Luck! Make some kick-ass games!"

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It is a serious school that does a good job of getting people ready for game development. It is not a general degree program, which has both its pros and cons. Some universities do an OK job of addressing graphic and entertainment, but not many. There is no middle ground yet.



Glen Martin
Dynamic Adventures Inc.
Zenfar

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The school is very good at what it does. The school gets you ready for a job however it doesn''t get you the job. Don''t confuse the two or you''ll be sorely disappointed.

In 15 months you''ll learn what would take a few years of reading books, grasping concepts, surfing the net for info, and programming.

What you don''t learn isn''t really on any website, or in any book, it''s the experience and knowledge that you gain once you get into the industry.

Does Full Sail teach you everything you need to know? Absolutely not, they teach you what you need to know to get started, after that it''s up to you to make contacts, find information, and elaborate on the education that you''ve received.

Full Sail Grad
Nov ''99


Joseph Fernald
Software Engineer
Red Storm Entertainment.
------------------------
The opinions expressed are that of the person posting
and not that of Red Storm Entertainment.

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Hi,

If you don''t go to Full Sail you might also consider Digipen (which is where I currently attend). It''s also a great school (although I really didn''t look into Full Sail) and it gives a BSc. It''s a 4 year program like most colleges but it teaches you quite a lot of stuff. Every year is pretty intense also. Here''s a breakdown of the type of games you would make during the 4 years:

1 - Text based (That''s what I just completed last year)
2 - Some type of graphic scroller (topdown RPG, sidescroller, whatever)
3 - Strategy (Starcraft?, MGS?)
4 - 3d (FPS, Flight sim, anything that can be 3d)

So, while not as fast as Full Sail, Digipen covers a lot of topics. They have specialized classes for AI (In which you can work on a RoboCup bot (Robotic Soccer) www.robocup.org) I think, it''s in one of the classes anyway, They also have general education type of stuff, english, mythology, sociology, ... So, all in all, Digipen is a well rounded school that has been endorsed by the industry. Also, every 3rd Thursday of the month a bunch of local game developers meet there and discuss game related topics (so it''s very interesting).

Just my $0.02

I''m learning, just like the best of us...

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Hey soulkeeper, what semester are you in?

***********************
          

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Hey,

I finished freshman year last April... So that makes me a Sophomore now. (Semester 3)

I''m learning, just like the best of us...

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quote:
Original post by Soulkeeper
3 - Strategy (Starcraft?, MGS?)



The requirement for 3rd year is a 3D game with some display of reallistic physics, and AI. The 4th year game has to be approved by the game instructor, the rules are more relaxed.

quote:

They also have general education type of stuff, english, mythology, sociology, ...



We take a grand total of 4 gen ed courses over 8 semesters. We are very focused, and ignore most classes that are considered to give a well rounded education.



- Kevin "BaShildy" King
Game Programmer: DigiPen
www.mpogd.com

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Well, I guess I don''t know everything

Then again, I never claimed to. And I was just doing it off the top of my head.

I''m learning, just like the best of us...

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I graduated from Full Sail this February so I know a little bit about the school. It was an ok experience. I REALLY wish I went to 4 year school instead though. The first 6 months you''re pretty much all over. Full Sail is famous for it''s audio program (they have excellent studios) so all the classes in the beginning focus on that. The history of this and that (phonograph, microphone, CD), memorize a mixer console diagram, learn about film production and techniques (it''s a film school too).

Basically it''s completely non game related for the first 3/5 of your time there. Not a major concern though since you have a lot of gen-ed classes in normal college, but I would have rather been learning about greek culture than the dynamic gain levels on a million dollar+ console. I really enjoyed the entertainment business/law classes though, they were extremelly educational and the instructors very helpful with any questions.

Finally we got to the core classes. Physics and Math were great, Wendy Stahler is an excellent teacher that knows how to relate math concepts to an easy to understand examples. Unfortunetly though she is not a programmer and knows nothing about the applications of the math she teachs (you wouldn''t believe how many uses there are for the dot product for instance and I couldn''t get one out of her).

Later you have real-time this and structure of that, but they''re all basically the same class. You learn quite a bit but the experience was the best (I had never gone for so many days without sleep. next time I learned to plan better, but it still happens and most college grads don''t understand this I don''t think). I wish they went into more useful things like making a level editor or model exporter for 3DS Max, but it never ever got that complicated.

Final project is the culmination of all of your experiences there, but it was so unstructured it was amazing. My group got our project done (it''s actually being hosted by Gamedev.net, the best game development website in the world! ;-) and it looked good but a little over 2 months is hardly enough time to make a project to be proud of.

Overall I''m proud of how I spent my time there and how I went above and beyond the 40+ hour school weeks to learn as much as I possibly could. For a lot of people that went there school was over when you got home. Making games is a passion, no school can teach you that. The nice thing about a 4 year degree is that you have plenty of time to figure things out. I spent close to **********$40,000********** to go to this school!!!!!! And thats with a florida scholarship (75% for public, <50% for private universitys). That''s with living expenses (Orlando aint cheap). Plus the tuiton went up right after I got there. And that is for less than 2 years time. I could have done a full 4 year degree for that much. Well what about the benefits? The C++ Class I took was about 17 people. My friend there just told me it''s over 40 now. So much for small class sizes.

So where am I know. Well I''m not working for Red Storm ;-). But I''m not working for Walmart either, although my cash reserves are dwindling and I''m going to have to get a lame job soon. Joseph (evaclear) is absolutely right though, don''t dare expect a job just for going to this school. Make the best you can of it but do whatever you need to make sure you''re ahead of the game. Right now I''m probably going to go back to normal college for another year or two, and guess what? NONE OF MY 100 CREDITS WILL BE TRANSFERED. It''s doesn''t matter that I got to play D&D with Dave Arneson (creator), or Deathmatch with John Romero. Those things don''t make you more valuable. My personal reccomendation is go to four year school, do your 10 hours a week, and come to these forums and look for tutorials as much as you can, that''s how you can learn. Get a traditional time honored and respected education, and if you are passionate enough about making games, your thesis should be a kick-ass game!

This is not a slam against Full Sail, please don''t think that. It''s a great school, but it''s not for everyone. Don''t go in with overly high hopes, oh, and don''t go there thinking you want to be a game designer, they are making programmers of you (seen quite a few students get chewed out for that). Sorry if my views are a little pessimistic but after a few interviews (Microsoft games for one) and many many resumes sent with few replies, you get a little disappointed with an insitution that was supposed to help you. Anyhow, good coding all.

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quote:
Original post by Dirge
I graduated from Full Sail this February so I know a little bit about the school. It was an ok experience. I REALLY wish I went to 4 year school instead though. The first 6 months you''re pretty much all over. Full Sail is famous for it''s audio program (they have excellent studios) so all the classes in the beginning focus on that. The history of this and that (phonograph, microphone, CD), memorize a mixer console diagram, learn about film production and techniques (it''s a film school too).

Basically it''s completely non game related for the first 3/5 of your time there.



Well there are multiple reasons for the gen ed classes they offer at full sail. One being the fact that with out the gen ed classes in the program it wouldn''t be an accredited instutution. Meaning no student loans, grants or other benefits for students.

But don''t fall into the whole "Well I really don''t need to know about recording" mind set, because when you get out into the industry, most likely you''ll be working on tools to begin with. And knowing the basics of digital audio recording, as well as being able to use some of the programs like pro-tools can be invaluable experiance that you would''ve had to pick up on the job. It''s not as useless as you may think it is.

Plus I think the ratio is more like 2/5 for gen ed to game dev classes.

quote:
Original post by Dirge
Final project is the culmination of all of your experiences there, but it was so unstructured it was amazing. My group got our project done (it''s actually being hosted by Gamedev.net, the best game development website in the world! ;-) and it looked good but a little over 2 months is hardly enough time to make a project to be proud of.



I had a couple "team" experiances when I was at Full Sail. Everyone I know has wanted more time for "final project". I suppose it''s only natural to want to do your best to show off to people. However I did notice that even with a shortened 2 month time period, some people on other teams just didn''t seem to want to work, almost as if they didn''t care or they had all the time in the world. And I''ve talked to others who''ve had similar team experiances there. With a longer development time for the final project you also allow people to develop the project ideas past the constraints of the longer time period. Actually a friend who graduated full sail a while ago told me that one of his team members said they could develop an entire game engine in 1 month, and they could write their engine the 2nd month. Well I''m sure I don''t need to tell you how that ended up working out.
Even I would''ve enjoyed some extra time to finish "Star Wars Battle For Hoth", I think my entire team agreed that if we had had an extra week or two it would''ve been alot better than what it was. On the other hand I also feel that as the team I had for final project was exceptional. Anthony Marco, and Jesse Blakemore were great, they worked very hard to get the project completed, and I don''t think there was a single time where any of us had to pick up slack for the other. (although there was that one time where we all started yelling at each other because we were all tired heh )

quote:
Original post by Dirge
So where am I know. Well I''m not working for Red Storm ;-). But I''m not working for Walmart either, although my cash reserves are dwindling and I''m going to have to get a lame job soon. Joseph (evaclear) is absolutely right though, don''t dare expect a job just for going to this school. Make the best you can of it but do whatever you need to make sure you''re ahead of the game. Right now I''m probably going to go back to normal college for another year or two, and guess what? NONE OF MY 100 CREDITS WILL BE TRANSFERED. It''s doesn''t matter that I got to play D&D with Dave Arneson (creator), or Deathmatch with John Romero. Those things don''t make you more valuable.



Don''t be too discouraged. Over the past year or so there have been alot of companies laying people off. Dynamix, EA, and plenty of others. Leaving a large pool of experianced un-employed people. At this years GDC there were a number of signs that the industry wasn''t doing so hot. 2 years ago at the GDC they were giving away free beer at some of the booths, this year it was free candy. There was also a serious lack of "booth babes". And the job fair part of the GDC tended to gather more people than the entire show floor. So it''s not that your not valuable, it''s that your competing against alot of other people who don''t need "moving expenses" and have industry experiance under their belt. It would be no different with a 4 year CS degree. It takes a bit of luck, good timing, and the qualifications that a company is looking for to get a job. Keep at it and you may just catch the oppertunity at the right time.

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I got to check out the "Star Wars Battle For Hoth" game, it was awesome. You used Humid as your engine, right (Shawn would brag about that)?

Yeah, it''s not like I''m so discouraged, but I do sound a little too negative. I''m really glad for everything I learned the 15 months I was there, and overall Full Sail was a positive experience.

The accredidation thing really wasn''t important though. I''m finishing up my Comp Sci degree at a normal University and they wouldn''t transfer over one credit (out of 100 credits). The audio classes were exceptional, as well as the business classes, but some of the gen ed classes were incredibly stupid (and frought with scandle, 2 teachers got fired).

Yeah, the industry has been in a little turmoil the past few months so I''m not all that worried. I like your positive attitude, thanks for the advice.

"Love all, trust a few. Do wrong to none." - Shakespeare

Dirge - Aurelio Reis
www.CodeFortress.com
Current Causes:
Nissan sues Nissan

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I don''t believe we used Humid. At that time Shawn was still working on Humid, what we used was the same engine that was used for Real Time 3d (which was sort of a slimmed down version of Humid from what I understood). And we mixed in some Direct X 8 into the mix for the menu system, sounds, and input. Shawn and Syrus deserve a big hand for all the work they did to help us get the game to the point we had it. Syrus spent many a lab durring final project helping us modify the engine for our needs, and Shawn ported over the Humid particle system, and added terrain generation. They were both a HUGE help.

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