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Is there anyone here studying at Full Sail University?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by GTHell, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. GTHell

    GTHell

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    What do you think about studying there in game development? The university look awesome and amazing.

    There's a scholarship for international student and I applied for it and now got a reply. I'm just curious about Game Development major because I never heard of it before beside Software Development.
     
  2. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    I heard complaints about Full Sail from a person I worked with in the past year.

    The dude was looking for modeler, and he said that the most incompetent candidates all graduated from this university. I'm not sure it applies to ALL full sail graduates, of course. The project had one heck of a bad luck.

    Then again, if there's scolarship and you don't need to pay for the education AND it is recognized in your area, it might be worth it. You know, "travel while you're young and see the world" and all that stuff. If I were your age, I would probably grab this opportunity even if the university wasn't particularly good.
     
  3. GTHell

    GTHell

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    Going through internet I also see that there's a complain and bad reputation in Game art major at Full Sail.
    However if I get to travel the world I would not let that chance get away from me.
     
  4. iamthwee

    iamthwee

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    Studying for a game development degree is just a no.
     
  5. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    No.
     
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  6. tswalk

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    http://successfulstudent.org/27-best-video-game-colleges-2015/

    The thing I find interesting, is that people 'expect' these schools to turn them into professionals; but, in "reality" it is up to the student.

    I think some schools get a bad-rap because of their skills at "meat-grinding"... (perhaps FullSail is just good at that).

    I also believe, that the core thing people "should" get when they get a degree... is the ability to become 'self-learners'. Meaning, while they go to school to become exposed to various things.. it's really up to them to "learn" how to "learn".

    Hardwork, dedication, long hours, exploration, and asking the right questions... might seem common sense when written, but everyone struggles with it.
     
  7. N1warhead

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    In my opinion you're better off just getting a computer science degree if you're going to get a degree at all.
    Game Development doesn't require a Game Development degree. 9 times out of 10 it says a B.S. of Computer Science and/or Equivalent Experience to get a job in game dev. The other 1 out of the 9-10 is just a pointblank required B.S. CS degree.

    I have never once in my life yet have seen a game dev job require a Game-Dev Degree.
    So at least if you get a B.S CS degree it's useful for more than just game-dev.
     
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  8. Kiwasi

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    Always be wary of a school that is easy to get into. Good schools have a ton of people trying to get in.

    I've not specifically looked at Full Sail, but the ease of getting a scholarship makes me wary. Remember most scholarships are built to get you to start a degree. Finishing the degree is often expensive.

    All that said education is not going to hurt you. Even a dodgy degree teaches you stuff. And if it's done in a civilised country, you will meet some minimum standards.
     
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  9. Billy4184

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    @tswalk going to university to learn how to self-learn is like going to Saudi Arabia to learn how to party. It's basically a contradiction in terms.

    I second the idea of getting a computer science degree if you're going to get a degree at all. I wouldn't bother with getting one at all though. A good textbook and a bit of self-discipline will get you a lot further anyway, and by the time you've got the skills you'll be a lean, mean game development machine from having to eat bread out of the packet every day.
     
  10. Kiwasi

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    Learning how to learn is one of the basic fundamentals of an education. A bachelors degree gives you the fundamentals of a field, and allows you to converse with and understand those at the cutting edge. If you go any further, with a masters or doctorate, you will be doing original research. Research is learning, just learning that no one else in the world has done yet.

    There is pretty much no field today that is static enough for someone to stop learning after their degree. Computer science least of all.
     
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  11. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    Not really.

    Going into university will give you a diploma that proves that you finished the university.

    Basically, in some countries the whole university-thing is a twisted rite of passage you have to perform in order to acquire the diploma which will get you employed.... meaning you can end up working as a secretary or a shop clerk with a supposedly strong degree which has nothing to do with running a shop. You may have finished two universities and still be unable to find a job.

    So it can really be about going into university to pass exams, getting a diploma. Not about "acquiring knowledge from the truly smart people".
    ----
    So, basically, finishing a university and getting a degree may mean that you only know the absolute minimum necessary to theoretically being able to do your job (maybe). Anything beyond that you're supposed to acquire on your own.

    That's why self-learning is important. Also, this why I said it might make sense to grab the opportunity if it allows to travel somewhere - because you'll get the diploma, and as long as your country recognizes the diploma, you can learn anything you need on your own.

    P.S. Of course, there are specific fields where this does not apply.
     
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  12. Billy4184

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    @BoredMormon, self-learning should be part of any university course, but in my university experience it's not, which is unsurprising of course.

    The first thing you need to do is teach people to be curious about the material, and secondly you need to reward a high level of investment in learning on the part of the student. Universities are ill-equipped to handle either. They don't have the desire to spend money on any 'fluff' beyond the usual cookie-cutter process, and they have a keen interest in maintaining high pass rates even if students are being generally lazy or just passing exams one at a time.

    I started off thinking that it was all up to me and my hard work, and for a couple of years I went along thinking like this. And then I fell off the wagon a bit and put in some horrible assignments, and I was fairly surprised at how the marks seemed to exponentially decay toward 50-60% and have trouble dropping any further. Fortunately I didn't see this as an opportunity and I sorted myself out, but many probably do.

    But anyway, my biggest concern with a game development degree is that no one will take it very seriously. I wouldn't really know what to make of it myself. It comes across as one of those highly marketed 'specialised' degrees that are peddled toward people who are intimidated or don't have the aptitude to study any of the 'hardcore' degrees and are looking for an easier way to succeed. I'm not saying it's necessarily the case, but that's my perception, and I fear the perception of a lot of employers as well.

    @neginfinity it's definitely true that in many (if not most) fields, universities have the monopoly on handing out qualifications, and you can't really short circuit that. But I would argue that in programming and creative work, more than any other field, qualifications hold limited value in getting a job, and it's quite possible to learn it yourself.

    And it varies. No doubt a lot of universities like MIT have a reputation to uphold as turning out world-class graduates, and would be far better than self-studying, but frankly Full Sail University doesn't come across as one of these.
     
  13. neginfinity

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    There are different countries, different attitudes towards education and this is an international forum. It is worth keeping this in mind.
     
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  14. Kiwasi

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    This may be the source of differences between my opinion and @Billy4184. I'm used to highly regulated Universities. And degrees that make you meet minimum standards regardless of where you study.
     
  15. Billy4184

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    @neginfinity and @boredmormon see my edit. Put it this way, a good university is like a good dictator, it's orders of magnitude better than everyone fending for themselves. Unfortunately reality turns out very few of either, especially with money involved.

    I don't think it's a good idea to debate the university topic on this thread, but I'm not going only by my own experience, but also what I've read over the years about trends in education all over the world.
     
  16. Ryiah

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    You must be in the United States too. :p
     
  17. neginfinity

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    I were speaking of a situation when there's a tradition of requiring university-level degree to apply to ANY somewhat decent job, while the degree itself does not really matter. I doubt you've ran into this kind of situation.

    IIRC GTHell is neither in USA nor in EU. So if his region has similar degree-related tradition (meaning that it doesn't really matter which degree you have) - which is what I meant by saying "diploma is recognized by your country", then it could be a great opportunity to travel... as long as there isn't a hidden gotcha somewhere (like suddenly having to pay later).

    Yep, most likely. I'm fairly sure Billy is not from your region.
     
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  18. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    And the trick is that a lot of people don't get into a "good university".

    My point was that: I heard complaints about Full Sail graduates, but as long as the degree can be used to get a job in a country, it could be a fun opportunity to travel, even if degree itself is not really good.

    I think it makes sense.
     
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  19. Billy4184

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    @Ryiah I'm Australian. Don't worry, we share all of your problems but much less of the controversy ;)

    I just want to add, I'm not anti-capitalist or anti-money in any sense, I think it works pretty spectacularly in a lot of ways. But there are a number of areas of life where money doesn't function particularly well, such as health care, education and the legal system. Money is definitely the root cause of the university problem in my view. Degrees are commodities that are marketed to students, and therefore have to cater to their needs (passing?). It's not hard to see how this is going to erode the quality of education real fast.

    How to fix that and compensate universities and teachers for their hard work is not something I'm really sure how to answer. But in the meantime, learning how to teach yourself and avoid the issue altogether, as far as you can, is in my book a good thing to do. So I would recommend spending 6 months to a year learning game development on your own and seeing if you think you need university at the end of that.

    Edit: OP if you're serious about game development as a career, and willing to really apply yourself to getting better, I think you should start approaching companies and sell yourself as a 'work-in-progress'. Your chances are extremely low, but you if you put yourself out there, turn up in person and ask for an interview, and really drive in your enthusiasm and willingness to put in the hard yards, it might be enough to get you through the door. At the very least, before they slam shut the door in your face, you can politely ask whether or not a game development degree would better your chances, you may be surprised at the answer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2016
  20. Kiwasi

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    Well there goes that theory ;)

    The education industry is not as heavily regulated here in Australia as it is in NZ. But I was still under the impression that there were minimum quality standards to call yourself a university and hand out degrees.

    The country itself is pretty degree centric. So much so that there is actually a major shortage in the trades. Getting a solid apprenticeship is probably worth more money then a solid degree in Australia at the moment.

    I think it's relavant. The question of "Should I go to Full Sail" is heavily linked to "Should I go to Uni at all".

    Hearing perspectives from all sides helps.
     
  21. xjjon

    xjjon

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    I have heard complaints about it and also know a few people who have attended. They don't seem to very competent in what they do either.

    I think a traditional computer science degree will you serve you better than full sail. Although it sort of resembles a technical school.
     
  22. Billy4184

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    @BoredMormon there's not doubt that there are minimum standards, my argument is that the standards have become loose enough that it's questionable whether it's worth the financial investment. It's still possible of course to fail a university course, but I would say that if you plotted the quality of students work against marks given, there's a huge plateau around 50-60%, because that means the students still pass and are still satisfied with their purchase. Universities have a vested interest in passing students, since of course they then get a reputation for being 'approachable' and attract students in large numbers who are simply looking for the paper with the qualification, and make a lot of money.

    What this means is that it's much harder for employers to sort out the diamonds from the ruff based on the degree itself.

    As you probably know here (at least in engineering which is my background) we have a problem with an abundance of unemployed fresh graduates, and unfilled jobs. Employers are simply unwilling to take on graduates based on their ability to pass a university course, which is of course exactly what it is supposed to be for! They are only interested in those who have proven themselves with several years of experience. And what really shows the problem is that migrants take a lot of jobs (not a bad thing of course, just exposes the flaws in Australian primary/secondary education) based on a far stronger work ethic, because they know what it's like to live without opportunity, and did not grow up entitled.

    My solution to this problem has to do with making the companies themselves responsible for a large part of students' learning. The companies definitely do have a vested interest in turning out capable employees, especially if their remuneration was a contract of some kind. The Australian military of course uses this approach since they are interested in quality over quantity (for the time being anyway).

    It would require companies to invest in better teaching programmes, and universities to take more of a rear seat. This last bit is the crucial problem, since universities will not give up their lucrative monopoly without a fight.

    Now this makes me suspicious of most universities, especially those who have sprung up recently in an attempt to mass-market 'specialised' and often online degrees to students who are wary of this situation. I'm not trying to say that all universities are bad, and that all degrees are easy - but when the incentive is there to lower standards and attract more paying customers, you have to ask yourself what exactly is the 'resting state' of university education quality.

    I'm trying not to make this too personal, since no doubt some people will simply argue that it's all my personal issues (maybe but I won't argue that on a public forum!). But I don't want to come off totally as an armchair politician, so what I did is this:
    • I entered university (enviro engineering) with a strong work ethic and achieved very high marks.
    • I ended University with average marks, getting by on surprisingly little study investment, and with a total lack of work ethic.
    • I graduated and found that companies don't care about my marks, and realized I not only didn't know how to work hard but had no idea what I'd been studying in the first one or two years (I remember having to look it up!).
    • I decided to start over and change careers, and taught myself programming by doing it 8-10 hours a day while working on a machine vision project for a company who I happened to have some friends in.
    • Within a year the project was finished and though I was now a serious coffee addict I knew more about programming than I ever did about enviro engineering - and it had been learned in ways that made it hard to forget!
    At that point I decided to travel a bit, and then ended up here in games. Frankly I wouldn't go back to university unless it was an absolute requirement for the job, and I would not treat it as an avenue for employment, but merely as a small prerequisite.
     
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  23. Dustin-Horne

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    In the US it's not hard to do that I don't think... it's a little more difficult if you're running a trade school. That being said, there's a difference here between a "University" and an "Accredited University", the latter being the one that meets stricter guidelines, which doesn't automatically make it better.
     
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  24. Ryiah

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    Primary and secondary schools can be accredited too. I recently found this out when my sister transferred her daughter to one from the school she had been in.
     
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  25. Kiwasi

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    Can be accredited? You guys are in worse shape then I thought.
     
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  26. zombiegorilla

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    Indeed. From what I have heard the online version of full sail is pretty much just video tutorials. If you are motivated, there is plenty of learning materials already online for free or cheap.
     
  27. Ryiah

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    I learned more about math trying to pick up programming in my younger days than I did at school. :p
     
  28. tedthebug

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    Do all the free tutorials, practice, & then go for Unity accreditation. That probably carries more weight than a Uni degree.
     
  29. Kiwasi

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    Have you done it yet? I got it. The certification isn't especially rigorous, I would expect any first year game dev student to pass it.
     
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  30. tedthebug

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    No, my level of programming is minimal without having YouTube/Google/pre made scripts handy, & I'm still studying atm (I start an internship tomorrow as my final project). I might investigate it next year if I decide not to go onto the graduate diploma.
     
  31. GTHell

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    I want to be a professional game developer and waste non of my time. I understand that it's up to a student to research and self learn to become better at University. I've been learning Unity 3D in a really slow process because there's no dead line and no motivation. The school can guide our way and keep us on the right track that why there's school out there everywhere in this entire world.

    University course + self learning will be far better than a self learning + no deadline.
     
  32. Ryiah

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    Set your own deadlines. If necessary you could join game jams. There's almost always one active at any point in the year.
     
  33. Kiwasi

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    The scripting section is not hard. As long as you can identify the main parts of the script. If you know what class, void, public, float, int and Vector3 mean, as well as some basic syntax, you should be fine.
     
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  34. tswalk

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    I couldn't agree more... and even if the person is very self-motivated and makes their own deadlines, there are non-tangible benefits to being in an environment that promotes a well-rounded education, has others working towards the same goals, meeting others of different backgrounds (skills, culture, language, etc...). It is a bit difficult to do this on one's "own".. in a silo.

    What I don't believe is though, that it's required to get a degree or go to a University. Not everyone should... for whatever reason. However, some opportunities only happen once in your life, and if you have a chance to go to a University, experience it.. embrace it and challenge yourself. It may be an opportunity you only get once.
     
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  35. zombiegorilla

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    I agree with everything you said, providing you are mean real university and not online diploma mill "university". ;)
     
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  36. tswalk

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    There is one aspect of their program that I'm not too sure about at FullSail, and that is the 'final' project... it's a capstone exam/course.

    Now, I've done a capstone to get my Android developers certificate from the University of Texas in Arlington.

    Generally, with a capstone.... it is project oriented, and sometimes can be done in teams (depending on the project, class, #of people). In my case, I was the only one taking the capstone, meaning I had to complete the entire project in a specific period of time, alone. Which for me is fine, I can work in teams or independent.

    So, as described on their site, your capstone will be done with a team... my words of advice, begin picking your team your first day of attending, "if" that's how they do it.. I would absolutely clarify this before signing anything. I would hate to get stuck in a team of slackers or incompetents.. it would really irk me to end up with a half-baked piece of crap project.

    Also find out "who" grades the capstone. In my case, it was the capstone instructor(s)... which could be made up of the various professors that taught the courses required to take the capstone. So find out if it's the instructor or what... perhaps they have a panel or board of authorities that grade it.

    "if" you do decide to go there, I would make sure I surrounded my self with 'like-minded' and 'motivated' people...

    and.. this is a very competitive field, always be working toward making a final "demo reel" of your works that is better than the others attending.. it's a competition at the end (to get a job), and your 'reel' or examples of work are what are going to show what you are capable of when you graduate there.
     
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  37. tswalk

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    you mean my brain-surgeon degree from Phoenix online is bad? :p
     
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  38. Ryiah

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    This. A friend of mine semi-recently completed a degree at a fairly reputable university in Maryland. One of his classes required a final project. He ended up with a team that was largely useless and had to make most of the project himself.
     
  39. tedthebug

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    & they all passed as well. Either that or the teachers actually paid attention & managed to pass him & find a reason to fail the others.
     
  40. Kiwasi

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    Game dev is a team effort. Any game dev degree should involve a team project with people of other disciplines.

    If you want to make games on your own, a game dev degree is a waste of time, pursue a business degree instead.

    This is a big red flag. A reputable Uni will filter out poorly performing students pretty early. If you don't get some drop outs and failures in your first year, your degree is likely to be worthless.
     
  41. tedthebug

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    I think from the 27 we started with last year we have lost about 8 so far
     
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  42. Lockethane

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    I'll preface this with that I graduated years ago, but I went through the game dev program at Full Sail.

    What it is not, is a place for second guessing whether you like game dev or should be a programmer. Do I know people who don't do programming anymore sure, I also know people who are leads at sizable studios from my class.

    There aren't really any safety nets for students(there are no office hours, and you don't really have time off to get a tutor), that with the quicker pace can snowball for most.

    If you really think that you want to do game development it's an ok choice, but you really have to be have to be an independent learner to get much out of it.

    I have heard they made it easier now but we had an intro class that was the Great Filter(<60% pass rate first time). People still took it a few times, passed it eventually and were still terrible.
     
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  43. tswalk

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    speaking of waste of time.... ^this.
     
  44. TenKHoursDev

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    I think any time someone asks a question like "Is... X... good?" they may think they're asking for good advice, but really are asking for someone's opinion on X.

    We can only give you the facts, and a few opinions OP.

    I find it foolish to ask questions like this anyway. Many new programmers ask which language is best. That's the same thing, and many veterans will just tell you what they think is the best (their biased opinion). I've said this before but computer language's are tools, and as such they have specific uses.

    TBPH With today's game market I don't see getting a game development degree as useful. The market is saturated, its hard to make money, and it is very competitive (the so-called indie-pocalypse). The professional industry is not much better either. Long hours (correction: insane hours) for relatively little compensation, a poor work-life balance, and a number of other factors have made even me want not to pursue it. You can just bury your head in the sand and ignore what I've said because you don't like it, but these are the facts. Its better for yourself to just put on a brave face, deal with the facts and pursue more logical options than to just ignore them. That's my experience however.

    I've wanted to make games since I was little. Its what put me where I am in life. If I were you OP I would think about what is going to give you the most opportunities, instead of this very specific game development degree. If at some point you find you've graduated and can't find a job in the AAA industry what then?

    A BS in CS will grant you a lifetime of opportunities. A game development degree will not because they will teach you to do nothing but make games. It may seem attractive to learn to make games but tbph you don't need to go to a post-secondary institution to do that. You're in the right place, you can do that here. Unity3d.com has an engine with a bunch of learning resources so that you can make games and make money from them.

    The bottom line is the web is a suitable replacement for Universities. I've heard from some very experienced and smart people that the University and other schools are becoming irrelevant. They've told me specifically that I don't need to go to school because I could definitely find a job without a university degree.

    You just need to pursue the relevant knowledge and practice coding and game development as much as possible.

    If you have a number of financially successful games beneath your belt then any employer will look at that and want to hire you.

    PS. I wanted to add something about the game dev school thing, you don't want to be saddled with US Education system loans for something which you may not be able to find a job with. Its impossible to file for bankruptcy with US federal loans. Many people get themselves in to a lifetime of trouble by taking out loans for a degree in something which may never pay enough for them to pay it off.

    I have a friend, he recently told me that his out of state tuition has put him as $125,000 in debt though he is almost done with school (BS degree in CE). To me that is incomprehensible. I don't know why he didn't just stay in his own state. I don't see how he will ever pay that off. That's 1/10th of $1 million. The US federal loan system is predatory for sure. Nobody should have or need that much debt. You do not want to be in any kind of debt for something as specific, non-lucractive, and non-transferrable to other careers as game development.

    Something I keep asking myself whenever I fill out the fafsa is: "Can I pay off that much money in a reasonable amount of time with a reasonable payment?". On the page it looks like five digits and a '$' sign. I try to think about it as "How many dollar is that exactly? How could I pay that off if I don't have this degree to help me get jobs to pay it off?" If the answer is I'll never be able to do that with or without the degree then the best option is to pursue something which pays more.

    I'm sorry for the essay-ism guys. I don't know what came over me. :p
     
  45. Ryiah

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    Except this isn't at all the same thing. Unlike a language which will always have some situation it is ideal for, a university or similar place of learning can be so poorly managed and staffed that it provides little to no actual benefits over simply learning on your own.

    Asking for facts and opinions on Full Sail now may save him a great deal of wasted time.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2016
  46. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
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    Posts:
    6,434
    Consider getting yourself a blog.

    The question was "Is anyone studying at FullSail', not "is FullSail good".
    Languages are not universities, so insider's perspective can be very important as well as opinions.

    Also, I'm not sure what was the point of that rant about cost of american education. I'm quite sure that you can get education overseas for 1/10th or 1/20th of that amount.
     
  47. MD_Reptile

    MD_Reptile

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Posts:
    2,591
    I know others have already pointed this out but - whatttt? I went to college here in the states, never finished before I began pursuing game development - but - thanks to that experience I did indeed learn how to better my own techniques of learning. Plus I bet those guys over in Saudi Arabia party hard bro. :p
     
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  48. Billy4184

    Billy4184

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    Posts:
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    @MD_Reptile I get the sense that you think self-study is simply the ability to put in a certain amount of hours every week without needing someone to kick your butt, but it's much more than that. It's the ability to, when you come across something that you can't do:
    • Understand what exactly it is that you're missing - probably the hardest part;
    • Scope out the boundaries of the information to search for so that you don't waste your time and energy reading everything under the sun;
    • Find the reference materials that will help you, and recognise quickly whether or not that material really solves your problem;
    • Teach yourself the content of the reference material in an efficient way.
    • Panelbeat the content of the material so that it fixes your problem - always necessary since no two problems are ever alike.
    For example, let's say you wanted to learn about behaviour trees. What are they? What are they not? Where is some practical reference material? Is it better to try and understand a research paper or look for some code? Should you download several MBs worth of some open source AI API and try to extract the behaviour tree part? If you find some code - what if it's in a language you aren't really familiar with? How do you begin modifying it to suit your purpose - how do you distill it down to the simplest example so you can get a grasp on it, when you don't even know what each of the parts does really?

    True self-study ability allows you to do all of this without anyone looking, and do it fast. The ability to wake up and swallow what your teacher already chewed up for you is not in my view self-study, it's simply a measure of self-discipline.
     
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  49. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Dec 5, 2013
    Posts:
    16,477
    A proper degree will teach you everything on that list. And it will give you a solid vocabulary of the fundamentals of your field.
     
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  50. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    Jul 7, 2014
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    @BoredMormon not in my experience. It's 90% memorisation of lecture notes. At the very least, the professor scopes out the topic for you, and since there's rarely a real-life example that you're applying the information to, it's extremely hard to know whether or not what you just memorized is actually useful for anything.

    But anyway, I think the OP has a different view from mine, so all the best. I hope Full Sail puts some wind in your sails!