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Want To Make Video Games?

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the admission-via-deathmatch dept.

Education 307

Invader Zim writes "Looks like Levelord, of Ritual fame, and some folks at id, and Ensemble Studios have teamed together with Southern Methodist University to create a new school for people that want to work in the video games industry. It's called the Guildhall. Also a story about it at GameTutorials."

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307 comments

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g to the oatse (-1, Informative)

Trolling Stones (587878) | more than 11 years ago | (#5027953)

c to the izzex
fo shizzle my nizzle y'all. eat at Subway!!!

Hooray! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5028084)


Moderation Totals: Informative=1, Overrated=1, Total=2.

Well, someone enjoyed this and wasn't afraid of metamodding by the anal hippietech trash.

Nicely done, mods. Thanks! Happy New Year!

FORSET PISTE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5027960)

I win!

Best

game

ever

first (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5027970)

post

Second (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5027995)

Post.

Exactly... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5027973)

Click here [druglordsgame.com]

Thank God! (4, Interesting)

SoVi3t (633947) | more than 11 years ago | (#5027980)

Hopefully, this will be a blessing for overcrowded Computer Sciences classes. I remember when I was a kid, all I wanted to do was make video games. Alas, most of university/college courses cover other things, such as business utilities, or math problems. While this does help programming skills, it isn't hands on experience in the field of choice for most students.

Re:Thank God! (0, Offtopic)

SoVi3t (633947) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028072)

On a side note, has anybody noticed anything odd with the moderations? I posted, and it was immediately put to Troll, and I refreshed, and suddenly it was Score:2 Funny....dunno what is even funny about anything I post :P

Re:Thank God! (5, Insightful)

_anomaly_ (127254) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028096)

IMHO, this sounds like a good place to go *after* getting that CS degree.
If they either don't teach or don't require some or most of those "other things", this would turn out to be the MCSE of the game programming world, if it survived at all...
anyone who's even slightly familiar with programming knows that game programming involves math very heavily...

Re:Thank God! (2, Interesting)

phyrestang (638793) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028201)

I think that the computer classes in general are overcrowded with students trying to "hit it big" in the computer industry. Unfortunately a lot of them are just going to end up clogging the job market because although they may have the degree, they lack the experience and more imporantly the innate computer aptitude that "real" computer geeks have. Like the parent said, hopefully this should act to relieve some of the mad rush to get a CS degree. (Although it still won't resolve the problem with all the "paper tigers" running around)

Oh man. I guess you don't want to know that. . . . (2)

kfg (145172) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028216)

the easiest way to get a job at a games company is to be a *physicist.*

Here's your course work for your first sememster as a games programing major:

*English* 101
Physics 101
Calc 101
Intro to Computer Science - which will consist mostly of theory, but don't worry, you'll get to write "Hello World!" in four different languages.

KFG

Re:Oh man. I guess you don't want to know that. . (1)

DiscoOnTheSide (544139) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028254)

english? Hmm. Never programmed that language...sounds like some kind of hokey scripting language...is it like Perl? :-P (and I'm a CS major at Rutgers. I did my two semesters of English, passed em with flying colors. I think I'll be fine. Now if I could just get throught this god damned calc...)

Southern Methodist??? (2, Funny)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 11 years ago | (#5027991)

Does that mean they get to do only "clean" games with no gore and no naked chicks?

Just wandering about the curious choice of school, given the problems we've seen lately with WalMart not carrying theose "ultra violent" games. Free speech and so on.

Re:Southern Methodist??? (5, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028049)

Wal-Mart choosing not to carry a game/album/movie for whatever reason they choose has nothing to do with free speech.

Nor does a school deciding whats appropriate material for coursework.

Freedom of speech has nothing to do with people listening to you.

Once you graduate you can write whatever game you want, and if retailers dont want to sell it, thats their freedom of choice being excercised. No one persons rights (percieved or real) may infringe on anothers.

Re:Southern Methodist??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5028364)

It is off-topic but Walmart exercises a very significant amount of pressure on the record/movie industries to release edited versions. Remember that Walmart is the largest company in the US (by revenue) [fortune.com] and the biggest music retailer. They are the reason that the music industry releases two of every sensitive album. While they don't prevent Freedom of Speech they do their best to inhibit it.

Re:Southern Methodist??? (5, Interesting)

lpret (570480) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028086)

SMU is in no way a christian university. It's purely a name so they can drag money out of people. This CNN article [cnn.com] about a Meth lab they found in their music building should be enough motivation.

Re:Southern Methodist??? (1)

The G Man (225948) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028138)

Music building?!? Wow, that takes work.

Re:Southern Methodist??? (4, Funny)

Computer! (412422) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028150)

Also mildly off-topic, but if their graduates are any indication, they are a school full of rude, elitist jackasses with terrible taste in music.

Re:Southern Methodist??? (5, Funny)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028192)


Oh, so it's Southern Methodist...

Re:Southern Methodist??? (1)

tetra103 (611412) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028237)

Honestly, let's hope so.

I'm not a religious buff or anything, and I do enjoy the violence and especially sex in a game or two, but I have alot of respect for any game (or movie) that can rise in fame without the cheap sex and violence angle.

Re:Southern Methodist??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5028320)

Apparently you've never dated a girl from SMU. I have :) The "methodist" part was hardly a factor.

Good idea (1)

dakers27 (631152) | more than 11 years ago | (#5027994)

I was just wondering yesterday how someone would get training in video game development aside from teaching themselves. Glad to see this, and i hope it works out. Hopefully this will mean games will kick even more ass in the near future :)

Re:Good idea (5, Funny)

kraksmoka (561333) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028031)

have a friend who's a game tester for ea (yes, paid to play) and his ultimate goal is to develop games. starting in testing and workin hard is a great place to start, learn about games and bugs and get the foot in the door.

course testing only pays $8/hr. to start, but right now, they're giving him 80+ hours a week, so i think he's happy with em.

80 hours of games a week, that would be a light week for an evercrack head, right?

Re:Good idea (1)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028125)

*envy*
I wish I could get a job like that. I'd do it for minimum wage and no benefits. That would be the same pay I can make where I live doing anything else, and I would actually enjoy my job.

Re:Good idea (5, Informative)

CableModemSniper (556285) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028168)

Game testing isn't really the fun-filled job you'd think it would be. You sit there and do one part over and over again. Or you die on purpose. You aren't paid to play the game, your paid to do very specefic things in specefic parts of the game. You're hunting for bugs, not playing for kicks. Just warning you.

Re:Good idea (3, Funny)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028241)

"Game testing isn't really the fun-filled job you'd think it would be. You sit there and do one part over and over again. Or you die on purpose. You aren't paid to play the game, your paid to do very specefic things in specefic parts of the game. You're hunting for bugs, not playing for kicks. Just warning you."

I remember one guy saying that he had to test every single play in a football game to make sure that it's consistent with what the interface shows you. Can you imagine that? It'd be as tedious as spell checking a /. article.

Game tester personal account (3, Informative)

aWalrus (239802) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028203)

For a good personal account of game testing and the medium, check out this entry [penny-arcade.com] at Penny Arcade [penny-arcade.com] . It's a good description of the ups and downs of being a game tester.
--

actually that could be a hell job (2)

Indy1 (99447) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028154)

I have a friend that is a xbox developer in San Jose. I once joked to him that if he needs a play tester to call me asap :) He laughed and said, thats a job for my worst enemy. Apparently playing the same game, over and over and over at the same point (bug hunting, reproducing the error, etc) gets extremely boring ;(

I want a new mmpog (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 11 years ago | (#5027996)

an online multiplayer game based on slashdot - there will be sodomy, karma whores, censoring janitors - but it will be all virtual, not real like it is here on slashdot.

Re:I want a new mmpog (-1)

613746 (613746) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028014)

Dear fuckwit,

You are the suckiest suck that ever sucked.

FOAD,

me

p.s asshole.

Nintendo? (1)

JPhule (170787) | more than 11 years ago | (#5027999)

Didn't Nintendo have some kind of "Game College" back in the day. I always remember my friends saying that they wanted to go there so they could just make games and play them all day.
I swear this is true.

Re:Nintendo? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5028033)

Yep, you're thinking of DigiPen. Its still around, in Seattle I believe

Re:Nintendo? (1)

machowsk (201279) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028055)

They did and still do. If I remember correctly, it's not owned by Nintnedo, but more like sponsered. Anyway it's called Digipen [digipen.edu] From the little familiarity I have with both of these programs they seem rather similar....

Re:Nintendo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5028080)

Yep, its called "Michigan State".

Re:Nintendo? (5, Funny)

gpinzone (531794) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028169)

Your friends lied. They went to hamburger university, [mcdonalds.com] but were too ashamed to admit it. While stumbling for an answer, they looked around the room and the first thing they saw was your Nintendo sitting in the corner. Like Jan Brady in the "George Glass" fiasco, they blurted out, "Nintendo! Um, yeah...Nintendo college." Yeah right. Boy are you gullible.

SMU (5, Funny)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028005)

Founded in 1911, SMU is a private, comprehensive university located in Dallas, Texas.

Had me worried for a second. But a school in Texas would probably be an okay place to learn how to code first person shooters.

I had nightmares about what kind of video games a truly christian university would focus on.

Re:SMU (3, Funny)

crawdaddy (344241) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028135)

Probably something along the lines of Rise of the Triad, except the only weapons besides the Hand of God would be a bible and a cross, each having several different forms of attack. For example, the crucifix could be used like a boomerang, a stabbing weapon, or be used to call down the wrath of god. The speed enhancement would be bicycles and the armor would be a black suit and tie. It be some kind of AD&D mod, instead of ROTT, though. That way there's less work involved in adding Pray and Bless spells.

Re:SMU (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028299)

Speaking of ROTT, did you know the maker of that game has released the code under the GPL? I submitted it the other day but I guess it wasn't worthy... sniff..

Jaysyn

Re:SMU (2)

sulli (195030) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028243)

Either that, or they will teach programmers how to include cheat [go.com] keys! (read down to item 3.)

If ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5028006)

... the second most profitable computer software industry gets to have a school, why doesn't the most profitable one also have one? I would gladly pay the tuition to attend the porn school, and especially attend the labs.

Re:If ... (2)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028091)

Yeah, but sex ed is already mainstream - so much so that it's more likely the students know more than the teachers (sounds like the same situation vis. computers in schools - I guess life is becoming fractal).

Nice! The trolls here are being MODDED UP! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5028015)

Refreshing to see points going to people that aren't so uptight!

Don't do it! (4, Insightful)

gpinzone (531794) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028018)

The video game industry is already cut-throat. It's already hard enough to make a living using your programming skills. Imagine how difficult it's going to be like to get a job with "Video Game College" on your resume.

Besides, do you really think a Methodist church is going to teach you how to create First Person Shooters?!

Re:Don't do it! (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028088)

"Besides, do you really think a Methodist church is going to teach you how to create First Person Shooters?!"

in Texas? yes.

joking aside, I know Priests that play FPS, and DnD for that matter.

Re:Don't do it! (5, Funny)

dillon_rinker (17944) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028227)

DUH priests play DnD...haven't you ever heard of clerics?

Re:Don't do it! (1)

seanscottrogers (565312) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028323)

Yes [imdb.com]

Re:Don't do it! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5028108)

It's called truth in advertising. Did we all pretty much go to the "Video Game COllege" and at least double-majored in "Doom" and "Civilization".

Other than a few graphics. . . (2)

kfg (145172) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028144)

what do you think the difference between a "First God Smiter" and a "First Person Shooter" is?

None that I can see.

There's a way around nearly every idiotic bias,at least for those with the intelligence to be game designers in the first place.

KFG

Yeah, religious school can't teach anything... (1)

Jayson (2343) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028282)

Just look at how bad Notre Dame is viewed.

Re:Don't do it! (2)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028289)

"It's already hard enough to make a living using your programming skills. Imagine how difficult it's going to be like to get a job with "Video Game College" on your resume."

Why would that make it more difficult?

I *almost* went into programming but decided to go into 3D art instead. Boy am I glad I did. As an artist your calling card is the animation/artwork you do. I have no idea how I'd distinguish myself as a programmer.

Hi! You are a dirty whore! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5028019)

Yes you are!!

PS you site sucks ass

my school (3, Interesting)

zephc (225327) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028029)

has added game development (BS degree), though I am doing the straight SE track.

cogswell.edu [cogswell.edu] for those interested

Re:my school (2)

zephc (225327) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028073)

Re:my school (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5028155)

Why is it that you can't just go straight to cogswell.edu? Everyone else on the planet doesn't require the www, what's the deal with this school?

cool! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5028032)

Wow. The Guildhall! That sounds gay!

The Guildhall? (3, Troll)

tps12 (105590) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028034)

Isn't that a little, well, nerdy? Do they forego grades in favor of experience points, and require new students to choose an Alignment and Class instead of a major?

Seriously, they should probably be going out of their way to appeal to creative non-geeks, artists and writers who can come up with new ideas and revitalize the stagnant game market. Sure, you can always eke out a few dollars from the latest boring iteration of a proven formula, Grand Theft Auto 7 or Warcraft VI. What the industry needs is fresh ideas from different sorts of people.

The very problem with the foundering game industry is that it's run by, well, let's just say the people who were picked last in kickball. Games appeal to the most antisocial element of society, because that's all their creators know. I guess it's too optimistic of me to ask this of the founders of this school...they're probably geeks themselves, with not a creative bone in their bodies.

after the test... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5028076)

Bill: "Man, that midterm was Chaotic Evil"
Bob: "word"

Re:The Guildhall? (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028118)

The name apeals to gamers, regardless of there profession.

really don't want people in the game industry if they don't understand the industry, or clients.

the problems you point out are not the the people who do the work, but with the producers who want to churn out 'proven hits'.

It turns me off (1)

Jayson (2343) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028251)

My background is in various AI fields, and I would love to work at a game company. I don't really play too many games, though. The name (along with names such as the "Progammers' Guide" for a software developers' union) really turn me off. I am not into fanatasy and really don't get why it has to be pushed so hard by people in my choosen field.

Re:The Guildhall? (2)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028205)


Where did you get this idea that geeks are not creative? I'm confused.

Re:The Guildhall? (2)

Havokmon (89874) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028300)

The very problem with the foundering game industry is that it's run by, well, let's just say the people who were picked last in kickball.

You need to be a motivational speaker. I was feeling all down because I only have my HS diploma, and what I've taught myself. But I'm unfortunately not a programmer like I would like to be. :(

And you come along and remind me that I can do so many MORE things better than most of the people in the gaming industry. Hell, I can run down the block with my nine year old and not keel over with cramps! (Oh, and I've actually had sex to produce my 3.3 children :P)

THANKS! :)

Attracting the best of the best (4, Interesting)

karmawarrior (311177) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028038)

It remains a key feature of IT that the skills involved allow entry to such a wide range of differing industries that there's practically no reason for someone to feel they're at a dead end. The video game industry, is in many ways, a case in point: although not wonderful - the salaries are generally so bad it makes analyst programming look positively well paid - it's a great entry point for any programmer with imagination who wants to use programming skills that are normally cut off at other levels. Database management is well known, dynamic web page building is understood and there are limits to what you can do: but video game development is different - algorithms are always being bettered, and the very good can end up pushing video game development into another sphere, creating types of application previously unenvisagable.

It's ironic that this happens and yet it's considered a poor-man's profession. Programmers in this field are generally poorly treated, with poor contracts, little chance of advancement, and little cross-skillification that would allow a programmer to move into a more respected arena. This is, in part, because it's an entertainment area, and in part because for every superskilled programmer who is able to push the arena into a new paradigm, there must be a hundred who can barely put together a bunch of assembler instructions to copy memory from one place to another without it taking five times as long as it ought to, and containing bugs.

This quagmire of the more innovative area of programming being hampered by a low perception of the people involved and the skills they bring to the table will not disappear by itself. Unless people are prepared to actually act, not just talk about it on Slashdot, nothing will ever get done. Apathy is not an option.

You can help by getting off your rear and writing to your congressman [house.gov] or senator [senate.gov] . Tell them you value programmers who have the imagination and skills to create entirely new technologies for the manipulation of complex graphics, and who have the cut needed to understand the essentials of good game play. Tell them that you appreciate the work being done to create wonderful new games but that if good programmers are put off by poor working conditions and salaries, you will be forced to use less and less secure and intelligently designed alternatives. Let them know that SMP may make or break whether you can efficiently deploy OpenBSD on your workstations and servers. Explain the concerns you have about freedom, openness, and choice, and how poor working conditions detering the best of the best harms all three. Let them know that this is an issue that effects YOU directly, that YOU vote, and that your vote will be influenced, indeed dependent, on their policies on elite computer game programmers.

You CAN make a difference. Don't treat voting as a right, treat it as a duty. Keep informed, keep your political representatives informed on how you feel. And, most importantly of all, vote.

Re:Attracting the best of the best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5028215)

Good troll / whore.

Indeed, and an excellent example of why. . . (2)

kfg (145172) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028356)

a +1 troll rating would be a good thing to have. The post is a true work of art, consisting of clearly factual, reasonably stated points, and still maintaining its essential "trollness."

There's no way to even tell it's a troll until you're most of the way through it.

A brilliant piece of work.

KFG

Re:Attracting the best of the best (4, Insightful)

Neck_of_the_Woods (305788) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028350)


That is because most of the word still hears when you say "game programer" is really "I play games for a living".

At some point in time this will change but not in the near future.

I wish them good luck, and I would love to "play games for living".

Southern Methodist University ? (2)

core plexus (599119) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028039)

No chance of a GTA4 coming out of that place. Hey, that was a joke. They only pick 100 per year anyway, so if you can learn it on your own you'll be ahead. I'm glad to see a diversification on the so-called 'university' education.

Man Gets 70mpg in Homemade Car-Made from a Mainframe Computer [xnewswire.com]

Already another program in the area (5, Informative)

Dr. Blue (63477) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028048)

With so many good game companies in the area, there's already another place you can study computer game development: the University of North Texas.

It's called the "LARC", for "Laboratory for Recreational Computing", and was started in 1993. Check it out here [unt.edu] .

The lab is run by a professor (Ian Parberry) who has published a few books on game programming.

Nice idea ... but ... (5, Insightful)

mustangdavis (583344) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028052)

NO ONE IS HIRING!!!!!


< Venting >

Thats great that they're going to share some of their "trade secrets", but it won't do anyone any good if they can't land a job!!

So basically, they're going to help flood the programming world with young, ambitious "game" programmers that won't know how to or want to do anything but make video games ...

This will lead to flooding the market (even worse than it already is) with badly designed games that have a couple of pieces of eye candy ...

Actually, I wonder how many apps Blizzard just got for their Unix sysadmin position ...

... I think that would clearly illustrate just how flooded the market is with "computer people" that want to work in the video game market ...


The biggest problem will be the number of lives a school like this will ruin ... these people will TRY to get a job with an established video game company ... then TRY to start up their own video game company after 6+ months of unemployment ... then they'll rush a crappy product to market so that they don't starve to death ...

Trust me ... I have a company like this ... and one our programmers did this!!!!

(btw: our games don't make money ... it is our web hosting and web design that makes money and allows us to keep making games .... so how are unemployed people going to make games if you have to pay to keep games running?????)


< /Venting >

Re:Nice idea ... but ... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5028195)

Vent elsewhere you bitter, bitter weenie.

Who cares? Do it the id way. (3, Funny)

Viewsonic (584922) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028331)

1. Program game. 2. Release as shareware. 3. $$$ PROFIT $$$ Easy as pie. Unless you're completely untalented, in which case you probably shouldn't be creating games, neh?

They forgot to mention... (2, Troll)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028061)

SMU has some of the hottest women on campus in the entire southern USA.

I guess that isn't important to the typical geek however since the closest most have come to a girl is chatting on AOL with some guy pretending to be a 13 year old girl.

Re:They forgot to mention... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5028171)

Unfortunately, I all too able imagine the reason why anybody could be attracted to the masculine, graceless, sexless pseudo-women who throng our colleges: Alcohol. This is the only rational explanation for the astonishing amount of drinking which goes on in our colleges.

That, and the fact that drinking beer will no doubt find its way into the curriculum soon enough now that they're handing out "degrees" for playing video games.

In any case, I am certainly not interested in the brutish "Soviet tractor women" you seem to desire. I prefer women who are strong and secure enough to take their assigned role in life, just as strong and secure men have always taken their assigned role. Fair's fair: Do you see me demanding to be allowed to lay around the house all day, dusting a little bit here and there and devoting a few spare minutes to the children? No, of course not. I leave the house and work, as I am required to. And I do not complain about the "burden".

Over-rated (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5028065)

Making video games is over-rated. If you enjoy very tight deadlines and having to cut corners due to time and budget restrictions then that's all well and good.

The pay is crap too.

Fine Print (5, Funny)

Dave_B93 (528595) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028066)

*** Actual courses availible When They're Done

With Romero on the staff you might see admissions by 2007 ;-)

Re:Fine Print (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5028253)

*** Actual courses availible When They're Done
With Romero on the staff you might see correct spelling by 2007 ;-)

math (1)

ThePhreaker (548895) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028067)

I say go to college, major in math, and learn programming in your spare time. I bet it would be easier to find a job with math major on the resume.

Re:math (0)

n0rm (261621) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028107)

Nope, I spent 10 months last year finding out that a math degree is worthless. Double major math/cs is the only way to fly.

Digipen? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5028068)

Is this not like Digipen?

http://www.digipen.edu/

18 months... (2, Insightful)

DaytonCIM (100144) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028071)

and $37,000 tutition, there had better be job placement!

I would steer clear (5, Insightful)

chrisseaton (573490) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028085)

I have just applied to universities here in the UK, and I looked at the few computer game design courses available.

Most of them are very poor, they have low enterance requirements (someone at my college got in without even a maths A level!), and aren't run by any of the good universities (imagine Oxford doing a BA in computer game design - hardly).

I've opted to do a generic as possible degree, a masters in computer science, at a good, respected university (either Oriel college Oxford, Durham or Bristol).

I can't imagine why anyone would want to do one of these fashionable degrees like "wireless computing", "internet technology" or the computer games ones. People who want to do game design should study maths, physics or pure computer science.

Think of it like this, how many really good directors or actors went to one of these film schools one sees advertised in the back of film mags? Probably not many.

Re:I would steer clear (3, Informative)

bwalling (195998) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028143)

I've opted to do a generic as possible degree, a masters in computer science, at a good, respected university (either Oriel college Oxford, Durham or Bristol).

Do yourself a favor and major in Mathematics. It will help you tremendously.

Re:I would steer clear (2)

BabyDave (575083) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028260)

There's partly an advertising issue - unless you run a degree titled "Computer Game Design" or "Wireless Computing", people may not realise that that sort of topic is offered as an option in the "Computer Science" degree. They'll think it just covers the 'dull' subjects (from their point of view) and won't want to go to your university.

But yes, a generic degree in Maths or Comp. Sci. will certainly make you more employable, and will in many cases be more useful.

Re:I would steer clear (2)

chrisseaton (573490) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028360)

If you have to attract students who won't look past the title, you're looking for the wrong sort of students.

You know it's a good college when... (2, Interesting)

guido1 (108876) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028089)

The tuition rates are rounded to the nearest thousand, and the first semester fee's include:
" Tuition for the first term includes a fully loaded computer specially configured for digital game development."

http://guildhall.smu.edu/Admissions/tuition.htm

After further review, it appears that this is _quarterly_ rates. (6 term, 18 month program.)

Sociology, folkdancing, and now this (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5028090)

It boggles the mind. They're not even pretending to educate any more. It's right out in the open.

I'm sure we all recognize the kind of student this will attract: Those unbathed, ill-groomed term-room troglodytes we knew in college, who gave out the terminal room phone number as their own and slowly, lumpishly flunked out.

Some of them stayed on anyway, parasitizing an institution that was no longer willing to tolerate their presence.

Now I guess we won't be flunking them out any more, we'll be giving them A's in "Self-Justification of Incompetence", "Advanced Parasitism", and "Stinking Like a Corpse". I can see it now -- Southern Methodist University will attract every drug-addled adolescent imbecile in the United States to this "program". Academic standards, already lowerd beyond all human tolerance, will sink beyond all nadirs previously imagined.

They're trying to produce a generation of young Americans so dismally uneducated that they'll fall for any idiotic junk-science and pseudo-philosophy that comes down the pike. A nation of perfect suckers to do as their told, a nation of drones incapable of thinking critically. The "recycling" industry will take off like a rocket (I'll be investing tomorrow, believe me) because these sad excuses for "college graduates" will be incapable of finding out where the "recycling" trucks actually go with the trash that the suckers have carefully sorted through (like bag ladies in their own homes, or slaves assigned as punishment to the garbage heap). Where do those trucks go, you ask? The dump, same as the other trucks. It's just obedience-training. The liberals always do what they're told, because they haven't the imagination or strength of will to create their own freedom.

I'm sorry if I'm ranting here, but I'm watching my nation get flushed down the toilet at the taxpayer's expense, and it's a bit hard to take.

Re:Sociology, folkdancing, and now this (2, Insightful)

GSFPathogen (514303) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028111)

"They're trying to produce a generation of young Americans so dismally uneducated that they'll fall for any idiotic junk-science and pseudo-philosophy that comes down the pike."

I hate to point out the obvious, but that's kinda how things are as we speak.

37th Post W00t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5028099)

I gots it no one else can ever get this again. 37th Post. Lamers and Scum.. eat my toe jam.

Life is like Evercrack. (1)

_Sambo (153114) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028100)

Life is like a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. I think... Perhaps it's the other way around. Who knows.

This sounds like fun. Live the ancient days of guilding. Be one of the chosen to be apprenticed in the new guild of game production.

So will Anne McAffrey make a new novel based on a lowly apprentice who beats the odds and becomes everyone's hero? (Apologies. I just finished the Harper of Pern trilogy)

Re:Life is like Evercrack. (2)

kin_korn_karn (466864) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028268)


So will Anne McAffrey make a new novel based on a lowly apprentice who beats the odds and becomes everyone's hero? (Apologies. I just finished the Harper of Pern trilogy)

No, but every other fantasy writer that's published in 2003 will.

Whoa they want you to have Experience already? (1)

Dave_B93 (528595) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028119)

Software Development
Pre-requisites Applicants for the Software Development Certificate Program must demonstrate a basic understanding of a structured programming language by submitting at least three (3) samples of original code related to Game Development.

I thought you were going there to learn how to write games!?!

Re:Whoa they want you to have Experience already? (4, Insightful)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028132)

Duh, they aren't going to teach you programming from scratch. They assume you're able to write something like Pong, Snake or Tetris if you decide to attend and need proof that you can do that.

Re:Whoa they want you to have Experience already? (2, Interesting)

Dave_B93 (528595) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028223)

Once you've reached that point, what's the point of going to school for it? By then you should know a few good websites, and be able to follow a tutorial yourself.

It's a logical progression that after you've written a few games yourself, you'd join a free game project or start your own. Then you're on your way. If you've already done some college (like they're requiring) then you should know how to lay out a project correctly.

I suppose you'd get some industry contacts, a skookum computer, and some friends doing the same thing as you. You'd also have the free time to actually concentrate on your gaming skills (instead of having some pesky job in the way). And okay, you get a nice certificate..

Okay, it sounds like it might actually be useful..

wow (3, Funny)

pummer (637413) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028128)

this is nuts. in a few years, we'll have
H ollywood
I s
O ut
O f
I deas
S o
W e
N eed
A
U niversity.


Yeah, I got nothin'.

I say it is a good idea. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5028130)

It gets those harcore gamers out of the CS Classes so the CS Students can learn real CS without the gamers getting all fustrated because they are not learning how to make graphics. At least in my school the Wana be Game Programers were very closed minded indivuals who went into near panic when they were forced to be taught an algorithm that is not nessarly good for games. Concepts like Code creation time and updateability made them very fustrated and started complaining how big buisness is controlling the world. And you gotta love the mythos that they have thinking that being a game developer they are going to make a ton of money.
By putting them in a school that teaches them vidio games only get them to well specialized in one field and makes more job openings for generalized programers.

I want to make the world a better place. Sucking out kids mind with vidio games is not how.

Cogswell (5, Informative)

azerak (535905) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028194)

There's another college in northern California that has a game design program. It's called Cogswell Polytechnical College (http://www.cogswell.edu). They're fully acredited and have a Bachelor's degree program for Computer Video Imaging and Computer Science with majors in game design, 2D animation, 3D character animation, video editing, etc. I'm in the game design program there, and I'm having the time of my life and am set to get a job at EA Games this summer.

The school also has a Game Development Club where many students get together and develop games each semester in the same process that most game companies do. Check out their website: http://www.fuzzywoto.org/
(it'll soon be changing to www.gameclubworldwide.com)

Re:Cogswell (2)

zephc (225327) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028213)

who woulda thought TWO Cogswell references in one /. story ;)

And in other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5028229)

A sequel to the game "Redneck Rampage" is due out 7/04.

IN SOVIET RUSSIA... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5028302)

the video games make YOU!

Levelord, of Ritual fame... (1)

DarklordJonnyDigital (522978) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028317)

Or, y'know, "Levelord, of Duke Nukem 3D [planetduke.com] fame"? A little less obscure, I think...

The problem is... (3, Interesting)

kakos (610660) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028341)

That these schools produce no-talent programmers who know how to slap down a template for a 3D engine, but don't know much else. Most students I've met that have come out of these schools know little of basic algorithms and data structures, such as binary trees, let alone more complex computing topics such as encryption, compression, etc. I mourn the loss of the gaming industry if these things start becoming popular.
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