Game Design School Gains University Accreditation

Vocational college and game design school Full Sail Real World Education has been awarded University status by the state of Florida, the school announced today.

Founded in Winter Park, Florida in 1979, Full Sail offers degree programs in computer animation, game art, game development, digital arts and design, and several other programs. The private university currently serves over 5,800 students.

Alumni from the university have gone on to work at game development studios such as Infinity Ward, Insomniac Games, and EA Redwood Shores.

"We will continue to grow and carry on the tradition of empowering students with the knowledge necessary to pursue their educational and career goals, through our long-standing tradition of accelerated, real world education and immersive, project-based learning," said Full Sail University President Garry Jones.

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From The Chatty
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    March 26, 2008 5:09 PM

    And a degree will still mean nothing in that industry, unless you want to go to another country....

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      March 26, 2008 5:39 PM

      You're right, but not for the reasons you think. All that matters in this industry is skills and ambition. I've met college dropouts, with jobs programming games, who are ten times smarter than people with degrees in computer science. Schools like Full Sail can help people get to that threshold of programming knowledge, but if you graduate from Full Sail and still can't program for shit, the only job you're getting at a game company is game tester.

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      March 26, 2008 6:11 PM

      Not really. I know a few companies that are giving priority to people with formal educations.

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        March 27, 2008 5:15 AM


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          March 27, 2008 5:45 AM

          I think I can speak pretty well on this topic as I myself am currently a Graduate student in Computer Science at DigiPen and spent a year prior in industry. I can say without a doubt that my formal education (Computer Engineering as an undergrad) gave me a one-up on some of the other programmers who learned in less structured ways and whose sole goal was to "get the job done". I worked for a year after school on a UE3 title and the "team leads" were college dropouts or non-computer-scientist programmers who focused little on scalable, clean, well structured code. This bit us tremendously in the ass later on and the result was the mediocre and buggy game Monster Madness. At the beginning of the next project, I was tasked with designing and implementing some of the systems, and although it took slightly longer (yes, deadline was still easily met), ultimately it was more flexible and the net result was that it could be scaled and modified very easily. Granted, I probably focus more on clean design than most others, but formal training in the right topics is a benefit.

          And as for my experience being "theory only", I've created some very concrete systems and projects. True, it's not under the time constraint of a boss or publisher, but then again I left industry precisely because I hated that aspect about it. And furthermore, as Masters students we focus both on high-level academic thesis topics as well as game projects, and some of the ideas explored in that synthesis might be a driving force behind the games and technology of tomorrow.

          I guess that's my take on it, but I'm by no means the norm. Leaving a decent job in games to return to school probably sounds foolish to most people, but I simply enjoy the technical and creative freedom school grants me.

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      March 26, 2008 7:28 PM

      Whether the degree means anything or not (it certainly isn't hard evidence that you have what it takes), some people shine in structured learning environments. Though, I fully agree that if you have the drive, smarts, ambition, and a bit of discipline, you will find a place in damn near ANY industry, with or without a formal education.

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      March 28, 2008 1:17 PM

      That's not really true. I graduated from Full Sail's game design degree program with an associate's and a bachelor's degree (I took the associate's before they added the bachelor's program). I've been working at Raven Software for several years now, along with quite a few other Full Sail grads (we've probably had close to a dozen Full Sail grads working here at various times). We've also got some Digipen grads here and we had a few Guildhall grads at one point as well.

      The thing to keep in mind though is that you get out of it what you put into it. If you half ass it through school and don't really push yourself, then you'll likely have a difficult time finding a job in the industry. The degree itself won't get you hired, but it certainly helps. It's what you are able to accomplish that really matters though.

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