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    Need help choosing a college and degree


    I am very interested in computers and mostly programming. However I have found it very difficult to learn by myself. I was looking into colleges and I have come up with Full Sail looking very very interesting. They over a B.S. in Game Development and their labs and everything look absolutely amazing. This is the exact thing I want to do. However, I was wondering, what is the difference between this degree and one in Computer Science? Which has more of a field to get into (as, which degree would be more easily to get into a career with?). Also, I am a gamer of course, and I want to create games for a living. Full Sail has a 83% success rate with their placement for a B.S. in Game Development and this is amazing. I would love starting as a Junior Programmer and eventually moving up. Full Sail also allows you to go back and further education in that degree if new technology comes along, free of charge. This is amazing. Does this sound like a good college choice?

    (Im new and really wasn't sure where to post this.)
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    The essential difference between Game Development and Computer Science is your focus. In fact at most schools the degree programs are very similar until you junior, or perhaps senior year.

    Full Sail is an excellent choice assuming a few things, mostly you can afford it There is very little financial aid, and living in Florida ain't cheap. If you want to get a 2 year degree I would recommend DigiPen over Full Sail unless you're loaded, and probably even if you are, just because you recieve a much more solid foundation at DigiPen.

    As far as more formal four-year schools go, The University of Denver, which was the first of it's calibur to offer such a degree, has an amazing program which allows you in five years to get a BS, or BA in Game Development, and a MBA, which is always nice to have. And if you happen to transfer a great deal of credit (30-ish hours) it is possible to do both BA and BS programs (the main difference being a Math minor for a BS, versus a second major for a BA, Digital media studies, eMAD, or Studio Art). The disadvantages of DU are if you don't live within a 50 mile radius of the school you are required to live on campus, and it comes with a price tag of 45k, however most students receive a decent financial aid packet, and of course, the quarter system, which crams three semesters of knowledge into two semesters of time.

    Several Public Schools (ie. ASU, CSU, LSU, whatever it is in your state) are beginning to follow DU in suit. Often these schools do not look quite as impressive on a resume, but come significantly cheaper.

    I think BYU and Northern Texas(?) have some sort of program too.

    Overall it depends alot on financial situations, and High School transcripts.
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    alot of game companies say they would like it better if you had a degree in programming overall or just computer science.
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    I think one of the big reasons is that programming and computer sciences as degrees have a much stronger foundation.

    50 years versus a decade at most for game designs.

    People have to realize though, that a large game has a massive teams building it not just one or two people. So if you want to go into to programming you really have a huge number of choices. I feel like a lot of schools are training people to think they can be one man teams and come out with a real game.

    Maybe that's just me?

    I think it might be important to go over the different degrees available, and what they lead to, for example, a BS in Game development, vs a BA in Game Design, and Animation, vs Comp Sci, etc.
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    I don't know about the curriculum of a Game Development degree, but a Computer Science degree will teach you about the hardware and software of computers. It turns out that games are programmed on computers, so this is very useful. You would learn about data structures, compilers, searching algorithms, computer logic, etc.. You could then teach a computer to play games, solve equations, or map the moon. I think a Computer Science degree is probably more useful than a Game Development degree, but Full Sail and Digipen have a lot of buzz around them right now. The real key will be how marketable you are in 10 or 15 years.
    Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, when practicing deeply the Prajna Paramita, perceives that all five skhandas in their own being are empty and is saved from all suffering.
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    Here are the required courses for a BS in Comp Sci, at DU, followed by the required courses for a double BA in Game Development and Animation

    COMP 1671 Introduction to Computer Science I
    COMP 1672 Introduction to Computer Science II
    COMP 2673 Introduction to Computer Science III
    COMP 2300 Discrete Structures in Computer Science
    COMP 2370 Introduction to Algorithms and Data Structures
    COMP 2691 Introduction to Computer Organization
    COMP 3351 Program Languages
    COMP 3361 Operating Systems I
    COMP 3693 Computer Architecture



    COMP 1671 or 1571 Introduction to Computer Science I
    COMP 1672 or 1572 Introduction to Computer Science II
    COMP 2673 Introduction to Computer Science III (gaming version)
    COMP 2300 Introduction to Discrete Structures
    COMP 2370 Introduction to Algorithms and Data Structures
    COMP 3801 Introduction to Computer Graphics
    COMP xxxx Game Programming I
    COMP xxxx Game Programming II
    MATH 1951 Calculus 1
    MATH 1952 Calculus 2
    COMP 3361 Operating Systems I
    COMP 3621 Computer Networking
    COMP 3802 Advanced Computer Graphics
    COMP xxxx Computer Animation (required for the BS)
    ARTD/COMP xxxx Game Design
    COMP xxxx Network Games
    DMST/COMP 3550 Digital Audio Production
    DMST/COMP 3560 Advanced Digital Audio Production
    COMP xxxx Artificial Intelligence for Game Programming

    The main difference is that for a Comp Sci degree you get a really in depth look at ALL (or at least, a lot of) programming languages and OSs, and you go into much further detail in regards to Data Structures, and algorithm analysis, and a lot of things that aren't as critical for games.

    Game Development (Only available as a dual degree, with eMAD, DMS, or Animation) requires a shallow-er look at program itself, but goes into things that are more critical to games (ie AI) and includes quite a bit of the history (both programming-wise, and in general) about the gaming industry.

    Since Game Development requires a second (art related) degree it does provide you with a sort of built in fallback plan.

    My advise is, if possible, to make yourself as valuable as possible, for as long as possible. Comp Sci will teach you the fundamentals that programming languages are built on, allowing you to adapt to new, and old languages, whereas Game Development will give you one very specific application, and odds are make you damn good at it, until it gets severely out of date.

    Do both if you can.

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