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Online Game Development School?

Hey guys I have a weird-ish question. I am not looking for paid tutorials, but rather full fledged online courses, similar to what gnomon and anim-school offer for their respective fields. Anyone know of something akin to that?

http://www.gc-academy.net/

http://www.jasonryananimation.com/

www.animationmentor.com

digitaltutors.com

all I can think of for now.

Yeah, Unreal Engine 4, its documentation and youtube.

Tidal Blast - I was inquiring about live courses, not offline material.

BladeandChalice - Thanks, that’s a helpful list.

It seems like you’re asking for an actual, fully-fledged online school and not something like Digital-Tutors, which has already been recommended. These do exist, but the tuition is far, far higher than something like CGWorkshops (http://training.cgsociety.org/), which offer short-term 3-8 week courses, complete with one-to-one tutor support.

Those of which come to mind right away are Escape Studios (http://www.escapestudios.com/) and FullSail (http://www.fullsail.edu/online-education). The latter of the two, from my understanding is the more expensive in tuition fees, though it comes with a host of goodies such as providing each student with a Mac.

More realistically for most people, I would suggest taking a look at courses offered by 3DMotive, 3DTotal, Eat3D, InfiniteSkills or one of the other online material providers. There’s some fantastic resources out there, with very low-cost entry fees. It’d probably be advisable to look into those first.

Hourences tutorials are also quite good, covering in depth game creation from planning to execution. I’ve only seen bits an pieces, but it would be an amazing foundation for getting acquainted with game development and UE4 in specific.

Tesladev just started doing online tutoring his fees are on his youtube channel…not sure whether hes covering more than blueprint content though…the stuff you can learn just through youtube content is pretty comprehensive and getting better everyday in all areas not just ue4…in my opinion you would be best to use the free options first so you dont pay out for a course then realize you dont have the baseskills to even understand that

DanielBennifer - I’ve seen plenty of tedtimonials claiming Fullsail is a scham.

Not sure what you mean by that, exactly? I know people currently enrolled in both their online and on campus courses. I’ve never heard anything but positive comments. Anyhow, I am not affiliated with them.

So here’s the deal with Full Sail.

If you read through their course listings and are interested in the courses they offer (exactly what they offer, no reading between the lines), and are okay with the prices - it’s alright for learning things. However, Full Sail suffers from the same problems that places like ITT Tech and DeVry do, their credits transfer to basically no other schools. You cannot go to Full Sail for 3 years and transfer to, for example UC Santa Barbara, The Ohio University, or Harvard. Sure you could go to those schools, but your 3 years are gone - they are not transferring with you. The degree thus is really only going to get you past barriers in places where you’re sorted out by a computer. If having a degree is a hard and fast rule and the computer/HR person will toss you out without any degree of any kind, that’s when a Full Sail type degree helps you.

The only other caveat of places like Full Sail are that some of the courses are a little bit… hopeful let’s say. For example a “Game Designer” degree is probably not going to get you a job as a game designer, these are people who have worked in the industry for a long time and have shipping titles - it’s a lot more than anything you’re going to learn in a school (ANY school). By the same token, you have to remember that just because you might have a degree in “Game Design” or “Character Animation/Rigging” or whatever - you’re not guarenteed those jobs (the same way you aren’t guarenteed a job as a doctor just because you graduated from medical school.)

A lot of the dissatisfaction with these for-profit schools is a disconnect between expectations and results. Don’t believe the hype in their commercials, that’s exactly what they are - commercials. Are they outright a scam? No, but the people who will benefit from them need to be discerning and informed consumers and know what they’re getting into and what they expect to get out of it.

Quite honestly, that mimics my impression of them. I wouldn’t recommend them to someone just starting out, that’s for sure - because of the price, as I had originally mentioned.

I think all schools have their ups and downs. It’s inevitable. However, I think it comes down to expectations. Those who typically have a bad experience with a particular school or course are going to speak out louder than those who’ve been successful, I find.

Obviously they aren’t going to provide you with the invaluable experience of having worked within the industry for several years and having shipped multiple titles, but that’s not what they claim. They teach the fundamentals required. That’s about all you’ll get from any school.

However, saying they’re a ‘scham’, due to a specific person’s experience / issues with them, isn’t right. If someone enrols without checking things, such as the ability to transfer credits, in advance - that really isn’t FullSail’s problem. They provide all that information more than clearly. The tuition fees are rather high, to say the least (though that’s the same with most places). So, if you choose to take on a course at their prices without fully researching it first? Hell, I have no sympathy for you :stuck_out_tongue:

Numerous people are enrolled within their courses (both online and on campus, as noted). A quick look at their alumni and graduates (some of whom have worked on the recent reboot of Godzilla, Titanfall and so forth) is proof in its own right. Their educators are all fairly well versed in their respective fields, from what I’ve seen.

But again, just to reiterate, I wouldn’t suggest someone with no prior experience or at least the very basics take on one of their courses. There’s other alternatives, which fit all kinds of budgets. With that said though, there’s a place for FullSail and I’m sure it’ll remain that way for the moment.

Personally, I’m enrolled in a course on Training portfolio | CGSociety which I also recommended! Though, I’m using it more as a refresher.

I have two important pieces of advice:

  1. Do not bother with ‘for profit’ schools. For profit school priorities are always to their shareholders and will do things like encourage you into ridiculous loans and make it difficult for you to leave, all in the name of maximising the amount of money they can extract from you as you are a customer and not a student - the quality of teaching is not their priority and it is often very poor as a result anyway.

  2. Take a look at how much debt you’ll be taking on by doing the course, then compare it to your projected salary. If you cannot pay off your accrued debt within about six years of finishing the course, ask yourself if it’s actually worth doing. Surely the point of doing a course is to gain skills and a diploma to help you get a job that pays well. If the course cost is so high that you’re stuck paying off debt and not seeing the benefit of your increased earnings, then there’s something very wrong.

Case in example, if you want to do Game Development at Full Sail, you’re looking at 5.25 semesters with an average cost of $14,900 per semester - or $78,225. Game Design online would set you back 8 semesters costing an average of $7,125 each - or $57,000. Now consider that there’s going to be interest on those debts, probably around 3.5% per annum.

A junior designer salary is around $45k - and you’d need to spend nearly $2750 of that just to pay the accrued interest on that game developer course. To pay it off in six years, you’re looking at paying back $16k or so a year. Can you live on $29k in the kinds of places game studios are located? Probably not.

Realistically as an American, you’d actually be better off going to Europe these days and getting a degree there. The quality of teaching is WAY higher, and it can cost less in the long run. German universities as an example usually charge less than $750 per year (not per semester).

Have to go with Ambershee on this one.

I’ve yet to see a “Games development “ course/school that’s worth the price.

The catch as I see it if your on a 4 year degree coarse by the time you graduate what you learn in year one is obsolete and you would need a refresher just to catch up.

This is a craft best learn by doing and there is a section on the boards where people are looking for talent to work on a project.

Free work yes but think of it as saving $80,000

But I have to ask.

What is it that you think you need to learn?

FrankieV - Mostly curiosity to do exactly what you said, find a school worth its price. There’s nothing in specific that I am looking for, but I always keep the hope that I may stumble across something I didn’t knew I needed.

A few years ago I searched for a good school that could help me develop my game design skills, and found nothing to be worth it in either price or educational quality. (In America). So I had to teach myself and read up a lot of documentation/tutorials online. You mentioned you weren’t interested in this, but in reality this is most likely going to be your best bet. I knew a guy who went to Full Sail and spent so much money on his education, and when he came out he didn’t really know much more than the average user here. Like others mentioned, having a game design degree doesn’t guarantee you a GD job. Most companies look at your skill, and they will give you a test in order to determine whether you’re skills are up to the standards they’re looking for.