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Full Sail's credibility (important)

GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
edited November 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
So for the past six months i've been looking forward to attending Full Sail in Floridia, starting at the tail end of November. However, we've always wondered about the credibility of the school, but seeing as how no one here in Texas actually attended (much less heard of) Full Sail, we went by the best resources that we could find at the time.

Earlier today my dad informed me that a customer commented on Full Sail when it was brought up in their conversation, and he began to rant about how the school was a complete waste of money. His son went into the music degree programn and was completely ripped off (i'm not sure how, but I do know that he works at a KFC as of now). All those industry job opportunities promised by Full Sail apparently weren't honored or something, so now he's $30,000 in debt and not anywhere in his degree. This didn't happen recently either; the kid graduated a couple of years back.

So now I don't know what to do here. Does anyone know what really goes on down there at Full Sail, whether you've actually attended and graduated or you're just in-the-know?

Any information welcome.

Godfather on
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Posts

  • zilozilo Registered User
    edited May 2007
    PM PowerLlama, he went to Full Sail for compositing and ended up getting a job.

  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Coworker here quit to go to school there for a music degree. She's a music head and went to undergrad for Piano, and wanted to go to a school that integrated music with more technology stuff. Not just classical training.

    She keeps in touch and says that she's having a great time and that she's really enjoying it. But it's not a silver bullet program. If the kid is working at KFC he's not even trying to do anything with what he learned. ANY program will only give out what you put in, and if the kid made no attempt to make connections or progress on from the program, it's not the program's fault, it's his. That's true for any school.

    I mean, I take upright bass lessons. My teacher just finished a masters program at Peabody conservatory. He's auditioning at various places and is looking to continue his studies at a program in New York City. He understands that the paper he earns means relatively nothing, and that it's all how good you play and the connections that you make.

    I mean, you can go to harvard, earn A's, and leave with a job at KFC.

    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
  • ZephosZephos Climbin in yo ski lifts, snatchin your people up. MichiganRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    i mean, from what i've heard, (including an interview i just read with John Carmack) that really these schools are okay, but what developers want are skills (obviously) and they always talk about mod making, or map making as great things you can put in your portfolio.

    I'm actually a video game design program drop out from the Art Institute schools, that national chain. I left for a multitude of reasons, one of which is that they didnt offer really specific enough things, sort of the jack of all trades degree and i wasnt able to play the program to my strengths really.

    Xbox One/360: Penguin McCool
  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    So I posted the same question at Conceptart.org and so far the first response is by SpookyFish. He wrote:
    This guy who graduated from my high school last year attended Full Sail for 1 year for game design. According to his younger brother, the school is a complete waste. I've heard the same from a few other people aswell.

    Not a good sign so far.

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  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2007
    Hahaha we make fun of that school all the time. My friend went there and they deactivated his key card to get into the school because he asked for a refund. They give you so long to get a refund or something. He said it was the most useless school. A real degree costs 1/3 the price of that place. I go to UF in Fl

    UF > UCF > Webster College > Full sail...

    SEGA
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  • bloodyroarxxbloodyroarxx Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I;m pretty sure the forumer and pseudo vent mod Xieflow went to Full Sail and he now works for Amaze making licensed DS games, although everyone hes been apart of is a buggy mess he did get a job in the field he went to Full Sail for.

  • RhinoRhino Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Two of my friends went to school... one for recording/producing and the other for music.

    The both ran out of Money before they got their degrees.... so they didn't graduate.

    The guy that went for recording/producing is really good at mixing/recording and said he learn a lot there. The other guy went for music and was basically like 'eh'.


    If your going for a degree.. I'd suggest maybe get a BA at a normal college then use this as a supplement?

    EDIT: By the way, no degree from any school is a guranette for a good job.

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  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2007
    It is not even a real degree and you can't transfer anywhere with it. You can go to a real school and get a degree in Music or Art and you just arn't limited to the 6 months they teach you to use a mixing bored. My friend who went there made a website called www.fullsailsucks.com and it got shut down lol

    SEGA
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  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Just for clarification, i'm pursuing the digital animation degree, not the music one.

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  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2007
    Godfather wrote: »
    Just for clarification, i'm pursuing the digital animation degree, not the music one.

    Every program sucks there just as much as the other. I live a little over an hour away from Full Sail and I hear about it all the time and I have heard nothing but bad things. Just about everyone that is in music or art thinks about going there at some point or another. It has a really high drop out rate too because the classes are stressfull as fuck. They take a 2 year program and shrink it down to like 10 months or some BS. So you end up going to school 6 hours a day m-F. Also, I hear the teachers are useless there.

    Google Full sail, all you hear is bad things about it and maybe one good thing every now and then.

    SEGA
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  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA
    edited May 2007
    I would suspect rather strongly that what EliteLamer is referring to is the result of a lot of people going into the course not planning on properly applying themselves and hoping to stumble out in a few months with a totally leet job at Blizzard.

    Of course it's also worth noting that you'd be going to school surrounded by that element and maybe that's not the most productive learning environment.

    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal Flo-ridaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    There is a lot of negative feedback for Full Sail as well, almost as much as there is success stories.

    The most common complain is the ridiculous 24 hour schedule (final exams at 5 AM, I saw in print once), and the complains about teacher arrogance/incompetence... but I would assume that depends very much on what program you are in.

    The most sensible, intelligible analysis I have ever heard in regards to it is that it is a decent finisher school for someone who already has a conventional 4 year degree looking to specialize (and has a ton of money), but nothing else.

    I hear a lot about Full Sail as I attend one of their biggest competitors here in Tampa.

    My company is looking for a remote short term (3-6 mo) contractor with remarkable JS and CSS experience who has worked in a team environment at least once before. If you are or know someone who is, PM me for details.
  • PhilodoxPhilodox Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Take a tour of the school.


    I'm inherently skeptical of schools that train people to make video games, but unless you know some people with similar work habits to your own a lot of the advice may not apply. With most schools you get out what you put in.

    That's a Freudian mansex if I ever cocked one.
    twinsbanneroq0.jpg
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Jasconius wrote: »
    The most common complain is the ridiculous 24 hour schedule (final exams at 5 AM, I saw in print once), and the complains about teacher arrogance/incompetence... but I would assume that depends very much on what program you are in.

    Incoming "what a dick!" comment...

    steam_sig.png
    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal Flo-ridaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Jasconius wrote: »
    The most common complain is the ridiculous 24 hour schedule (final exams at 5 AM, I saw in print once), and the complains about teacher arrogance/incompetence... but I would assume that depends very much on what program you are in.

    Incoming "what a dick!" comment...

    That may look good on paper but if you are a student who doesn't have some parent funding their entire life up to 22, then you need to work to take care of yourself, and 3 classes a week at up to 8 hours in length in random intervals in a 24 hour period isn't exactly the best thing to plan a job around.

    My company is looking for a remote short term (3-6 mo) contractor with remarkable JS and CSS experience who has worked in a team environment at least once before. If you are or know someone who is, PM me for details.
  • aesiraesir __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2007
    Schools that are focused on training for getting into the video game industry are almost all a waste of time, full sail included. If you want to work in the industry, (as an artist), then youre better off going for a fine arts degree. Building your artistic abilities is what's important. All the software can be learned on your own in a fraction of the time it would take the schools to teach you. If youre not motivated enough to be able to do things on your own like that, then you'll never get the skills required to get you a job.

  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Well for the most part i've been teaching myself via Burne Hogarth books and singling out my weaknesses. Here's where i'm at artisitcally so far:

    http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h51/better_sandwich/VenomWIP.jpg

    Been drawing for about a year and a half, and I didn't have the awards/credentials to get into a fancy-smancy art college, so Full Sail looked really good at the time. I'm a very determined individual, but i'm not gonna lie and say that there are a bunch of times where I just talk about what I want to do instead of actually doing it. I'm trying to fix this during the summer so i'll be prepared for the coming storm.

    Now I just don't know what to do.

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  • TzyrTzyr Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I cannot make a comment about Full Sail itself, for I've not been there, but I can make a comment about these kinds of schools in general.

    I graduated from a Video game program at the end of 2005, and with the interviews I've had since and some people in the industry who I've talked to, no one has ever actually asked me what I learned at this school/program. It's always been more what are you up to now, and what have you done.

    I was able to bring up experiences that I did within the program itself, but I got a very strong impression that they did not really care for that kind of schooling, but again, more what have I done.

    In other words, like others have said, a portfolio/demos or projects I've been apart of (free-lancing as an example).

    You can learn a lot from these schools, maybe more than what you could learn from Universities/colleges depending on what you want to know. However for most of whom I talked to, just having a degree and any form of work they can see was more valuable than the actual school themselves.

    You get out of any program what you put in. So for some, it might be more what can you afford right now and in the end, what would help you out.



    If I were to redo my schooling, I would have taken a year or two off and made a portfolio/demos and try to contact people in the industry. If it looked like I'm was not progressing in both the portfolio and contacts, I'd probably think ok what would I need to make both succeed. If I was not learning enough, try to find out how I could learn more (like asking message boards what I need to learn, go to these video game schools to see what they learn). If it was just the damn paper these people needed (diploma/degree), then I'd go to school to get one.

    I managed to get a job working QA at EA, which I could have got right out of high school (for nothing I really learned since then would have made me doing this job any better, sadly).

    Right now, I'm largely in debt (which I cannot even afford with my current job) but, I have my foot in the door. If I'm able to open it I will be happy.

    I learned a lot from the school and met some really cool people (both instructors and students), but it will be a while before I decide it was worth it.

    Good luck at whatever you chose and whatever you do chose, make sure you are there for the right reasons.

    "Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. "
  • Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    A good friend of mine went to school there, but I forget exactly what she did there. Something to do with sound, perhaps for concerts/performances. She managed to get a job with David Copperfield shortly after graduating, but it turned out she wasn't crazy about it. She now works for America's Most Wanted doing something or other, but I know she's using the "degree" or whatever they call it that she got at Full Sail.

    As I recall, she wasn't crazy about it while she was there, and felt it was too expensive, but she said as best she could tell, the people who were realistic about it did fine and got decent jobs. It's the people that go thinking "I'll learn how to be a badass game designer and it'll be easy" that get chewed up and spit out, blow a ton of money, and either fail, or barely graduate and then can't find a job.

  • supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Full Sail is, among the creative trade schools, very well respected among industries looking to hire those people. EA has an office in Orlando that’s staffed largely by Full Sail grads. If you’re a little older and really know how to bust your ass and work hard, Full Sail is probably a good option, especially if you can’t get into, or just don’t want to go to, a college. But if you’re right out of high school and don’t really have a clue, or if you like to slack off, or if you’re looking for a serious degree that will carry some weight anywhere other than the technical field a Full Sail degree covers, DON’T GO.

    If I were you I would try getting into a fine art program instead of Full Sail. You aren’t telling us that you have some unstoppable drive to design games. You seem to just have an interest in drawing and an interest in games. So spend the next year taking art classes at a state school or community college to play with art and build up a portfolio, get a letter of recommendation (or two) from teachers, and then start applying to art schools. In four years you’ll have a real degree and, if you still enjoy drawing concept art, you’ll have a cool portfolio that you can use to get a job doing so. But if you grow out of drawing monsters (which most guys do) you’ll be able to do something else.

  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2007
    lol most places won't even look at full sail degree's, they just toss them.

    SEGA
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  • DeusfauxDeusfaux Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    lol most places won't even look at full sail degree's, they just toss them.

    Why dont you move on already you're starting to troll.

  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal Flo-ridaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Further comments on Full Sail

    Full Sail uses a national accredidation that is not valid in most Florida public colleges, and many other southern states. In fact, Full Sail has the same accreditor as my school, and the only way your transferring to anything in Florida is:

    If it's another private university that accepts the national accredidation, or you beg a community college to accept the credits. Places like USF, UF, and other Florida state colleges will laugh at you. Though I am told by a reliable source that these accredidations are more accepted in the midwest/north.

    I'm not saying that the diploma is not valid, but if you go there for a year and dump 20 grand and decide you don't like it, you are either looking at moving out of Florida or continuing your education at another "for profit" college.

    My company is looking for a remote short term (3-6 mo) contractor with remarkable JS and CSS experience who has worked in a team environment at least once before. If you are or know someone who is, PM me for details.
  • LondonBridgeLondonBridge __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2007
    I met this dude who went to Full Sail and is involved with Mythic here in NOVA. Doesn't make a whole lot but its a start. From what I read here its best to go to Full Sail for anything but music.

  • PowerLlamaPowerLlama Registered User
    edited July 2007
    The dude who started this PM'd me, and I felt I needed to come here and put in my two cents.

    And those are the great cliche: You get out of it, what you put into it.

    I went there for animation, and now I'm out in California doing compositing. I enjoyed the school a lot. I know a lot of people that hated it.

    The majority of people that say "Oh man that school sucks they didn't give me a job like they said they would" are fucking idiots. If they think that the school is going to make them great at whatever they want to do, and that because they went to FS they'll have an awesome reel, well they're fucking wrong. Everyone I know personally who bitches about the school has an absolutely terrible reel, and I am not surprised one bit that they don't have jobs.


    If you're young, I would recommend you not go to the school. Go to community college, and find out what you really want to do. By the time you're done, you'll have changed majors 50million times.

    Your skill in reading has gone up by 1 point.
    Click me for Sin City Breakfast Tacos! | Come discuss CG with us!
  • 3lwap03lwap0 Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    When I was at Gamesday, some younger kids were talking with Mark Jacobs, VP of Mythic. His take on the schools was negative, and I quote "Those who can't, teach." His suggestion was more along the lines of practical expierence, hands on modding, level design, basically getting a portfolio together.

    And while I don't think he was saying "Don't seek a post secondary education", he was saying "Schools that teach game design aren't something I look fondly at."

    Take from it what you will.

    I think Pringles original intention was to make tennis balls... but on the day the rubber was supposed to show up a truckload of potatoes came. Pringles is a laid-back company, so they just said, "Fuck it, cut em up!".
  • CojonesCojones Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Just to add to this, Paul Barnett mentioned this kind of education in his relatively recent "how to get into the games industry" series of videos. (I think, it may have been on another interview)

    He said that they "didn't know what they were talking about" and any qualifications from Full Sail or similar were essentially valueless.

    Edit - He mentions it here

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  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    PowerLlama wrote: »
    I went there for animation, and now I'm out in California doing compositing. I enjoyed the school a lot. I know a lot of people that hated it.

    I had to read that three times before realizing you weren't in the manure industry.

    As for the OP, maybe contact Khoo and ask him why PA agreeed to run Full Sail's ads, since Tycho has made a point several times PA carefully chooses their sponsers.

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    The "negative look" that the industry paints on schools like this really just echo what PowerLlama said, though -- it's not the school, it's what you do with it. Just going to the school isn't going to make you The Best. However, going to the school and working your butt off, and actually, you know, caring about the work you do, will very likely get you a very impressive portfolio of work.

    Any professional work in an art-based field is going to care more about the individual's portfolio than a list of schools. Essentially, the name itself means nothing. But this is the case for many, many fields -- the name doesn't make the person, their past performance does.

    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
  • Kewop DecamKewop Decam Registered User
    edited July 2007
    For videogames... don't go to fullsail. One, the shcool cost a crazy amount of money and two, there are people in the game industry that have told me to my face it is REALLY HARD to hire someone out of fullsail because the school doesn't teach traditional arts and it's degree is like tissue paper in some people's yes.


    Traditional art knowledge >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Going straight to digital.


    If you're in Florida, you can go to UF for art. TALK TO ME FIRST about this before actually going to UF because that school is full of shit but there are ways to avoid their bullshit. I graduated from UF's fine Arts college Spring of 07 and there were a lot of "mishaps" at that school during my 4 year stay. I've heard UCF has a better art program, but UF is the bigger name. UF has great resources for TRADITIONAL art, not digital. I'mm not going to attend FIEA (gradschool part of UCF) that is ade for game design but isn't bullshit like th ones you see on TV. I will talk more about it if you care, but for the price... going to fullsail isn't the best of solutions.

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  • PowerLlamaPowerLlama Registered User
    edited July 2007
    EggyToast wrote: »
    The "negative look" that the industry paints on schools like this really just echo what PowerLlama said, though -- it's not the school, it's what you do with it. Just going to the school isn't going to make you The Best. However, going to the school and working your butt off, and actually, you know, caring about the work you do, will very likely get you a very impressive portfolio of work.

    Any professional work in an art-based field is going to care more about the individual's portfolio than a list of schools. Essentially, the name itself means nothing. But this is the case for many, many fields -- the name doesn't make the person, their past performance does.
    Also, to add to that.... It really all boils down to who you know. The biggest reason I'm out here now is because of Zilo bustin my balls and getting me in at Zoic.

    So wherever you go to school, make sure you become friends with every single person you meet.

    Your skill in reading has gone up by 1 point.
    Click me for Sin City Breakfast Tacos! | Come discuss CG with us!
  • aesiraesir __BANNED USERS
    edited July 2007
    You'd be much better off at an Art Institute.

  • Kewop DecamKewop Decam Registered User
    edited July 2007
    PowerLlama wrote: »
    EggyToast wrote: »
    The "negative look" that the industry paints on schools like this really just echo what PowerLlama said, though -- it's not the school, it's what you do with it. Just going to the school isn't going to make you The Best. However, going to the school and working your butt off, and actually, you know, caring about the work you do, will very likely get you a very impressive portfolio of work.

    Any professional work in an art-based field is going to care more about the individual's portfolio than a list of schools. Essentially, the name itself means nothing. But this is the case for many, many fields -- the name doesn't make the person, their past performance does.
    Also, to add to that.... It really all boils down to who you know. The biggest reason I'm out here now is because of Zilo bustin my balls and getting me in at Zoic.

    So wherever you go to school, make sure you become friends with every single person you meet.

    "It isn't always what you know, it is who you know."

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  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I don't want to read this entire thread. But my impression of Fullsail, Art Institutes, whatever really..is that they suck. http://www.wattsatelier.com If you want to go to a serious school for art (I didn't even read what you were planning on studying at Fullsail). We have professional concept artists taking classes at this school, professional illustrators/concept artists and fine artists as instructors...and it is one of the most affordable serious art schools in the country.

    The catch? No degree. Of course, you could always just call up just about any art director in the country and ask them how much a degree matters to them. I am fairly certain the answer you will get is not at all. Thats the answer I got from one two days ago at lunch (he is also a student at the school).

    You can check the link in my signature to go to my artists corner thread with my work from Watts Atelier if you are interested in seeing more. I have been a student for about 3 years, but on and off and I have missed almost a full years worth of classes in that time.


    I don't know, I hope this is helpful in some way and not just negative. Even though it mostly is, I was actually a former Art Institute student. Those places suck. And to my understanding Fullsail is very similar.

    skype: rtschutter
  • zilozilo Registered User
    edited July 2007
    PowerLlama wrote: »
    EggyToast wrote: »
    The "negative look" that the industry paints on schools like this really just echo what PowerLlama said, though -- it's not the school, it's what you do with it. Just going to the school isn't going to make you The Best. However, going to the school and working your butt off, and actually, you know, caring about the work you do, will very likely get you a very impressive portfolio of work.

    Any professional work in an art-based field is going to care more about the individual's portfolio than a list of schools. Essentially, the name itself means nothing. But this is the case for many, many fields -- the name doesn't make the person, their past performance does.
    Also, to add to that.... It really all boils down to who you know. The biggest reason I'm out here now is because of Zilo bustin my balls and getting me in at Zoic.

    So wherever you go to school, make sure you become friends with every single person you meet.

    And the only reason I knew anyone at Zoic was because a professor mentioned to me that a former DePaul masters student worked there, and she hooked me up with an internship (she left for Weta in NZ like a week before I got there).

    Yeah, networking is important. One of the best reasons to go to any university for an advanced degree is because of industry connections you can make there.

  • JNighthawkJNighthawk Registered User
    edited November 2007
    Resurrecting a dead thread, since I feel it's important.

    "You get out of it what you put in." Cliche, it's been said before, but it's still very true. Full Sail is only for you if you're highly self-motivated. Period.

    Oh, and about game degrees being useless? They might be from the non-game focused schools, I'm not sure, but the big 3 gaming schools (Full Sail, Digipen, and Guild Hall) are all top notch. I graduated from the Game Development program 1 year ago, and since then, I've been working for Volition, Inc. as a programmer. We have about 5 grads from each of the big three here, but in the end, it's your knowledge not your school that will determine whether you get a job... and who you know. Networking is *huge.*

    Game programmer
  • DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Since you decided to zombify a long-dead thread and seem to have worked your way into a respectable company (loved Saints Row, btw), why don't you provide some insight:

    - What kind of programming are you doing, and on what kind of product?
    - What did you learn in your Full Sail education that got you up to speed to do this work?
    - How did you network yourself? What was the networking that eventually got you in the door?
    - How did Full Sail help facilitate this networking?
    - What did you do outside school that prepared you for your current job?

    Spoiler:
  • JNighthawkJNighthawk Registered User
    edited November 2007
    Why, yessa! Glad to answer questions :-)
    What kind of programming are you doing, and on what kind of product?

    The game I'm currently working on is unannounced, so I don't know what exactly I'm allowed to say, but I'm a multiplayer/networking programmer.
    What did you learn in your Full Sail education that got you up to speed to do this work?

    A lot. The classes at Full Sail gave me a great foundation for me to then go out and go more in depth with it. We had 2 project classes, one 2 months long with a lot of supervision, and one 5 months long with nearly no supervision, besides milestones. During those projects, they *really* give you a feel for what your specialty should be, and let you go into far greater detail on areas.

    For example, during the 2 month project, I wrote the graphics and memory portion of the engine. We had a DirectX class a few months prior, so I used what I learned in that class and did research on my own to write the engine.

    During our final project, I had already chosen my specialty. I wrote most of the technical design doc and oversaw the rest of it that I didn't write (I was the lead programmer on the project), and I wrote the networking code for an online shooter. I also wrote the rendering system (not engine - it sucked), but my main focus was networking.

    Full Sail gives you a foundation in basically every area of game programming, all the way from basic C++ to engine development, networking, and graphics programming. The projects, however, are very important. They show you how a game is made. Your team does everything from the design doc to tools to actual implementation of the game, and it's your job to find artists for graphics and sound. You have milestones that you need to hit along the way, and you're graded on those milestones. It really shows you what it means to be a game developer.
    How did you network yourself? What was the networking that eventually got you in the door?

    LinkedIn.com - it's like MySpace for professionals. Full Sail also has near-monthly visits from professional game developers that give presentations, including an annual visit from Game Development's "Advisory Committee," which consists of 5-10 professional game developers from various companies. I'd introduce myself to everyone and try to snag a business card. (As an aside, my LinkedIn is here: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jnighthawk)

    I also worked on a lot of side projects throughout my time at Full Sail, which I would go beyond recommending and say it is *required* if you actually want to work on games. If games are your passion, you should be immersed in them 24/7 while at Full Sail. During one of these side projects, I met an artist named Matt, who was helping me work on an RTS. The game eventually floundered (it was early on in the program where I thought I knew more than I did), but we kept in touch. During our final project, he helped my team out a lot. Two months after graduating, I found out he was working at Volition as a tech artist and he recommended I apply. I did, and I ended up getting the job.

    I can't say enough about working on side projects while at school, and not being afraid to go meet people. During our final project, I went over to classes at the Computer Animation department and asked anyone if they'd like to work on a game. We had flyers made out that talked a bit about the game and had our contact info, and we hung those up all over campus. All in all, we ended up with about 10 dedicated artists working on our final project, who very easily could have been a great source of job opportunity also.
    How did Full Sail help facilitate this networking?

    Professional wise, I think that's one of the main reasons Full Sail has professional game developers come and give speeches, so students can meet them. These speeches aren't required, and only the people who truly are dedicated go, really.

    As far as fellow students go, just by having the school focused on entertainment media, most of the programs can lead into games (Computer Animation, Recording Arts, Digital Media, and Game Development are the ones I'm talking about). Just by making friends there, you're networking. You never know who will be your lead into your next job.
    What did you do outside school that prepared you for your current job?

    This is a big one, like I mentioned before. If you aren't working on outside projects while at Full Sail, you aren't dedicated to games enough to get a job.

    During my time at Full Sail, the projects I worked on were:

    - An IRC like chat program - I did everything, and completed it.
    - SourceForts mod for HL2 - I did gameplay coding.
    - A futuristic RTS - This is where I developed the rendering/memory engine I ended up using for the 2 month long project class. This project ended up dying.
    - A Lua driven particle system - During our OpenGL class, we had to find a topic we found interesting and do a research project on it. I did a particle system, and after class, I ended up adapting it to be able to be controlled by both C++ and Lua (a scripting language). We used this for our final project.
    - A GUI system - During our Engine Development class, we also had to do a research project. I had already started designing this and doing some basic work on it before class, so I chose to do this as my research project. We ended up using this as a basis for our GUI system in our final project.

    For those that are interested, my final project can be found here: http://www.hirkostreeservice.com/UFB/ . It's very out of date, and may not even work anymore, but there it is.

    As a final comment, Full Sail does grant you degrees and I was never questioned/hassled about going to Full Sail during my interview process at the companies I applied for. I have a BS of Game Development.

    I'll be glad to answer anymore questions.

    Game programmer
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    http://media.www.centralfloridafuture.com/media/storage/paper174/news/2007/11/28/News/Fiea-Grads.Have.97.Percent.Placement.50k.Salaries-3118094.shtml

    I'm a UCF student and that was on the front page of the most recent issue. Seems to be applicable here in terms of what else is available, aside from Full Sail.

    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    For what it's worth, a buddy of mine went through Full Sail's theater tech program. He had been heavily involved in various theater operations all through middle school and high school, so he had a good chunk of knowledge/background going in.

    After graduation, he came back to town and got picked up by a company based solely on his education/experience, even though they didn't immediately have a job for him that fit those qualifications. The company does short-term events, like providing all the lights/sound/etc for a stage show. They hired him immediately and started him off as a truck driver just to get him on the payroll. (After about six-eight weeks they had him doing technical work)

    Not game-related, obviously, but it may be worth something.

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