Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!
Any prospective student should know that it is very difficult to break into the gaming industry. Further, they need to ask themselves why they are attending generic college XYZ for video games. Specifically, what does this college offer and what are their job placement statistics? DigiPen regularly has job placement percentages in the high 90s within 6 months of graduation. Might I add that many of our professors have worked in the industry extensively? Who better to lecture on game networking, audio, physics, etc. than someone who has developed on triple A titles on all of the major consoles? I could spend ample time explaining how the first 2 years at DigiPen covers more than most Master's programs elsewhere in the country, but I digress.
The sad fact of the matter is that most collegiate programs do not have the expertise on the bench to be able to ACTUALLY help students get ready for the real world of video game programming. DigiPen graduates are more-often-than-not able to hit the ground running on most any platform or console.
To compound matters worse, real-time interactive simulations (aka video games or other simulators) are some of the most advanced computing that a developer can strive to code. Everything from memory management to networking has to be properly written for games. You are, in a sense, writing an entire OS on top of the underlying console dashboards. Quite a daunting task.
And to add just a bit more, what is it with Computer Science students who believe they can leave a typical college and hit the ground running with that perfect development job? I've spent a decade of internships, part-time jobs, multiple college degrees, etc. to get to the point where I can competently compete for a development job 'fresh out of college'. And yes, that means I was interning back in high school in development-type jobs.
Real video game colleges spend more time on advanced math (the stuff beyond calculus) and physics than discussing the best attack combo for the latest fighting game. Don't get me wrong, we play video games, but that is typically after an 80-120 hour work week writing code until we actually dream out our coding assignments to only wake up at 4 am to rewrite a memory manager, network engine, sound engine, shader, 3d model file format, etc.