Full Sail

This is a discussion on Full Sail within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Has anyone here attended this school or have any professional experience with its graduates?...

  1. #1
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Full Sail

    Has anyone here attended this school or have any professional experience with its graduates?
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  2. #2
    Webhead Spidey's Avatar
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    That depends on what department you're talking about. I researched their game development program a while back and everywhere I looked I got somewhat mixed replies. Some claimed the school was horrible and others said It was a truly great experience. I even heard stories of people being unemployed for months or even years after graduating from that school and others getting jobs before they had graduated. I eventually chose not to go there, but in the end it all comes down to the person in question and how much effort you are wiling to put in and outside school. Surely you cannot learn everything just by attending any particular school and have to put in your own person effort as well. Especially for game development as its one of the most competitive software dev jobs today. Are you planning on hiring someone from there ?
    Spidey out!

  3. #3
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    I was considering riding out this economic slump by loading up on student loans and getting my masters there, I just want to make sure in the end its worth it. I already have one degree in a field that is for all intents and purposes dead. Ultimately I will start my own game company, and will probably populate it with contacts i meet at the school, so that is another concern of mine.
    Last edited by abachler; 08-03-2009 at 04:33 AM.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  4. #4
    Webhead Spidey's Avatar
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    Ahh, well I dont know about their masters but I know of a few good programs out there -

    Game Design & Video Game Development at The Guildhall at SMU
    Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center
    Department Of Computer Science - USC

    There are alot more creeping up these days, If you want to go to a game specific school then Guildhall would be the best. Digipen is probably the best option for undergrads but I dont know if they have a masters in Game Dev, I think its CS. But if youre looking for talent you could check it out.

    Also, take a look at the work from the IGF Student Finalists. Alot of schools participate and you can see what kind of games they are making.
    Spidey out!

  5. #5
    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
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    I looked at their program about 6 years ago. They said their game design program was accredited but I couldn't find their accreditation. They tried the "well we were just accredited so they [the accreditation agency] might not have updated their website". Not sure if that changed or not.

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    Registered User valaris's Avatar
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    I wouldn't look or expect to get a "real" masters from them as they have no regional accreditation. So technically the degree has no real weight compared to other traditional schools. On top of that google yields a lot of horror stories of which I tried to show my friend before he started the graphics design program. They are regularly accused of being a "diploma mill", charging outrageous prices, providing a lackluster education, that apparently a lot of employers laugh at.

    Also I believe the only school is in Florida (which is where my friend went), so you could probably have to relocate. My friend graduated a few months ago and as of now can find no jobs, grant it hes a graphics design major.

    You seem like a pretty smart guy though from reading some of your posts, so you should probably have no problem getting into a traditional school and getting your masters. Just curious you say you have a degree in a field that is dead...what would that field be?

  7. #7
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valaris View Post
    Just curious you say you have a degree in a field that is dead...what would that field be?
    Electronics Engineering, component level, not microelectronics.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

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    Registered User valaris's Avatar
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    Ahh cool. Well like I said I can't really say much about the game dev program, and to there credit of course it's not accredited regionally because the game program doesn't fit into an accreditable area. My biggest concern would be the ridiculous loans they seem to be notorious for. IE my friend is 75k under at the moment at some ridiculous rate.

  9. #9
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Well, after reading quite a few stories, both positive and negative, It's not looking good. It does appear to be a meat grinder school. I'm not a big fan of so called 'accelerated' classes, as that is usually code for 'rushed' and/or 'understaffed'.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  10. #10
    l'Anziano DavidP's Avatar
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    I have a very good friend who graduated from Full Sail. Apparently if you want to know how to "get things done" and make games, it's fine. It doesn't mean you will be making a very efficient game. Personally I think a normal Computer Science program is better, as it truly develops the student and teaches theory and principles.
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  11. #11
    Registered User valaris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abachler View Post
    Well, after reading quite a few stories, both positive and negative, It's not looking good. It does appear to be a meat grinder school. I'm not a big fan of so called 'accelerated' classes, as that is usually code for 'rushed' and/or 'understaffed'.
    The "accelerated" learning is the main reason my friend went. Apparently classes last only one month. I tried to explain to him that spending a few hours a day in a single class for a month doesn't really teach you that much. This is another reason that a masters from Full Sail can't be equated with a masters from a traditional school. In the time it would take me to get an associates degree from a community college I could have a so called bachelors in science from full sail. A year later I could have a "masters".
    Last edited by valaris; 08-03-2009 at 11:30 AM.

  12. #12
    Webhead Spidey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valaris View Post
    The "accelerated" learning is the main reason my friend went. Apparently classes last only one month. I tried to explain to him that spending a few hours a day in a single class for a month doesn't really teach you that much. This is another reason that a masters from Full Sail can't be equated with a masters from a traditional school. In the time it would take me to get an associates degree from a community college I could have a so called bachelors in science from full sail. A year later I could have a "masters".
    Agreed, Accelerated classes are a scam, you dont really learn much and are generelly rushed. Look at the links I posted, all of them have high standards and excellent graduate success rate.
    Spidey out!

  13. #13
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    I work with a Full Sail graduate and he is an extremely competent programmer both in graphics and application development.

    However he even says himself that the school is not for everyone and is not a guaranteed job offer. But again no school is. Full Sail will only give you what you put into it much like any other school. I have had interview after interview of candidates who feel they have the 'right' to a position just because they have the degree - yet they cannot answer even the most basic of object oriented questions correctly.

    I'm not going to recommend or not recommend Full Sail or any other institution. I will say that no school can guarantee you a job after you graduate so that should not be a premise for attending the school. What should be a premise are the normal, boring, everyday things like cost, location, degree types, housing, scholarships, etc.

    The only thing I do know about Full Sail is you will not be able to hold down a full time job and attend there. The class schedule is rigorous and there is not much hand holding when it comes to the work. Most likely in your first week you will be asked to do projects that you might not do in the first year or two at other schools. It is an accelerated degree program. If you feel this makes it a degree mill then so be it but it is not the only one of its kind.

    I have seen people who come from well rounded traditional schools that just plain cannot program and I have seen people from non-traditional accelerated schools that equally cannot program. In the end it really comes down to the person attending - who are they and what are they made of. Schools do not create great employees, great people do.

    Also when looking at reviews for schools do not rely solely on internet blogs and forums. Most of the ones that are disgruntled about this or that will be the first to post negatively about their school. The problem is you never know exactly what their issue is or what the other side of the story is. Unfortunately 'good' experiences are usually never posted and in most cases I'm sure the good outweighs the bad. The internet has become a universal place for whiners to vent and it is hard to tell the true intent of the person unless you know them in real life.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 08-03-2009 at 10:22 PM.

  14. #14
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Well, after a phone conversation with their sales guy, I am definitely gonna have to pass on this school. they schedule people for 4 hour classes 8 hours apart, which means basically you will never have time to get proper sleep and his excuse was 'thats the way the game industry treats its people', which actually goes a long way to explaining why so many games have so many bugs on release and a quick survey of the credits of most game companies shows a high turnover rate among programmers.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

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