Online Game Design and Art Degrees
These are pretty exciting times we live in -especially if you have a love of video games and are considering a career in the industry. Gone are the days where learning how to make a video game was something you had to scrounge up pretty much on your own or cobble together from a Computer Science degree. Now there are plenty of institutions that offer degrees that will get you right where you want to go.
But that's not the best thing. Now there are plenty of Accredited Institutions that offer the complete programs online. Does it get any better than that? Well, I guess if it were all tuition free that would be better but the only place your going to get any real good stuff about game making totally free is right here on this website!
Personal Experience with Online Education
I took a complete one year online education program from Northeastern University and I have to say that I loved it. It was a certificate program in Technical Writing and it was really memorable. It was also very convenient because it gave me a lot of flexibility. Sometimes I did my work from the home computer and sometimes I stayed in the office after hours to get work done or to log into my classes. Really flexible and it seemed to me that the quality of work, workload, and benefits were better than brick and mortar classes. The flexibility allowed for longer questions and deeper delving into subjects. If you find a good institution I highly recommend online classes.
I have filtered through a lot of the search engine static and listed some of the best online degree offerings I could find. Most of these give you straight answers about curriculum, classes, and tuition.
Rasmussen College - They have an excellent array of technology degrees and both an on-campus set of offerings and an online set of degrees.
"Rasmussen's Game and Simulation Programming Bachelor's degree provides students with an in-depth look into the coding languages, multi-player programming techniques, and testing behind a successful game and simulation programming initiative. Your solid mathematical and programming skills will be utilized to first build game design foundations and then work to achieve new successes in the game and simulation industry."
Westwood College Online - They have a Game Art and Design Bachelors of Science Degree Program - THis looks like a pretty good program. Here is a quote from their webpage about the program:
"Our Game Art & Design Program helps students gain knowledge of art and animation techniques for employment in the game and interactive software industry. The curriculum includes courses such as Color Theory, 3-D Modeling and Animation, and Cinematography. In addition, a combination of management and general education courses enhance students' skills in critical thinking, logic, communication, and problem solving. Westwood College Online provides a flexible, challenging educational option for students who want to be a part of the dynamic gaming and game design industry."
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online Division - They focus on the artistic sides of games and not on the programming. If you have a slant toward the art of games you might be interested in this school and program. The Art Institure of Pittsburgh has been around for a long time. And if you want to get an idea of what kinds of classes you would need to take in order to get a degree they have a great course listing here
DeVry University - Game and Simulation Programming Online Bachelor's Degree - Their program is designed to be completed in 3 years and here is a quote from their website:
"As you earn your gaming degree, you'll master coding languages such as C++ and C#, artificial intelligence, industry-standard software packages, game engine development, multiplayer game programming, visual design fundamentals, and much more, preparing you to program, develop and design video games and complex simulations, from crime scene reconstruction to corporate training software."
FullSail Online - This university is serious about creativity in a lot of different visual art disciplines. Just one look at their website will give you a hint of that. They are predominantly a brick and mortar institute but they do currently have three online programs available including a Bachelor of Science in Entertainment Business. Listing of courses and tuition costs are easily found on the website.
University of Advancing Technology - This university appears to have the most comprehensive set of degree programs when it comes to getting an online education in the realm of video game design. They have Associate and Bachelors in Game Art & Animation, Game Design, and Game Programming. They are right up front about tuition costs and they have full curriculum that you can download and see what classes you would be taking. They also have a Masters Degree in Game Production program. I am not too thrilled about their website (Does anybody need to limit screensize to 800 pixels anymore?) But I am very impressed by their credentials and their curriculum.
American Sentinel University - Complete set of online degree programs. Here is a link to the BS in Computer Science Game Programming Specialization Program. They have a nice tuition comparison page that shows cost per credit vs various institutions. They also have an interesting set of podcasts that you can listen to. This page has a podcast about Game Programming.
Academy of Art University Online - Fully accredited online programs in Digital arts, New Media, Animation & digital effects and more. They offer a variety of degrees including Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts. This institute is something to consider if you are really serious about the art side of animation and games. Here is a link to their Animation School Homepage. It has comprehensive listings including classes you would take.
Not Looking for a degree?
3d Training Institute has some interesting online programs for 3d animation and artwork in Maya and 3DS MAX. They have 12 week project based courses aimed at all skill levels in the realm of 3dArt and graphics.
Before you take the plunge: BOOKS
Most books on distance learning merely list accredited colleges and universities offering degrees and certifications. How to Be a Successful Online Student provides the nuts and bolts of how distance learning really works and shows readers how to fully exploit online learning tools, opportunities, and resources
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