I am about to graduate from a great 4 yr university, with a double major in Japanese and Psychology. I have decided that my interests and talents would be better served by getting a graduate degree in Game Design since I love, and have some talent in art, and writing, and story development.
I am looking at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and have read some mixed reviews by (mostly former and mostly undergraduate) students. Since I am interested in designing the art, and the ideas of games, and have liked the little bit of programming I have done - it is not my main interest, and I have not taken much math at college - would this be a good choice? I have looked at the USC site, and will check the Simon Fraser University site.
Any suggestions/feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Moved to Design.
My first suggestion would be: don't count on a game designer position straight out of college. Many studios see Game Designer as an advanced position in the company, and I can't think of a studio that doesn't require their Game Designers to not have shipped at least 3 titles.
My second suggestion is based on the first: investigate a more general, entry level aspect of game development such as Associate Producer, Level Design, Programming, Environment Art, Character Art or Animation. Level Design, given your desire to be a Game Designer, might be your best bet if you have some experience with Art and Programming.
This is what I would recommend, as a Game Designer:
1) Purchase Dragon Age and all of its DLC
2) Download the Content Tool Set
3) Begin creating your own modules for others to download and become part of its mod community.
The game industry is definitely a meritocracy to get a position. If you can provide modules to developers when you apply for a position, and show what you can do, that goes a lot further than a slip of paper.
As I responded when you asked me this question via direct email, I recommend that you read my FAQs 40, 34, 25, & 70. They're at http://www.sloperama.com/advice.html and they should help you in your choice of grad school. You have to research the schools yourself, and use your own personal criteria to make this highly personal decision.
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