So I’m starting to regret my college choice. I knew it wasn’t top level or anything, but I figured it would be mediocre at least. My biggest decision for going here was due to me being a complete pansy and not wanting to be out of driving distance from Tucson, so I could visit my old friends and my mum. This was a mistake, a huge mistake, I coped being away from home really easily, and being too lazy to drive back most of the time the driving thing is moot, though I have gone back once to check on my marching band friends.
My first three classes are just annoying me. This “College Success” class is basically nothing but Philosophy Negative 101 with a teacher who seems to be rather confused about the prospect of AI, and gives me the vibe he hates technology in general. Now I’ll back off if someone can convince me he’s just using his Doctorate in Social Psychology to make us bond or critically think about our goals or something, but I’m not getting that vibe so he’s a pretty good actor if so. We also have to take notes in the most inane way possible, it’s like the Cornell Method, except we have to do “book notes” too. We also CANNOT take notes on our laptops in class, however we had to email the assignment last Thursday, making things needlessly difficult. However, I’m not too worried about my grade for half-assing the assignment considering half the class got full credit for the blog assignment without ever posting, let alone doing the required 20+ posts like I did. It just kinda vaguely pisses me off.
My Into to Game Design class is better, and has my favourite teacher so far. At least he has… um… credentials. I’m a little vexed by half of the class material being Gamasutra articles, but whatever, he brings a lot of material to the table, and talks from experience (well, mostly, he was more of a movie industry animator, worked on Titan AE, but the cycle is similar and he is a gamer and knows the industry’s process as well). The only real complaint is it’s too easy for me*, considering I have somewhere around 101.5%. I’m still baffled at how people are failing it, I assume by not caring about the work (well, I’ll give the one guy who kept having issues with housing and having to skip class to move a lot a slide on this).
My Introduction to Drawing and Design. Uhh… well, I don’t like the art style we’re being forced to use. It’s by far my weakest class (my mid term grade was a B+, but I think it went down a little). I can’t draw, but I’ve gotten better, however I’m a little fed up with the art style. I’m not a fan of uber-realism, the closest I’ll get to “realistic proportions” is anime (mostly proportioned except for the face). I want to do stylized, he wants America’s Most Wanted sketches. Though I’ll grant I’d probably have a similar grade either way.
However the school isn’t regionally accredited (so I have little felixibility when it comes to college choices, annoyingly throttling me). It was fine at first because I just wanted to understand general design, so I had some knowledge for concepts/an actual lead designer position, which is what I ultimately want to do and then go to Digipen, who I could meet the requirements for if I took a few classes from ASU or online independently. However, considering I haven’t actually LEARNED anything other than how to have a steady hand, and none of my classes other than game storytelling are (to my knowledge) anything but technical, I’m starting to think I should have just sucked up my worrying about homesickness and gone to Digipen in the first place or gotten a General Comp Sci degree (I’m going to get a doctorate in AI eventually, but I always figured I’d have to go back to the bottom level anyway for that).
My last thing, possibly the only thing that makes this post pitworthy is the other students. Other than a remote handful they are fucking morons. I know that sounds incredibly shortsighted, arrogant, and self-serving, but I say that as someone with typically zero self-confidence. We have discussed such basic, basic concepts that they don’t seem to be able to grasp. They seem to have no concept of logic. They fail the most ridiculous things on tests “what is a zero-defect push?” Look, I’m not the best person at rote memorization on class material, It took TONS of work for me to be able to remember most/all the presidential administrations in order, but it’s not that hard when the description of the concept is in the name itself. I have to dumb down my answers to teachers questions so I don’t lose the other students. Half of them honestly, and truly do not know half of my vocabulary. I could understand if they were incredibly arcane words, but “emulate” is hardly a complicated word, especially when there are things called Emulators that most gamers know about.
It’s college, I knew right off the bat there would be pseudo-scientists, conspiracy theorists, and people with particularly dodgy views on other things. But the VOLUME is staggering, if one person doesn’t think 9/11 was an inside job, they think Japan is a magical land of milk and honey where anime rains from the sky and no one has any problems. I can let it slide when you didn’t learn that much in your school, but the fact that most of the class failed the entry math and English exams scares me. The math portion never went beyond complex fractions (not even algebra), the English portion merely asked what a given sentence implies. Also, no, you cannot roll down my windows when I’m giving you a ride because we happen to be going to school from the same place, and whistle/talk dirty (I mean blatantly asking “will you sit on my face” dirty) to women on the sidewalk or in the car next to us. That’s RUDE. I don’t condone it, but you can do it on your own time. If you insist on doing it in my car, feel free to walk home. Also, you’re most likely staring down some serious venereal diseases if you get women to actually sleep with you from that, just saying. The fact that one of you called me at 1AM with a girl that would sleep with me (without ever talking to or seeing me) is somewhat disturbing.
-Le Sigh- I guess I have a good shot at Valedictorian at least. I hope that starting my final (and I mean FINAL) project back in the second week of school with the only other people who seem to understand the process will pay off well (I do programming and music, one does art/animation and writing, the other guy does subordinate programming, after the first class on it, and system design… except for magic which only I touch for non-balance designing). It gives us a couple years more development/polishing time than the other guys who will probably make a Tetris clone in the last month at least. These guys came to the school ready and wanting to PLAY games, not make them, and I can tell already that most of them will be sorely disappointed when it comes time to do any sort of programming or actual design. I hope this school gets better, I heard it does but I’m not sure. I’m not willing to say my career will die because of it, but I think if it keeps going in this trend I may have significantly more WORK to do, having to re-acquire my bachelors (in design or Comp Sci) from Teesside or Digipen or Carnegie Mellon (though I heard going to Carnegie Mellon is like paying to feel stupid in relation to the brilliance of everyone around you) or something. I wish I could have turned up some of this information before going here, but all there was was about 6 bad reviews on a site dedicated to bashing stuff which had hate-dossiers on everything.
I haven’t named the school for fear of getting mocked/the administration seeing it, but hell, if I’m going to make my poor decisions public I might as well give people an inkling of what I’m talking about. Collins College, Tempe AZ. Yes, the one with the godawful commercial on G4 (which I didn’t even know existed until a few weeks ago). Though the film production/animation teachers must be doing SOMETHING right nowadays, considering several of the students got to work on the recent Hulk film last year.
[/useless rant on my stupid college choice that serves as fodder for others to laugh at me]
*Though having to adapt One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (well, that was my choice off the list) to a game concept took some thinking.