Back to School…tomorrow

This blog is somewhat atypical of my usual blogs. If you’ve been following my blogs, you’ll know that I’m going back to school for a degree in Game Art and Design at the Art Institute of Califonra – San Diego. My first day will be tomorrow, although my class doesn’t actually start until 6pm. I was given mostly afternoon and evening classes (though Friday I’m in school from 8am-5pm) so I could get a part time job during the daytime. There’s a job fair on campus on Wednesday and I’ll probably drop by Career Services sometime this week. While the program is typically three years, my test scores and transfer credits have shaved a little over a year off of that, most of it being the mundane general education stuff, which is nice. Saves me time and money.An added benefit of having afternoon and evening classes is that I’ll be able to attend the San Diego Comic-Con this year. For a while I was afraid that I would have to miss it this year (and possibly the next two) but fortunately that won’t be the case. I wasn’t able to get a pass so I’ll be volunteering as a Floor Manager during the week and attend the Con on my terms on Saturday and Sunday. Which is great because there are a slew of video-game related panels I want to see on Saturday including one on getting into the gaming industry in the morning (featuring various staff from Capcom) as well as a screening of the Watchmen Director’s Cut at night. Also, Mark Hamill and Edward James Olmos will be signing so I’m really looking foward to that.

Anyways, since the school is an Art school, most of my first quarter (as opposed to semester) will be focused on various traditional art classes including Color Theory, Fundamentals of Design, Fundamentals of OBservational Drawing, and Image Manipulation. My only class this quarter specifically for the Game Design major is Survey of the Game Industry. Next quarter will be when I’m really getting elbow deep in modelling and game design and stuff.

The school itself is really nice from what I’ve seen. Unreal 3 is the engine the Game Art major will typically use. There’s a related major, Video and Game Programming, that will also dip into the Crysis engine and more programming stuff like XNA and various other programming languages. They also apparently have an iphone SDK which is cool. The school recently installed a six-camera motion capture studio which hasn’t been worked into the cirriculum yet, but will probably available in the upcoming quarters.

Overall, I’m pretty excited about school. It seems like my chance to really get into what I love and hopefully get a career out of it. Still, the program itself looks tough. They told us in orientation that maybe 40% will leave the program and half of us left would be removed for attendance, grades, etc, leaving 1/3 to actually graduate. Still, its a challenge I’m up to and might possibly enjoy in some sick, masochistic sort of way.

Wish me luck guys!