One of the most difficult categories for aspiring developers to learn is game programming.
It requires a varied education not only in computer programming but also with mathematics
and physics. A New York company, e-Institute Incorporated, is hoping to address these
needs with a new web site directed at beginning and established game programmers. The
distance education and electronic publishing company has developed a comprehensive web
site called GameInstitute (www.gameinstitute.com) that provides a series of online courses
GameInstitute was introduced in the spring of this year, and began with a listing of 8
courses. The courses, which are being created by professional game developers, are being
developed to encompass the entire development process. For instance, instead of courses
that cover only programming, GameInstitute offers courses on a variety of modern video
game technologies such as OpenGL, Direct 3D, C++ programming, 3D modelling and 3D
mathematics to name a few.
For years, books, newsgroups and independent web sites have been the only avenues
available for game programmers. This site takes the best of these technologies and
combines them into a single site where programmers pay a small fee to take the courses,
which are made of an electronic textbook and multimedia lectures. Additionally, the
courses use message board and real-time faculty question and answer sessions to further
enhance the learning experience. This is especially important for beginners that are
having problems. Instead of being left on their own to attempt to figure out a problem,
the message boards allow them to ask questions and get feedback from the instructor and
other students alike.
Most of the courses don't require traditional homework assignments but instead offer
exercises to help build on the weekly materials being covered. Some of the courses may
have exams or quizzes and every course has a final exam. The courses range from 6 to 12
weeks in length and cover about 20 to 30 pages of written materials per week. Although by
themselves the courses are very good, GameInstitute provides tools that are pertinent to
game development as well. For instance, every student that is enrolled in a course at
GameInstitute will be able to download WorldGen LE at no charge. It's a complete
world-editing tool similar in design to WorldCraft or other PC based level editors.
GameInstitute offers comprehensive and cost effective courses that cover many cutting edge
topics related to game development. The courses offer a tremendous number of advantages
over traditional methods of learning and should be considered by anyone looking to develop
video games. When finished, you will have the opportunity to take a final exam and if you
pass, you will be entitled to download a course completion certificate.