Ever since I was a kid, I knew I wanted to work with computers. I have loved games and technology as long as I can remember. Eventually, I decided I wanted to be a software engineer. Then, in 2007, I became aware of "game development schools." This seemed, honestly, ludicrous. I had no idea that making games could actually pay the bills for an average guy like me. (You can tell how little I had researched the prospect at that point). My interest was piqued and I began the journey into the rabbit hole. I had my sights set on such institutions as The Guildhall at SMU and DigiPen. "Well, a master's degree could be pretty cool," I thought. Soon, I discovered the University of Utah's EAE (Entertainment Arts and Engineering) program. "What?! A game development program for undergrads?! This is too good to be true!" I had attended a semester at the U studying Computer Science and finding out that I could still do CS but with a game dev emphasis seemed ideal. Let me tell you, it was.
The capstone course, specifically, has been the single most educational, useful, and enjoyable course I have ever taken. At the end of it all, we have a product we are very proud of and that will serve us well in starting our careers. The team I worked with is amazing and I am sure we will remain good friends and helpful contacts in the industry.
I am now set to graduate in a couple of weeks and joining the EAE program was the best choice I could have made. I have made roughly 10 video games during my stay at the U. Everything from Flash and Unity 3D games to Half Life 2 mods and full fledged Xbox games. It's all possible at the University of Utah. The combination of a CS degree along with 2 solid years of game development in multi-disciplinary teams has given me a resume that, frankly, most recent grads would drool over.
If you are reading this and pondering the idea of attending a game development school, I highly recommend you check out the EAE program at the University of Utah. The undergrad program was ranked #1 in the country and the master's program was ranked #2. You won't be disappointed!