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I'm considering purchasing courses from Game Institute, specifically, the Foundation Studies Package. Has anyone here taken their courses? If so, do you feel they are a good value? If you can, please be specific as to what you benefited from them, and their strengths and weaknesses.

Though I am most interested in reinforcing computer science fundamentals with respect to game development, I would also like to know if the material is relevant to today's technologies.

I'm especially interested in responses from working professionals who have taken their courses or reviewed their materials.

Background: My work week is spent mostly with SQL Server ETL and some C# web forms development. I have ideas for 2D and 3D platformers, but I don't have the skills to build them to completion yet.


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closed as primarily opinion-based by Josh Petrie Jan 3 '14 at 0:36

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Courses in general are a great way to learn. In game dev, a lot of us learn through "trial by fire" -- just building games (failing and succeeding). That'll teach you more than any book or course can. – ashes999 Jan 11 '12 at 22:11
@ashes999 sure, but just doing that will stagnate you: you should always check with as many other people as possible. – o0'. Jan 3 '14 at 11:13
@Lohoris I'm not sure I understand. Even if you make the same game every time, you will still do things differently and learn and grow. And it's practical skills. – ashes999 Jan 3 '14 at 14:48
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I'll give my input since I've used their package before (and no, I'm in no way affiliated with them). You may have noticed that they're currently having a sale where for 99$ you get access to most of their content across a lot of different topics. For instance:

  • C++ Programming for Game Developers - Module I and II
  • Graphics Programming with DirectX 9 - Module I and II
  • Game Mathematics and Math Primer
  • Artificial Intelligence for Game Developers
  • Introduction to Robotics
  • Video Game Console Design

I honestly believe that for that price, that's one of the best deals of this kind I've ever come across.

I haven't completed all of the courses yet, but from what I've seen so far, the amount of content and detail packed into each of them is at least as high as most books you could buy for each individual topic. For instance, just the textbook/workbook for the first DX9 Module is over 1000 pages long, and that's not including the actual presentations which also have a full voice recording.

I've also found the content to be very complete and useful. For instance, about 3 years ago, right after working through the first few lessons (including the workbook chapter) of the graphics programming module, I stepped away for a moment and implemented my first basic 3D graphics pipeline from scratch (on an old 2D Javascript Canvas) with the things I had learnt. I think that was probably the first time matrices and transformations really started making sense to me.

To put it shortly, I believe that the value in this case (for the 99$ deal) is ridiculously high for the amount of content you'll get. I've built up quite a large library of game developments books over the course of the past few years, and this package still ranks up there on the list as one of the best investments I've made.

The only drawback I see is that the courses (at least the ones I have) are mostly aimed at beginners, and are a bit outdated in terms of dealing with some more recent techniques. But that's usually the sort of thing you will only learn after reaching a more advanced level anyway, so the courses serve as an excellent starting point from beginner to intermediate level. Although more recent techniques are being researched every day, the basics still apply so in my opinion all of these courses are still very relevant.


I just noticed the following disclaimer on the site:

Advanced Graphics Programming with DirectX course content (coming 2012)

So I think that will probably address the concerns on my last paragraph.

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Wow, it sounds really awesome for book nerds like me. – ashes999 Jan 11 '12 at 22:47
@ashes999 I can't give any guarantees, but I sure wasn't disappointed. – David Gouveia Jan 11 '12 at 22:49
Thanks, I agree completely--great bargain! I had been back and forth to the packages pages directly from bookmarks, and I completely missed it by skipping over the front page. I'm signing up now. :) – grokmann Jan 13 '12 at 20:24

I haven't taken their courses, nor am I a professional game developer, so take this as it is. I'll try to keep this concise.

Basically, these courses focus on specifics, like graphics, etc. Like my comment mentions, game dev is a whole bunch of stuff -- how to design a game, polish it, play-test it, etc. etc. and you won't learn that from any course.

I'm a believer in trial by fire, i.e. learn by making it; that's the best way to learn all this "other" stuff.

But then again, if you have a specific learning need (like GPU graphics in C++), and you find a course on that, great.

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I guess each person has their own preferences for how they like to learn. Myself, I am a bit guilty of being addicted to buying and reading a lot of technical books. That's mostly because I really enjoy them, and am usually craving for more. :) – David Gouveia Jan 11 '12 at 22:22

I wouldn't place much emphasis on these courses, I've done them all. It's WAY more beneficial buying the highest rated text books off Amazon or ask for more recommendations and starting to code a game yourself in whatever manner you wish.

Simply put, the courses aren't bad themselves, but they aren't worth the money either.

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I have registered before two day's in 30/12/2013.

The course is incredible, full materials, they have more then 70 project in every level. Who can give you offer like this. I tried many courses. If you want to purchase a book you need a lot of helping, the book is good but the book can't give you the whole picture about the game design and development, however they also have exams and quizzes. Exams help you test your knowledge and they offer forums to ask question and you can email the instructors to contact them.

If you are looking around you can find other websites give the same course in different price you can learn c++ for 100$ and you need another course for 3D and other course for unity

So what you waiting for, go and get an account right now :)

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I flagged this to be removed. This is not an answer, and sounds more like an ad. – concept3d Jan 3 '14 at 15:23
I think this is a valid answer, although to a very bad question (which I closed) which was asking "what do you think about the value of these courses?" I don't really see a reason to remove it unless I'd also remove every other answer. – Josh Petrie Jan 3 '14 at 15:45
While we're at it you forgot to add ONLY $49 UNTIL 1/31!! BUY NOW!! – bobobobo Jan 3 '14 at 16:40
@Josh: As the asker, it is unclear to me why you are qualifying this question as "very bad," since it seems, if taken in full, to fall in the category of good subjective. – grokmann Jan 12 '14 at 4:33
All you seem to be asking for is a set of opinions, and that's not the kind of question we've considered on-topic here. There are resources in the help center that may be a better place to ask that kind of question, or if you like you can edit the question to be more appropriate (it will go into the reopen queue for voting). – Josh Petrie Jan 12 '14 at 18:56

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