I've been spending the last couple of years developing 2D game in XNA but there are still alot of gaps in my knowledge especially in terms of 3D development and working in game development teams and I would like to eventually be able to develop more technically advanced games. I was thinking of taking the masters course linked below to help out with that. Do you think the course is worth it or should I simply continue self studying ?
They have those Entry Requirements for programmers (typos included):
- Object-orientated programming skills, preferably C++
- Experience working with Windows, Mac OS or Linux API's
- Degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics or related discipline is desired but not essential.
- we'd like to see a real time demo and the its source code
You could get a Junior position in a studio with the very same requirements, especially considering that you've already developed a few games. Prepare a good-looking resume, your portfolio, and hit the road. This would be a much more valuable experience, and IMHO will teach you at least as much as this course. Not to mention that, well, you'd get paid for it instead of having to pay.
Getting a job in a game development studio isn't as easy as some people will have you believe. The listed entry requirements aren't enough to guarantee anything except that your resume won't get thrown in the trash.
The way I see it, if you have the opportunity to take that course, can afford it and the time to dedicate to it, then it will be more valuable to you in the long-run. Here's why:
Do you really think working in a game development studio as a junior developer is going to be more valuable than working in a small team to build and complete a game where you will touch every aspect of development? You know all that boring work you need to do to finish a game? Yeah, you'll be doing that as a junior developer, and only that.
It is true, if you are able to get a job as a junior developer and get paid to build games. That is pretty cool. But if you can afford to take that course, not only will you get to build and complete a game with a small team but you will earn a master's degree doing it. That may not have value to everyone, but not everyone has a master's degree in building video games and it's going to be the unique things about you that make you stand out in a line of resumes when you apply to that big-name studio.
If you go to work for a development studio, you may not be able to land a job with any of the bigger studios. Yeah, you get some experience (see #1) and you get to have your name on the credits of anything published during your stay, but it's only with that one studio. With the course taken above, you'd be learning from some very experienced people in five different game studios, some of which are some fairly huge names in the industry. You'll also have the opportunity get that game published on PSN.
...but there are still alot of gaps in my knowledge especially in terms of 3D development and working in game development teams and I would like to eventually be able to develop more technically advanced games.
If this is what you are after my opinion is that this course will give you more of that than working for some small studio, 50-60 hours a week doing all the grunt-work that nobody else wants to do, and will get more in return for doing so that will benefit you in the long-run.