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This topic contains 12 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  TheLaughingMan 5 years, 6 months ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #8329

    TheLaughingMan
    Participant

    Hi everyone, first time posting on the forums so here it goes.

    I’m currently in my final year of the Comp Sci & Software Eng course at NUIM and considering my options for next year and now I’m here looking for some feedback on two post graduate courses I’m applying for.

    I’m mainly interested in doing either the M.Sc. in Digital Media at DIT or the M.Sc. in Interactive Entertainment Technology at TCD.

    My financial situation means that I can’t afford to make an uninformed decision and end up doing a sub-par degree and I’d prefer to not take a break from education to work for for fear of not being able to get back into the academic state of mind.

    Basically the question I want to ask is whether anyone has done, or knows anyone doing, these courses and if they can offer any feedback on whether or not they’re worth the time and money.
    So far I’ve gotten some very good and some very negative feedback on the courses and I’m not sure how trustworthy it’s all been, I’m hoping someone on the forums here can help make the picture a little clearer.

    Many thanks to anyone who can help me make a decision on the matter and thanks to everyone who has helped on making the valuable resource that is gamedevelopers.ie

    EDIT: The Digital Media course would involve specialization in Digital Games.

  • #47966

    aphra
    Keymaster

    I know the DIT course has changed over the past year and merged with the Digital Media one, so not sure there will be graduates of the newer version to advise you.

    The TCD one is pretty high end technical whereas the DIT one has a mix of technical and design streams, to the best of my knowledge. So it might depend on what kind of skills you want to end up with. I would look at the modules and options being offered and base your decision on that.

    not a graduate of either..

    Aphra.

  • #47967

    TheLaughingMan
    Participant

    Thanks Aphra.

    Yeah, the courses are definitely two different beasts but both have their merits.
    Based on the modules going I’d say DIT has the most to offer me as I’d like to build on my design and animation capabilities more-so than my technical skills. On top of that, in the TCD course the biggest draw-ins for me are three second semester parts of optional module choices, and for these second semester modules I’ve already covered, or will be covering two of the first semester sections in my current undergrad course. This isn’t putting me off that course however since I’d imagine these topics would be covered in greater detail at Master’s Level.

    I knew about the DIT merger since I was looking it up last year shortly before the website was updated to reflect the merge, I was hoping some graduates of the previous course might be able to give an idea of how the course worked out for them.

  • #47968

    jediboy
    Participant

    @TheLaughingMan.

    I guess it depends on what you want out of it.

    What’s your undergrad specialising in?
    What was your final project(s)?
    What are you good at (as different from what do you like doing)?
    What are you bad at?
    Who do you want to work for?
    Have you talked / applied to them?

    Brendan.

    B.

  • #47969

    hatch
    Participant

    Hey

    If you want to talk about the MSc in Digital Games in DIT, just PM me and give me your number. Ill talk you through it.

    H

  • #47970

    hatch
    Participant

    To follow up on Aphra’s point on the On the merge of the MSc in Games with Creative Media

    They are basically both still the same as they were, with the difference being that students from both degrees can MIGRATE across the two themes. We found that some students who had applied for the creative media stream wanted to do games modules / projects and vice versa. This made it awkward when trying to assess groups with students who were registered accross two different programmes.

    Furthermore by combining the two programmes (which technically had shared a lot of common modules anyway) ALL students can avail of FEE reductions & the free adobe suite software which previously had only been available to those on the creative media course.

    We have the second batch of graduates coming out next week and i would be happy to put you in contact with them and previous graduates.

  • #48033

    TheLaughingMan
    Participant
  • #48041

    JohnnyJohnJohns
    Participant

    Who do you want to work for?[/quote:83b86d04ba]
    – I’d love to end up doing research in graphics or vision, with augmented reality being a major interest right now.
    Failing that, Havok is a company I’d love to work with, I’ve always been impressed with products they’ve put their name to, be it in gaming or animation in movies, and beyond that I enjoy physics and mathematics.
    [/quote:83b86d04ba]

    Hi there LaughingMan!

    Given what you’d like to work in I’d be inclined to recommend the Trinity Masters. My understanding is that it’s pretty hardcore but is very well respected in the industry- if you can rise to the top a job in a company like Havok should be attainable.

    I’ve just finished the course in DIT. For me I was coming from a mechanical engineering background so I did the course to get skills in the area of gamedev.

    The course has changed but it throws a really wide net, so in the first semester expect to be doing HTML, web/graphic design and interaction design stuff with 1 games related module. Semester 2 had more games options for us but they were very much a starting point from which you could choose to develop further after the course. The final project is pretty open and up to you to propose something.

    From the DIT masters you’ll finish with a better uunderstanding of the entire gamedev process and will be a beginner in many areas of development should you not be interested in programming.

    From Trinity you will finish with a much deeper understanding of the topics you mention above. There is massive demand for developers around dublin at the minute, that can’t be said for game designers/artists.

    If you want to PM me I can give you more details. It also might be worth seeing if you can get in contact with anyone in Havok who might be able to give some advice on which course they would recommend.

  • #48042

    Greenbean
    Participant

    Ex-TCD masters graduate. The point I would get across about the TCD course is that it’s quite technical and was designed to highlight potential games industry programmers in or outside Ireland. The focus is on current research in various specialist fields combined with lots of tight deadlines for projects. It simulates a programmers life in industry and has turned out plenty of people working in games and film cgi programming roles so far. I can think of two guys in Havok from the course (and plenty in Ireland elsewhere).

    As a programmer of 4 years in industry before I joined the course I picked up more on the research side of things – how to read academic papers, practice at seminal techniques or knowledge that I’d not time to look at in physics, graphics, graphics hardware and quite a bit of new maths. The course won’t take any time to teach you undergraduate maths or beginner c++ programming – it’s very much sink or swim on those, you will need to just learn quick for each project. Even with plenty of experience I got the point fairly quickly where it was necessary to compromise quality to just get things done – that in itself was perhaps one of the bigger lessons learned.

    I recommend it if you are fully interested in a games programming career and have a decent maths or programming background beforehand.

  • #48043

    TheLaughingMan
    Participant

    Damn, this question just doesn’t get any easier.

    I really want to improve on my design capabilities and such…

    But the TCD course seems to lead me more where I want to go.
    Would you still say it’s worth the year considering I’ve already covered half the modules in it? I know they’d be done at a greater depth, but it just seems to take away from the course thinking I’d be covering the same stuff again.

    Also, C++ is probably the weakest of all languages I know, I’ll be investing a lot of time in it this summer, but I can’t be sure that I’ll be at the standard I need for the course.

    … The more I think about it, the more I realize that fear I may not be good enough for the course is what’s pulling me away from it.

    Realistically I’ll manage a high 2.1 or just scrape a 1st in my degree (Provided something horrific doesn’t happen when my provisional results come out or with my project), and I’ve been working myself to the bone to manage that this year, up until now I’ve maintained a mid-2.1 average.
    Would anyone care to comment on the exact standard you’d need to do half decently in the course at TCD? I’d prefer to do a course I stnad a chance of walking out of with a 2.1 or 1st.

  • #48045

    Greenbean
    Participant

    On the c++ end of things, it’s more an example of how some of the projects can be in a language you wouldn’t be familiar with – and you’ve just got to adapt to them there and then – i.e. there are no programming lectures or workshops. (The year I did it, I only remember c++ showing up explicitly for using openCV in the image processing / augmented reality modules). Java, Cg, Processing also showed up with c#/XNA being the primary platform for the group projects. This may have changed.

    Also you won’t be alone in this. I think that most people in the course over the first few years were not used to c++ – it’s just not taught at undergraduate level any more. I think the course organisers are aware of this. The only time I needed to use c++ deeply was in a final project for physics where the choice of language was mine.

    The challenge comes from applying so many skills in such short bursts of time in parallel. E.g. At any one time during the year across 3 or 4 modules you may need to read some technical papers, research some 3rd party programming libraries and get to grips with some unknown language or techniques.

    For this reason I think the organisers are more concerned about people who won’t be able to jump into reading the academic papers and grokking the maths quickly (i.e. become 100% stumped) – so a physics/maths or strong compsci background is often looked upon favourably, more so than the programming.

    Also, if you do interview and get into the course the pass rate is very high, and ultimately the course is quite passable if you put the work in.

    Finally for reference I got a 2.1 myself as an undergraduate many years ago, something I’d quite forgotten until you mentioned it.

  • #48046

    aphra
    Keymaster

    most MA/MSc courses require a 2:1

    sometimes experience is taken into account too.

    Aphra.

  • #48047

    TheLaughingMan
    Participant

    For this reason I think the organisers are more concerned about people who won’t be able to jump into reading the academic papers and grokking the maths quickly (i.e. become 100% stumped) – so a physics/maths or strong compsci background is often looked upon favourably, more so than the programming.

    Also, if you do interview and get into the course the pass rate is very high, and ultimately the course is quite passable if you put the work in.

    Finally for reference I got a 2.1 myself as an undergraduate many years ago, something I’d quite forgotten until you mentioned it.[/quote:2611efb2b9]

    most MA/MSc courses require a 2:1
    /quote]

    Wow, well, thanks a load for that Greenbean, it’s really put my mind at rest. I’m already going over some technical papers in the fields the modules cover for shits and giggles so that won’t worry me and I enjoy the maths I’ve been doing in graphics, vision and numerical comp, and beyond that XNA is something I’m pretty damned handy with.

    And just on the C++ point, we did use it in 3rd year for software design, but the course was mostly about software patterns and the like so C++ was kinda glossed over in favour of making sure everyone understood the concepts well, even if they couldn’t code them very well.

    And it says on the module page that a 2.1 is required, I was more wondering if this was a bare minimum requirement to have a hope of being able to eventually pass the course or just as a gauge of the work that you’d done on your undergrad.

    At the end of the day I’ve always intended applying for both TCD and DIT, I just wanted to make sure both of them were worth doing and that I wouldn’t end up disappointed with where I went. I’m confident now that both courses will give me something of value albeit in tow different areas.

    Thanks for all your help guys. You’ve helped put my mind at rest at a time when I have lots to worry about between projects, M.Sc applications and assignments.

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