There are now a huge number of people out there who have video gaming as a hobby. Quite a lot of these have thoughts about working in the industry, even though they don’t have the faintest idea what working in the industry is like (mostly boring, repetive, underpaid, hard slog). Most say they want to be “game designers” though they haven’t the faintest idea about basic game mechanics and also though there are actually relatively few game designers in the industry compared with other skills.
So there is a ripe market out there of wannabe game industry workers who are pretty ignorant about what it actually means. So the universities have set up loads of courses to take their money off them, 330 at both university and college level, according to UCAS. The thing is that relatively few graduates of these courses actually end up working in the game industry. And I have seen it said that there are more people on these courses at any one time than there are working in game development in Britain. So there is a pretty big missmatch between the requirements of industry and what the education system is providing.
In the real world what the game industry is desperately short of is people with good physics and maths degrees. But then the whole country is short of such graduates. They can get jobs very easily and command good remuneration.
Now to add to the options for wannabes there are home study courses from an organisation called Train2Game. These are “Designer Courses” and “Developer Courses”. As far as I can find out they send a salesman round to your house, the course costs Â£5,000 and they will “lend” you the money for it. They have a promotional video which in my opinion paints a picture of the industry and anyone’s chances in it that is perhaps a little bit rosy.
The good news is that these courses have industry input, from DR Studios (formerly Deep Red Games) who are specialists in strategy games. Further good news is that the courses are endorsed by TIGA.
On the Train2Game website there is no naming of the company behind it. Just: “Train2Game is part of the UKâ€™s most successful and one of Europeâ€™s largest distance learning colleges”. Which doesn’t tell you much. In fact Train2Game is trademarked by Metropolitan International Schools who are also the providers of Train4Trade Skills which had this written about them last year.
They also have an Advertising Standards Authority judgement against them and have been criticised by the BBC Watchdog programme. They also tried to sue Google for libel for showing search results that were critical of them.
If you are a game industry wannabe my suggestion is that you have a look at the Blitz Game Studios Academy website. This gives you good inside information from a top game developer for free and is one of the best places to start looking on the web.
Just how unhealthy the UK game industry is:
“Recent research published by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) indicated that external investment in privately operated UK developers has dropped by 60% since 2008. Employment is also down by 4% across the sector, with 15% of studios going out of business between July 2008 and July 2009.”
Only so many jobs going at Lionhead studios I suppose . . . . . .
Interesting article, beat my blog to it. My alma mater, George Mason University, just started a “Video Game Design” degree – lots of CS and character design, light on the physics and math so lots of kids can join and have their tuition lifted from ever-eager hands.
I love it when you get stuck into the companys who are part of your Google Ads
hmm , interesting read that , cheers bruce 🙂
This info has put me right off encouraging my lad who has just started his maths degree…..I had the initial call from a very pleasant chap but could not secure costs of course out of him…..i then clicked the hard sell would come with the appt he was trying to make to come and see my son in less than 48 hours – no way. If the course was legitimate they wouldnt need to hard sell it and all the details including stats about students who have passed and gained employment would be available – avoid at all costs.
Someone just started on the course: http://kaecy.us/?p=1399
“………The assessor said that I was easily what they were looking for, and so long as I was willing to put the time in I would be great on the course. The course that I was offered was the TIGA Diploma in Games Design. Itâ€™s just shy of Â£5,000, takes two years, and they help you find employment afterwards. So itâ€™s a third of the cost of University, takes a year less than University, and I get a job pretty sharp-ish after I complete the course. Plus itâ€™s only two hours a day (approximately, of course)………”
Thanks for linking to my site in the comments. Pulled a couple of hits. ;]
And good luck with the whole Evony matter. I really do hope you do get to defend your right to speak the truth, even if it’s ill of a company.
Do you have links to the original content on Digital Media or the videos? I would hope that someone archived them and will torrent them to the mass public!
Unfortunately a poorly thought-out partnership but inherently a good idea. Tiga should have taken input from folk from the wider training sector and done more due diligence on partners. We, who both know the games sector and have also worked in training, should have been approached for input here. The whole thing comes across as a scam unfortunately. Distance learning needs to tick a wide range of boxes to be accepted and be seen as valuable in order to be valued, be successful and have high integrity (no dissing the existing courses – very unprofessional). Some of those were addressed but, especially dealing with consumers, high integrity and mapped qualifications should have been high on the agenda as well – they weren’t. I believe many are distancing themselves from this project now and the key organisations involved may find that their revenue aims will be undermined by the subsequent litigation and/or poor press impact on their brand and standing in the community.
Excuse me, don’t want to be negative but given your comments/content of blog why do you have an advert for train2game on your site?
I’ve got one of their reps coming round to see me and my girlfriend in a bit. After reading up, I’m inclined to steer clear – at least untill I find some more material…
Thanks for the post.
Well, I had my meeting. The chap was a bit rude…repeatedly – kept talking over me and my gf – and he was talking about…how other industries have too many workers…
He ‘phoned a friend’ – supposedly a current student to get them to talk to me about the course…
He threw a mini strop when I said that I didn’t think it wise to sign anything or give my bank details etc, saying ‘all this is pointless then’ – I pointed out that all I’d asked for was info when I called up…
Anyway, he was rude one too many times and I finally said I’d had enough of being spoken to like that and he should get out of my house…marched to the front door…he just stayed and talked to my gf! lol came back and finally got him out.
What a way to run a business! The irony is I might have signed up with them down the road, but now I know about the high pressure stuff that goes on I’m afraid it’s a no-go.
For all I know, this could be a great course. But…I have learned to trust my instincts and have a bad feeling about train2game after meeting this guy.
Weird thing, he was trying to steer me onto the devs course, which I might have gone for, so I asked him to leave info (this is before I threw him out) but he seemed unwilling to leave any info…the course speel looks expensively printed so this is probably it, but again, not wise, surely to deny potential customers information.
lol, another thing: he corrected my girlfriend – he wasn’t trying to sell a product, he was ASSESSING me. Uh huh. Ok buddy. Cheerio.
Perhaps the next time one of their reps says about the great employment opportunities from the course they could be asked why is it that DR Studios have just made some people redundant http://www.develop-online.net/news/33761/Redundancies-at-DR-Studios
Believe me its scam. train2game formerly known as skills train formerly known as schneideger . why is a company changing names all the time huh? fresh start=fresh money cashing in! just search the reputation of any of them…
and ps: the course” advisors”haha are sales people!!! highly trained in psycologic sales practice….they just want YOUR MONEY….and don’t f*****g care how you pay the course, or if you are the right person etc….they get comission….and that’s what they want for any price….
I just had a pleb from train2game do the sales pitch on me and went through the whole ‘assessment’ problem was I’m an experience person in IT with 13 years background of running projects and support, web design and 3 years of e-Communications experience. It was obvious on the hard sell front but I had no idea it was part of skills train, frakking stupid if you ask me.
When it came to money and him asking me for bank details I laughed and told him I’m not giving anyone my details who I don’t know, shortly after the ‘assessment’ ended, what a prat but at least I was savvy enough to search online and not hand over financial details.
Don’t go near these people, I wanted to see if they were genuine, they’re clearly not. A shame as the gaming industry needs more ways for people to get involved, just don’t use these muppets…
Well I just wanted information about the course that was all, but a month later i got a call and telling me that someone is in the area to see me.
Wednesday came and took nearly 2-3 hours my god it was soo long my sister was in the other room listening to us.
Did a test which he marked and said i got 16/18 right and said that he was suprised…. I am a gamer… o.O The test was easy, im not retarded.
He asked me what i wanted in the future and i told him and that i wanted to move to Leeds and much to my suprise Leeds is the capital of the gaming industry (true or not i dunno). So now i was getting excited that the place i wanted to move was an even more of a reason to move there.
Then there was payment he “rang” to see if i was eligible for help with the payment of the Â£4960 course…. apparently i wasnt but i was still pumped that i was gonna do something i love i stupidly handed over my bank details.
2 weeks passed now still no info on my login details so i rang the CDF telling them id like to cancel so she said like a zombie that i have to send a letter to say it.
Good job i decided to cancel because the 3 weeks i would of have to wait for my login details would mean that i the dead line for canceling…. guess what 3 weeks so whether this course is legit or what. But i aint taking chances.
i have only just found this site and only last thursday (15/04/10)had a train2game rep come to my house (everything seemed legit) and i signed up for a games developer course and i am waiting for the log in details,after reading this i am inclined to cancel as i don’t like the sound of this.I am currently unemployed and my dad paid for this through his Disability Living Allowance with me paying him back every month.What should i do? should i cancel and save me and my dad a lot of bother or risk continuing this?please can anybody give me any advice
I have just signed up to this course.
Is there anyway out? and cancel the loan. After reading all these comments and a few other websites. Alot are slagging off this course. Is it a scam? How can i recover what ive spent?
I’ve just been forwarded to this page by a concerned family member. I’ve actually got this course ‘advisor’ coming over in about an hour. I think now i might just ignore it.
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