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.
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.