Who is Train2Game and why does TIGA work with them?
Train2Game is a distance learning provider that TIGA has partnered with to provide people with another opportunity to get into the games industry and to learn game development related skills.
Train2Game is a company jointly created by DR Studios and MIS Ltd. DR Studios is an independent game developer and member of TIGA with a reputation for developing simulation and strategy games for more than 16 years. The CEO of DR Studios, Clive Robert, is former Head of Development for Hasbro. MIS Ltd is one of the UK's leading distance learning providers.
The videogame development industry has an ongoing problem finding suitably qualified and trained candidates to fill vacancies in their studios. TIGA, by working with T2G, is seeking to help reduce skills shortages in the UK games industry.
The T2G courses offer an alternative approach to games education and training for people who do not wish or cannot go to university, or have not had the opportunity to follow a more traditional academic route. Distance learning also allows people to work at their own pace and in their own time.
Who else does TIGA work with in the field of education and skills?
In addition to Train2Game we support a range of educational initiatives including BUGS which seeks to professionalise, match and showcase top graduate talent with local studios, and we have previously supported UCL’s The Games Quarter, which seeks to provide games businesses with an innovative and more effective model of CPD. TIGA also now offers an accreditation system for campus based university undergraduate and post graduate courses. TIGA also works with Creative Skillset and the Next Generation Skills Academy (http://www.nextgenskillsacademy.com/)
TIGA also has more than 30 University and College members including Abertay, Staffordshire, Bedfordshire, Portsmouth, UCL and Goldsmiths, to name but a few. TIGA places huge value on our relationship with these world-class educational institutions.
Who is TIGA?
TIGA is the network for games developers and digital publishers and trade association representing the UK videogame industry. We help developers and digital publishers build successful studios, network with the right people, save money and access professional business advice. We also have traditional publishers, outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership.
TIGA is 90% funded by independent UK businesses. 80% of our board members are developers and/or from UK owned businesses, and 50% of our board are UK business owners themselves. Since 2010, TIGA has won 20 business awards.
TIGA focuses on three sets of activities:
- Political representation
- Media representation
- Business services
This enhances the competitiveness of our members by providing benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities. It also means our members’ voices are heard in the corridors of power and positively represented in national, broadcast and UK video game trade media.
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Where can I find case studies of Train2Game students getting into the Games Industry?
Some Train2Game students have gone on to start their own studios, such as GallantCloud which also secured a place on Microsoft’s Accelerator Programme. Others, like Nick Walker have delivered freelance projects for brands as big as Strongbow. And Train2Game students have also secured jobs with established game development studios, as did Chris Robinson at Yippee! Entertainment and Kimberley Caseres at Wired Productions.
For more examples of students who have benefited from the courses, please visit the dedicated case study site here.
Of course no vocational training, educational programme or qualification can guarantee a job, especially in the competitive world of the UK games industry.
Will studying a T2G course guarantee me a job in the video games industry?
No education provider, course or qualification can ever guarantee you a job in the video games industry and it is important to remember that as well as a qualification a portfolio of work is needed at the interview stage.
However, each student successfully completing a T2G course and securing a TIGA Diploma will have produced a portfolio, which should provide a good grounding for students looking to enter the sector. A student who has studied a T2G course may also find employment in other sectors of the economy, because some of the skills will be very transferable.
Employment opportunities exist in IT, the mobile sector and more generally in the media industries.
Some T2G graduates may wish to go on to pursue other courses in order to strengthen their skills for seeking work in the games, or other, industries.
How does TIGA work with Train2Game?
TIGA acts as the independent awarding and examination body for the distance learning courses created and delivered by Train2Game.
This means that TIGA provides:
- advice and input into the content of the examinations through the TIGA Examinations Committee;
- an award - a TIGA Diploma to individuals who successfully pass the diploma level exams;
Whilst Train2Game has responsibility for:
- administering the courses and exams including marking and invigilation;
- all the relevant product, pricing, sales, marketing, development methodology and media upon which the courses are launched; and
- recruiting and appointing appropriately qualified and experienced lecturers to help deliver the courses.
This means Train2Game courses are checked by the TIGA Examinations Committee to ensure that they meet quality standards and deliver games industry relevant skills. The TIGA Examinations Committee includes experts from both the games industry and higher education including Dr Mark Eyles from the University of Portsmouth, Professor Carsten Maple from the University of Warwick and Chris Kingsley, co-founder and CTO of Rebellion.
What level of qualification do Train2Game courses deliver?
Students on Train2Game courses work towards a TIGA Diploma (see more details below and in the next section). They also have the option of switching to a City & Guilds course, which leads to a City & Guilds qualification, though this is not monitored or quality assured by TIGA since City & Guilds have their own quality systems in place. Much of the Train2Game teaching material is used for the City & Guilds course.
The TIGA Examination Committee has benchmarked the Train2Game courses listed below, calling in additional experts to assist with this process as necessary. This rigorous process has ensured that the material being delivered is of relevance to the games industry, forming a valuable foundation of skills that Train2Game students can then build on as they prepare for a career in the games industry. Train2Game regularly updates the committee on Train2Game activities in order for TIGA to ensure standards are being maintained.
The following Train2Game courses are approved by TIGA:
- Games Developer - material is taught up to FHEQ level 5 (FHEQ - Framework for Higher Education Qualifications)
- Games Artist and Animator - material is taught up to FHEQ level 5 (FHEQ - Framework for Higher Education Qualifications)
- Games Designer - material is taught up to FHEQ level 5 (FHEQ - Framework for Higher Education Qualifications)
- Computer Games QA Tester - material is taught up to FHEQ level 3 (FHEQ - Framework for Higher Education Qualifications)
What is a TIGA Diploma equivalent to?
Dr. Mark Eyles from the University of Portsmouth and Professor Carsten Maple from the University of Warwick reviewed and benchmarked the Train2Game Development and Design, Train2Game Games Developer, Train2Game Games Artist and Animator and Train2Game Games Designer courses at TIGA Diploma Level. This was carried out against existing higher education qualifications and they were all found to be roughly equivalent to the first two years of an undergraduate honours degree.
The same process was carried out for the Train2Game Computer Games QA Tester course, which was found to be equivalent to a further education course.
What control procedures are in place to ensure the quality of Train2Game courses?
Train2Game operates a variety of quality control procedures, including the provision of qualified tutors and a system for supporting students.
To qualify for a TIGA Diploma, students have to:
- successfully pass each tutor marked assignment (TMA) in order to progress to the following module; and
- pass three sets of exams.
The TIGA Examinations Committee also check Train2Game’s examinations are set at an appropriate standard. They also check the marking of the examinations to ensure that they are assessed to the required standard.
For example, The Games Designer course consists of 42 lessons that cover the basics of Games Design and Games History through to the development of a student’s own video game based on their own ideas.
Train2Ggame uses tutor marked assignment results and pass rates to monitor and measure progress.
Train2Game hold’s CVs, vets and trains all tutors, and keeps records of their continuing professional development. All Train2Game tutors have a relevant degree, as a minimum, and three are qualified as IQAs.
Train2Game developed the content for the courses with industry practitioners at DR Studios: CEO Clive Robert, former Head of Development for Hasbro, with the content also originally co-authored by Tony Bickley, former Head of European Development for Konami.
Who can study T2G courses?
The T2G courses are open to all but they are challenging. For example, the development course requires a strong aptitude for mathematics in particular. The courses are likely to appeal especially to people who have never gone to university or who have done a degree in another subject and who might then want to do a distance learning course rather than go back to university. The courses could also be popular with some people in the games industry seeking to improve their skills.
What are the advantages of studying a T2G course?
T2G's courses enable students to study in their own time, at their own pace, at home or their place of work. The courses provide a first step in preparing for a career in the games industry.
What is Train 2 Game’s cancellation / refund policy?
If on reflection a student decides that a Train2Game course is not for them, they have a ‘cooling off period’ 21 days from the date of enrolment in which they can cancel and receive a full refund.
What should I do before signing up for a Train2Game course?
Before deciding if Train2Game is for you, TIGA advises all potential students to:
- check out the Train2Game website;
- speak to a T2G course adviser;
- look at other relevant and comparable university programmes; and
- contact the HR departments and check websites of game development studios who can provide excellent guidance regarding what they look for
Where can I find more information and get in touch with Train2Game directly?
You can find the FAQ section on Train2Game’s website here: http://www.train2game.com/support/
And if you would like to contact Train2Game directly, you can also reach them via: