1. Who is TIGA?
TIGA is the trade association representing the UK games industry. TIGA has many of the UK's most successful games development studios amongst its members. TIGA also has outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities as members.
2. I have just seen an adviser from a company called TRAIN2GAME who claims that TIGA has a relationship with them. Is this true?
Yes. TIGA is the independent awarding and examination body for the distance learning courses for video games devised by Train2Game (T2G), the games training business. Although independent of T2G, TIGA is assisting in the development of the courses and examinations. Industry professionals from TIGA member businesses have the opportunity to contribute to these courses by providing guest lecturers. TIGA is not an accreditation body for educational provision generally. Our focus, of course, is on education and skill needs in the video games development sector.
3. Who are T2G?
T2G is a company jointly created between DR Studios and MIS Ltd. DR Studios is a member of TIGA with many years experience in the games industry, with a reputation for developing simulation and strategy games (http://www.drstudios.co.uk/games.html). MIS Ltd is one of the UK’s leading distance learning providers.
4. What courses are available from T2G?
T2G launched two games industry related distance learning courses in development (programming) and design in March 2009. In 2010 T2G launched the Game Artist and Animator course. In 2011 T2G launched the Games QA Tester course.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Are the T2G courses of good quality?
The courses are benchmarked against existing higher education qualification frameworks to establish the higher education level they are taught at and how they might complement existing games courses run by universities. The Development and Design courses are broadly equivalent to the first two years of an undergraduate honours degree.
8. What processes are in place for ensuring quality control in teaching?
T2G tutors are all Games/IT/Computer Science qualified individuals, approved by the T2G management board for the purpose. There are systems and quality control procedures and processes in place to monitor tutor support and all student/tutor communication is recorded for quality purposes. These systems are tried and tested. Industry professionals and lecturers from universities can help to deliver the T2G courses through Live Internet Training and virtual learning environments.
9. What processes are in place to ensure fair, valid and reliable assessments of the courses?
Currently assessment of T2G course content is managed by DR Studios.
Tutor Marked Assignments (TMA) and pass rates are the mechanism by which progress is monitored and measured. Each student has to successfully pass each TMA in order to progress to the following module. The end of year examinations are set by T2G under the guidance of TIGA. The TIGA Examinations Committee ensures that the examinations are of the required standard.
10. Why is TIGA working with T2G?
The video games development industry has an ongoing problem finding suitably qualified and trained candidates to fill vacancies in their studios. TIGA, by working with T2G, is taking practical action to help deal with the skills shortages that hold back the UK games industry. This is a real challenge: TIGA surveys of game developers show that the industry experiences skills shortages. T2G's courses are relevant to the games development industry and are regularly updated. The T2G courses represent an initiative that complements existing games courses to help ensure a fresh supply of well educated and employable new entrants to the video games development industry.
11. Will studying a T2G course guarantee me a job in the video games industry?
No education provider, course or qualification can 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 will have produced a portfolio, which should provide a good grounding for students looking to enter the sector. A student who has studied at T2G course may also find employment in other sectors of the economy, because some of the skills will be very transferable. Employment opportunities will exist in IT, the mobile telephone 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. The T2G qualification is being recognised by some universities, allowing direct entry to the first, second or third year of an undergraduate degree course.
12. What sort of salaries can junior designers and developers expect?
In the games industry junior designers may earn in the region of £16,000 to £20,000 per annum. Junior developers (programmers) may earn within the region of £18,000 to £22,000 per annum. However, with industry experience salaries increase quite significantly. Average salaries in the video games industry stand at approximately £30,000 per annum, compared to a national average of around £24,000 per annum.
13. What should I do before making a decision?
Look at the T2G website , speak to a T2G course adviser, review TIGA’s Guide to career paths in games development (available at www.TIGA.org), examine relevant university programmes and speak to HR departments at game development studios (there are often details of what they are looking for on their websites).
14. Where can I speak freely to T2G Students?
The T2G Forum encourages new and existing students to share knowledge on an open platform. The Forum can be found at: http://forum.train2game.com/
15. Are there places on Social Media sites to look at T2G?
Yes, you will find T2G here:
The Train2Game Blog http://train2game.wordpress.com
Train2Game FaceBook http://www.facebook.com/OfficialTrain2Game
Train2Game Twitter http://twitter.com/train2game
T2G Student Radio http://audioboo.fm/train2game
Train2Game Youtube http://www.youtube.com/user/Train2GameUK
Train2Game Scribd http://www.scribd.com/train2game