Train2Game News A Warm Welcome to Mark Kington

Our very own Mark Kington is joining the Train2Game Online Team replacing Danny as our team blogger.

We would like to thank the amazing number of people that applied for the position. With so many GREAT candidates it was a really tough process, but after being grilled by three of us at the Luton Office. Mark, also a T2G Student, is the victor.

After a period of training, so don’t bug him for now, Mark will take charge of Train2Game News, Facebook and other social media, plus Train2Game Student Radio. Mark will also become an Admin of the T2G Forum and work with the Forum Admin Team.

If you fancy being one of his first victims, I mean guests, on Train2Game Student radio drop a note to suggestionbox@train2game.com giving a little detail about things you would like to talk about.

Again congrats to Mark and WELCOME aboard.

Train2Game Student Diaries Matty WS weeks 36 and 37

Week 36
On week 36 of my diaries now! That’s a lot of weeks so far, and yet everything is still going swimmingly well. The new project is underway now and we are all working hard on it. My Sea Park is doing pretty well too. This week has been quiet though, since Jonny and Ben are no longer here and there are some people away too, making the office a lot more empty than normal. I’ve been quietly working away doing what I’ve needed to do. Not much of an eventful week really.
I have also been going through the course a little faster, currently verging on the end of section 2, so far the course has provided some insightful knowledge into my role as an artist, I look forward to seeing what section three will teach me, which I should be on very soon if I keep up the pace I am at. I have spoken to quite a few students on the artist course and none that I know of are on section 3, so I have no idea what it’s going to be like! Should be interesting
Week 37
This week so far has been a bit of a headache week, as I try to fix a problem we are having with axis translates vertex values, local and world pivot locations and parent/child objects,
since all of these values display differently from Maya to Unity or Max. This is probably the most confusing problem I’ve come across since I started modelling eight years ago. Other than that issue my week has been ok! We have started doing regular weekly sprint meetings again which is good, because it means I can be a little more organised with my work and it also means I always know what I am doing.
I’ve also now done the section 2 exam for the A&A course, which makes me on section 3 in five working days! This also means I am as far in to the course as Craig Moore is into the
designer course, he started the course about a week before I did so I’m not doing too badly I don’t think. That being said, how far people are into the course is not a rating for how good they are at their roles, there is a lot more information to learn that may not be on the courses that people can acquire through experience or looking up online for info or tutorials.
http://www.train2game.com

Train2Game News: Cheat Mode author Dan Jacobs on what makes a good QA Tester

Good QA Testers needs communication skills and an explorative nature. That’s according to industry veteran Dan Jacobs, author of Cheat Mode: The definitive guide for getting into and surviving the industry, who was speaking to The Train2Game Blog as part of a soon to be published interview.

“A good QA Tester has to communicate clearly, concisely and well all the time, and has to keep that level consistent.” said Jacobs.

“They have to have an explorative nature, because I can hire anyone to play a game, but hiring someone to break a game is a subtle but key difference. If all they do is just play the game, they’re not going to find the problems.”

“When you release a piece of software, you end up with millions and millions of possibilities from every position that character is in, and we need to test those possibilities.” the Cheat Mode author added.

Our full interview with Dan Jacobs about Cheat Mode, the industry and QA Testing will be published soon. Meanwhile, keep reading The Train2Game Blog for the latest QA Testing news.

What do you think makes a good QA Tester?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game interview: Train2Game Games QA Tester Ollie Smith

Train2Game student Ollie Smith is studying to become a Games QA Tester with Train2Game. Train2Game Radio caught up with him to find out why he chose to study with Train2Game, how he’s finding the course and how he balances it around the rest of his life.

Read it here on The Train2Game Blog, the Train2Game Scribd Page, or listen to it on Train2Game Radio. Leave your comments here, or on the Train2Game forum.

Hi Ollie, what first got you into video games?

That would have to be when my parents bought me a PlayStation on my eighth birthday, and I was hooked on Spyro The Dragon for months. And then it’s been sort of a…next game comes out I buy it and I’m hooked.

So what made you decide you wanted a career in the games industry?

When I was younger, my father and I used to go to GAME in the town, and they had a special on with GameMaker, and it was only 99p for a license. So we bought it, but it turned out to only be a demo license and we had to buy the full thing after 30 days. So, I quit GameMaker, swearing never to use it again, and then I started to look at doing web design – I’m a certified web developer and know HTML and PHP and CSS. And from there I went onto learning Java, then I was looking on the internet for ways to make games easily and I found Train2Game. So I applied, then a year later I got a knock on the door.

So what made you decide to take the Train2Game Games QA Tester course in particular?

I was going to go for the Game Developer course. I was half way through work when the advisor came to see me. He started talking to me suggested the Games QA Tester Course. So I was like, OK I’ll sign up for the QA Tester course.

Tell us a bit more about yourself, what do you do?

I’m a student, I’m classed as a student because I’m with Train2Game.

How do you find balancing the Train2Game course around the rest of your life, is it an advantage being able to learn from home?

Yeah, definitely. I’m a night person, so I don’t come out in the day time, and the thing with normal college or uni is that it’s in the day time. So with Train2Game, I can sit down at 1 in the morning and just study.

You’re also a part time DJ, tell us about that.

Yeah, I do it for a few online radio stations as a fill-in DJ. I used to have my own show, but I got ill, ended up in hospital and didn’t show up for three sets…so, I got fired. So now I’m more of a fill-in, if one DJ is missing they’ll call me and I’ll hop straight on and fill-in for whatever DJ wasn’t able to get in.

Do you think the radio and DJ work you’ve done before could help you in terms of getting into the games industry, perhaps in the audio side of the industry?

I’ve thought about that, but it isn’t really me, if you know what I mean? I like to try and keep some things separate. It sounds a bit weird to explain, but if you focus everything around one subject, you tend to get bored of it very quickly.

Going back to Train2Game, what do you wish to achieve with the course this year?

I’m going to use a term from an MMO, I want to grind through it, get my skills up and hopefully get my dream job.

And what would your dream job in the games industry be?

To work for Lionhead game studios.

Great, thanks for your time Ollie.

Click here for more information about the Train2Game Games QA Tester course

Train2Game QA Tester Daniel Parkes February update with another 100% TMA

Train2Game student Daniel Parkes has posted his first blog update of the year, and it brings good news; he’s achieved 100% in for his latest TMA on the Train2Game Game QA Tester course.

“Well as for my latest TMA mark I’m very happy to say I achieved 100%. I’m very happy with the way my course is going and very much looking forward to a new year with Train2Game” writes Daniel.

The Train2Game Games QA Tester also reveals how much time he spends working on his course, and talks about why he’s joining the beta testing programmes of various games.

Read Daniel Parkes latest post in full here on his blog.

You can find out about Train2Game Games QA Tester Daniel Parkes and his progress, right here on The Train2Game Blog. For more information about the Train2Game Games QA Tester course, see the official Train2Game website.

As usual, leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game interview: Train2Game game developer Paul Cullum from Merthyr Tydfil

Train2Game student Paul Cullum from Merthyr Tydfil – AKA Superfurry on the Train2Game forum – is on the Train2Game Game Developer course. In an interview with Train2Game Radio, he tells us why he chose to study with Train2Game, how he fits it around his life as a musician and what he hopes to achieve in the games industry.

Read the interview on the Train2Game blog or on the Train2Game Scribd page. Alternatively, you can listen to it via Train2Game Radio. Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

OK Paul, what first got you into video games?

Probably my father. I’ve been playing computer games since about 5 on the Spectrum, that’s where I started. Manic Miner, that was the game that got me into it.

What made you decide you wanted to forge a career in the games industry?

Well I’ve always been into games as I said and I used to programme on the Spectrum and on the Amiga. I’ve had pretty much every console that’s come out.

So what got you into programming?

I just had the brain for it I suppose. I used to love programming little things on the Spectrum, little games from magazines, putting in thousands of code and then…it didn’t work! And then finding the problem. But I’ve never really programmed any games because I didn’t know how to really.

And is this why you decided to join the Train2Game Game Developer course?

It is, yeah.

What does your partner think about being on a Train2Game course?

She’s OK with it, she thinks it’s good. I mean she’s seen some of the programmes I’ve written. Her sister works for Nintendo advertising the games, the new Zelda game I think she was advertising that.

Tell us a little about yourself, what do you do?

I’m a musician, I play in pubs and bars, and I’ve played in Europe: Denmark, Sweden, places like that.

How do you find fitting the Train2Game course around the rest of your life then?

I’ve been ill for the last couple of months, in hospital, so I haven’t had much of a chance to get into it lately.

What’s been your favourite part of the Train2Game course so far?

I’ve not been able to get stuck into it that much, but just making little games from the first book, just making the little platform games, which I enjoyed doing because I love platform games. That’s my favourite part so far. And I’ve got a bit of knowledge of C++ and other languages already so I’m sure I’ll get to a point where it’ll fry my brain, but it’s going alright so far.

And what do you want to achieve with Train2Game this year?

I want to put together a portfolio, learn more C++, incorporate that with other languages and learn databases and things like that and how to put them in games.  Just to get a head start to get me into the industry.

How useful have you found the Train2Game forum so far?

I’ve met a couple of people actually. I met up with a few people in Cardiff a few months ago, and they want to work on a game with me when we’ve got further into the course.

How do you see yourself entering the games industry, would you like to get a role at an established developer, or do you want to form your own studio with other Train2Game students?

An indie done would be perfect because I’ve got some ideas once I get my head round stuff, and the two lads I met, they’ve got some good ideas for games so hopefully we’ll get to a point where we can develop it more.  It’s just ideas at the moment.

Can you see your music career and games career joining together at all?

Possibly, yeah. I use a lot of software to record stuff at home so it’s pretty easy to knock up a little background music for a game.

What would your ideal job in the industry be?

Just being a part of a team really, learning new things and getting better.

Thanks for your time Paul.

For more information go to www.train2game.com

Train2Game QA Tester Daniel Parkes shares his story

Daniel Parkes is studying to be a QA Tester with Train2Game. He contacted the Train2Game blog to share his story of how Train2Game is helping him achieve his dream to work in the games industry.

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game at gamescom Neven Dravinski Producer UFC Undisputed 3 talks to Danny Palmer

Train2Game at gamescom Neven Dravinski Producer UFC Undisputed 3 talks to Danny Palmer and shares the shortage of QA testers in the industry!

Train2Game at gamescom John Block Producer of Metro Last Light talks to Danny Palmer

Train2Game at gamescom John Block Producer of Metro Last Light talks to Danny Palmer and explains how he got into the industry and what you should do to get started.

Train2Game at gamescom 3 of the team from Ghost Recon Future Solider talk to Danny Palmer

Train2Game at gamescom 3 of the team from Ghost Recon Future Solider talk to Danny Palmer, plus games advise and how to start in the industry