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Game Designer Portfolio Question


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#1 SigmaX   Members   -  Reputation: 317

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 03:17 AM

Hey, I have some questions about how to build a game design portfolio. I'm currently working as a game designer for a company that creates casino slot games. These games don't have a credits page, so the only proof I designed any games would be internal to the company. Since I don't draw, and my programming is weak (I have a CS degree but I haven't programmed in 3 years), I'm wondering what else goes into a designer's portfolio? Thanks! --Ed

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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9508

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 05:25 AM

See Sloperama FAQ 12 (View Forum FAQ, above).
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#3 Orymus   Members   -  Reputation: 154

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 06:23 AM

It would help if you told us what kind of job you would want to apply to with your portfolio (obviously you have a job or a job idea in mind as you generate your portfolio).

#4 SigmaX   Members   -  Reputation: 317

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 06:44 AM

Thanks Tom for the info. I didn't even realize there was a Forum FAQ button.

I'm really looking for a job as a Game Designer making any other games besides slot games. Platform is not important to me, genera is not that important either. I want to make fun, exciting games that are more main stream.

#5 Obscure   Moderators   -  Reputation: 174

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 02:39 PM

Quote:
Original post by SigmaX
....I want to make fun, exciting games that are more main stream.

Then that is what should be in your portfolio. There are a host of game engines/tool sets out there that can be used to create levels/scenarios which will prove that you can do the job. That is what you need in your portfolio.
Dan Marchant - Business Development Consultant
www.obscure.co.uk

#6 Orymus   Members   -  Reputation: 154

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 04:22 PM

I suggest diversifying (sp?) content. Versatility is a plus for a game designer. You seem to be attracted to this aspect, I suggest you emphasize on it. Do stuff out of the mainstream as well, simple for the most part. I can't help you much more beyond that I'm affraid. I don't really have the 'clearance' for my advices to be efficient :P

#7 SigmaX   Members   -  Reputation: 317

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 04:03 AM

Thanks for all the feedback. I guess I was hoping that my 6 years experience in the gaming industry (3 as a designer) would be enough.

Now that I'm thinking about creating a portfolio I realize I have a lot more work to do, which I'm actually pretty excited about doing.



#8 Orymus   Members   -  Reputation: 154

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 05:53 AM

That's a lot of experience though, surely, you'd have lots to talk about during an interview, but yes, if you stuck to doing "your job" and nothing more during these 6 years, I suppose there might be some more flesh to add to the pot (that's what happens when I try to use two different analogies lol). I think the industry craves for people who abide by this.
In a recent interview, I was told they were searching for a candidate that spent most of his spare time having a curiosity for what the job is about. Nothing surprising there, but the fact they even mentionned it makes it that much more important.
The more you can convince them through your portfolio that you spend your nights dreaming of designs, the better it is I assume.

#9 Obscure   Moderators   -  Reputation: 174

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 08:28 AM

Quote:
Original post by SigmaX
I guess I was hoping that my 6 years experience in the gaming industry (3 as a designer) would be enough.

I'm guessing your experience doesn't extend to building 3D levels using the level editing tools that go with current gen game engines (including scripting). If it DOES then you current experience will be enough - but if it doesn't then you will need to demonstrate those skills in your portfolio to boost your chances.


Dan Marchant - Business Development Consultant
www.obscure.co.uk

#10 Orymus   Members   -  Reputation: 154

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 01:48 PM

@ Obscure:
I've actually received information from people within the industry that seem to clash with your interpretation (or perhaps I am mistaken).
I was told that knowing 3d engines was the job of level designers and that game designers wouldn't be required to have practical knowledge of them as it could limit their scopes.

I think SigmaX is applying for a game designer job, though I am not aware if he means design at all by that, unaware of the sub-classification between level and game designers. I don't suppose experience with 3d engine would be negative on a portfolio, but should it really be a focus if he isn't going for level designer?

Also, if 3d engines turn out to be relevant, try making Mods of existing game. They're rather an easy way to produce gameplay within instants and demonstrate an understanding of the basic and advanced principles of both gameflow and engine handling.

#11 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9508

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 02:00 PM

Quote:
Original post by Orymus
I was told that ... game designers wouldn't be required to have practical knowledge of them as it could limit their scopes.

If anything, knowing how to use level design tools EXPANDS one's "scope" -- rather than limiting it. Although there is a lot of specialization in the industry, it isn't necessary to confine oneself to a very narrow pigeonhole to be hirable/marketable.

-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.




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