Critic my portfolio video
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Posted 23 February 2012 - 06:33 PM
I made a short video of the games I'd like to use for my portfolio. I done this in case, for what ever reason, the companies I apply to cannot get my code to run.
With that in mind, could I ask that you take the 3 min 40 seconds it takes to view my video and give me some feedback on it please? Off the bat, I know there is no music, I just wanted to put something up and garner instant feedback.
The main piece of feedback I'd like to get is;
If you seen this from someone wanting a junior position in your company, is it ok? Is there something else / more you'd like to see? If so, please tell me.
Anything else be it good or bad, I'll take it as I can get.
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Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:52 AM
With these thoughts in mind, as demos, most of these are a little too simple to show a strong focused technique and while some of them show some more finished graphics, they don’t layer too much polish on top. Yes they do show off better than placeholder graphics, but with little extra on top this really does show through as just having replaced anything that might have otherwise been placeholder, thus it shows your efforts in a limited manner. Polishing is often just a little bit more than adding more decent bitmaps in, its often doing interesting things in conjunction with that to show everything off.
Here are some specific comments about the demos, mixed with other feedback.
For the Zombie game, I would add a HUD as opposed to the text. It will look and thus present better for it. When developing a game, often adding the HUD makes a big difference to the level of polish and completeness in a game and it is something we often do in order to present a game to a publisher in a more favourable light. That will apply here too, so if you can still work on this game this would be a good bang for the buck in terms of effort/reward. I’d also consider trying to add a few more effects that might add polish.
I’ll be honest I don’t get the Sinkopation game as a demo. There’s nothing bad about it, I just can’t see what it would show me as a potential employer. It does have graphics that are beyond placeholder though, but it’s hard to see that even they show much alone. This is the sort of thing that would show better if it had even an extra layer of polish to the graphics via a few effects.
Quark. This looks interesting and this is potential it’s strong point, but again I’m not sure what it actually does show in terms of technique and it could use more polish. It’s good that it shows more than one screen because it shows potential for having some depth and variety, which in my opinion shows through as effort to make something interesting.
Everlasting signal. It’s a little too simple and again, I’m not too sure what it shows (although maybe I am missing the point of it).
3D animation controller. This is fine as a focused technique, but I would add a little more to it to help depict the technique a little more strongly. If there is data being processed which might explain the technique or the performance of it, I would add those statistics to the demo as an overlay (and I’m thinking of # of bones and # of animations being blended and maybe the names of them). Regardless, I would add subtitles to the video to explain a little more about the animation controller itself. If you don’t do this, then bear in mind that people may have some trouble differentiating the demo from the Dx9 skinning demo. In this case it could do you harm as they may not understand that it’s showing a technique layered on top of that, they may just think you recompiled the skinning demo, or just added a little more to it.
3D physics shooter. If this was to use your own physics engine then it would be impressive as a focused technique, but given you’ve used PhysX it’s a little difficult to see what you can hold up here in terms of ‘look what I did’. There is admittedly some value to showing that you can deploy a piece of middleware, but this is very limited.
Taffy’s sweet dream. This would show some interesting techniques had it not have been put together with middleware, but I think most of what this shows in terms of technology comes out of the box which is an issue. As a game, it’s a little too simple and like some of the other demos it doesn’t layer the better than placeholder graphics with effects. This would be a really nice demo to show you’ve done the hoop jumping of polish on.
Quark and the Zombie game, as well as the 3d animation controller appear to me more as demos here. The zombie game could be quite compelling as something polished and showing more playability, so if there was more to that it could be valuable. Quark just looks interesting. The animation controller is potentially valuable as a demo of a focused technique, if you can play to and hold up its strengths as that.
I actually don’t think many of these would hold up alone however, in fact the best strength of this montage is exactly because it is that - a collection of things you put effort into and quite importantly it shows a wide enough variety of development environments. It shows a lot of time, effort, thought and love has gone into these things and this is one of the most valuable things a potential employer could get from your video. This is more than what many would be able to show too.
Thus, this may work in terms of getting your foot in the door for interviews (which I think is the primary goal) but beyond that it probably leaves you with too much of the hard work to do. Interviewers can be judgmental and often appear somewhat immature in being so (almost as if they are looking for a reason ‘not’ to employ you) so a close scrutiny of these demos under interview, focusing on what you did, techniques and how you put them together – you may find this limiting and possibly someone might be drawn to judging you while overlooking the full potential these demos can show and not based on the effort and diversity you’ve demonstrated.
If you do get to interview, play on these points...the effort you’ve put in here really is an important point, as is that fact you’ve been learning C#,XNA,DirectX,PhysX and Unity. These are indeed points that will set you aside at all stages of job application.
Generally, yes I think this will set yourself aside from other candidates but if you can then I’d do a little more to help guarantee that.
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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:48 PM
Everlasting Signal, Hardcore Sinkopation and Taffy's... are there to highlight the fact that I've taken part in the Global Game Jam and to show what I was able to accomplish on 48 hours with little to no sleep. Hopefully be a conversation topic as well to show my passion, and interest in game dev outside of simply being able to say "I work in the games industry."
I'll take your feedback, and work to improve on what I have. Especially with the Zombie game.
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Posted 24 February 2012 - 01:11 PM
Everlasting Signal, Hardcore Sinkopation and Taffy's... are there to highlight the fact that I've taken part in the Global Game Jam and to show what I was able to accomplish on 48 hours with little to no sleep.
That's a great thing to demonstrate. While the video does say they are part of GGJ I would make the intended highlight stand out more with a few seconds of intro to announce those demos. Something like...
'In 200X I took part in the Global Game Jame. These demos were developed in 48 hours' or
'The following videos are my entries into the Global Game Jam. They were developed within 48 hours'.
I wouldn't use that text exactly, but something that inserts a sense of importance and meaning to these videos as well as understanding the conditions and potentially the rules they were developed under. Of course, you should still list your results with each video as they are played.
You see, while I read the existing text that mentioned these were part of the GGJ...I completely missed the point of why you included them which really is significant...very much so. You obviously know this, as you caught my missing of the point, but you won't get that chance of correction with a job application unless you are present of course. You want people to judge them for what they are, not what they aren't. Someone else could easily make that mistake and I think the impact of these demos is much greater when the context is appreciated and understood.
Understanding this adds quite a lot of value to your reel. I think it's worth double what I thought previously for example.