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#1 ThatGuyOverThere   Members   -  Reputation: 129

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 07:36 PM

Could you guys give my portfolio a look and give me some advice on what I could do to improve upon it?

The site is: http://www.ray-ngames.com/



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#2 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 21434

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 12:18 AM

On my tablet I see "Plugin unavailable". Is it written in Flash?

Hopefully a potential employer won't walk into the room with a similar tablet and say "Let's have a look over your portfolio together..."

I'll take a longer look tomorrow on a full-blown PC.
Check out my personal indie blog at bryanwagstaff.com.

#3 theflamingskunk   Members   -  Reputation: 319

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 07:41 AM

Heres some quick (Highly Unqualified) Feedback. Sorry if its a bit harsh, I am a believer that padding doesn't really help anyone.

 

First off check spelling and Grammar. There are many grammatical mistakes. If you cant take the time to make sure your own profile is error free, why would I trust you to work on my products.

 

For the home page, nobody really cares that you used to want to be a doctor, just get rid of that. The little quip about Asian-American parents can be off putting to some as well. Theres no reason to list every genre of game you play, Its already assumed that you play games its just fluff.

 

Also you describe your self as an Animator, Recorder, Actor, Level Designer, Producer and Programmer. That is not impressive, that is hurting you. That just means that either:

 

A. You are just throwing in Buzzwords because you are desperate for anyting.

B. You generally believe that you can fit any of those roles, which you cannot.

 

Somebody is hiring you to fill a specific position, they want somebody that can fill that position well, not do a poor job at everything.

Choose the thing that you are best at and gear your portfolio and apply to positions for that specific position.

 

 

I do like that the site is simple to navigate and easy to see where everything is.

 

Now onto Portolio:

 

First off, why is it in reverse chronological order, lead with your latest (And hopefully best) work.

 

Since its not clear what you even do, its difficult to even know what I should be looking at, once again choose what your good at and be like "Hi im Ray, im a [Insert position here]."

 

Right off the bat, it leaves me fairly unimpressed. I see a bunch of crude screenshots so first impressions are not great.

All of your projects seem to be school projects that you worked on a team with, and an internship project which honestly looks just like busy work they gave you since they didnt have anything else. None of the projects scream "This is what Ray Ng can do, Hire Him". They all just say "This is what my team did, i contributed". (As frob so eloquently says)
 

Leave out your contributions if it is "Title of the Game" and "Placeholder Assets". That is actively hurting you since it just sounds like you weren't able to do anything else so your team just gave you busy work.

 

Remove the Blog. It has nothing to do with your professional life, and when the first post is "I applied for an internship and was immediately rejected" that is seriously hurting your chances.

 

 

 

Sorry if all this was a little harsh, Its just what my impressions are from viewing it. Ultimately, you need to focus on what area you actually are good at, and make that clear. Likewise you need to blow people away, you cant just show them subpar group projects for school.


Edited by theflamingskunk, 18 March 2014 - 07:46 AM.

Portfolio: http://jel-massih.com


#4 ThatGuyOverThere   Members   -  Reputation: 129

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 09:04 AM

Heres some quick (Highly Unqualified) Feedback. Sorry if its a bit harsh, I am a believer that padding doesn't really help anyone.

 

First off check spelling and Grammar. There are many grammatical mistakes. If you cant take the time to make sure your own profile is error free, why would I trust you to work on my products.

 

For the home page, nobody really cares that you used to want to be a doctor, just get rid of that. The little quip about Asian-American parents can be off putting to some as well. Theres no reason to list every genre of game you play, Its already assumed that you play games its just fluff.

 

Also you describe your self as an Animator, Recorder, Actor, Level Designer, Producer and Programmer. That is not impressive, that is hurting you. That just means that either:

 

A. You are just throwing in Buzzwords because you are desperate for anyting.

B. You generally believe that you can fit any of those roles, which you cannot.

 

Somebody is hiring you to fill a specific position, they want somebody that can fill that position well, not do a poor job at everything.

Choose the thing that you are best at and gear your portfolio and apply to positions for that specific position.

 

 

I do like that the site is simple to navigate and easy to see where everything is.

 

Now onto Portolio:

 

First off, why is it in reverse chronological order, lead with your latest (And hopefully best) work.

 

Since its not clear what you even do, its difficult to even know what I should be looking at, once again choose what your good at and be like "Hi im Ray, im a [Insert position here]."

 

Right off the bat, it leaves me fairly unimpressed. I see a bunch of crude screenshots so first impressions are not great.

All of your projects seem to be school projects that you worked on a team with, and an internship project which honestly looks just like busy work they gave you since they didnt have anything else. None of the projects scream "This is what Ray Ng can do, Hire Him". They all just say "This is what my team did, i contributed". (As frob so eloquently says)
 

Leave out your contributions if it is "Title of the Game" and "Placeholder Assets". That is actively hurting you since it just sounds like you weren't able to do anything else so your team just gave you busy work.

 

Remove the Blog. It has nothing to do with your professional life, and when the first post is "I applied for an internship and was immediately rejected" that is seriously hurting your chances.

 

 

 

Sorry if all this was a little harsh, Its just what my impressions are from viewing it. Ultimately, you need to focus on what area you actually are good at, and make that clear. Likewise you need to blow people away, you cant just show them subpar group projects for school.

 

It's ok if you're harsh, I need to develop a thick skin if I want to work in the videogame industry. As for the pitiful projects and internship games, that's all that I have at the moment. Since graduating 10 months ago, I couldn't find a job (any job) anywhere and can't move elsewhere without funding. That being said, I'm thinking of going back to school in the fall and thus, asked for advice on what I can do to improve upon it.

 

If there's more advice and critiques from other people, I'd love to hear more of it.



#5 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 21434

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:48 PM

Okay, reviewing it again on my PC.
 
It is a wix site. Many of the fancy wix features do not work on tablets, nor do they work on desktop computers with anti-spyware plugins, do-not-track plugins, or other defensive measures.  Be aware that some potential employers may choose to not look at your portfolio because of those choices. It breaks middle click, breaks tabs, and makes it hard to navigate that way I want.
 
 
I don't see what you want to be. Modeler? Level designer? I'll assume you want to be a modeler since that is the only thing that seems to be consistent.
 

Four projects and one internship video to review.
 
First one, the only words I care about are this little block:

My contributions consist of:
1. Title of the game
​2. 3D models of the crops, barn, and silo
3. Creation of the three major faction representatives
4. Design of the core request system
5. Concept for use of food and hunger to drive the narrative

 

I get to assume that everything else in the game was made by someone else. and I need to look through the game to see those things. 
 
1 -- don't care, but mildly interesting. I'm not looking for a marketer
2 -- Modeler experience. I would prefer you have images of them specifically, but since you called them out I can play the game and see them. You modeled three things.
3 -- Looks like minor design details from my view.
4 -- another seeming minor design detail, unless you have something more to add about it
5 -- implementation detail from brainstorming. 
 
Next one, same thing, only those five lines seem to matter with the rest being fluff.
My contributions consist of:
1. Level design and layout
2. 3D models of all architecture
3. Textures of all architecture
4. Design of the trap system
5. Designed the special attack icon
 
1 -- Much of the levels that I can see appear haphazard, so with no guidance it does not inspire me.
2, 3, 5 -- If we're looking at the same game, and if those blocks with rough textures are your best work, don't expect a call back.
4 -- You helped brainstorm the design
 
Next. ARC.

1. General game play programming
2. Art asset implementation

1 -- I'm not hiring a programmer.
2 -- some of the graphics are interesting. So far probably the best graphics of the bunch.

Finally, get in shape.

1. Made 3D placeholders objects in Maya.
​2. Assembled art and script assets in Unity3D.
3. Coordinated artists and programmers with scrum goals.
4. Designed, prototyped, and finalized the track and level layout

1 -- could mean many things, making a few boxes and cubes is hardly spectacular
2 -- place them in the right directory and Unity does that for you.
3 -- Light management
4 -- light design, and based on the look of the levels, not much of it.


And your blog that is on the site. It doesn't provide any evidence that you can do the job, even going so far as to point out how quickly you have been rejected.



If you are trying to get a job as a modeler, show me your best models. Make it clear up front that you are a world-class modeler. Show me your best work from school if you must. Show me your best work outside of school if you can. I expect to see twenty to fifty models that I could use in my AAA game.

 

If you are trying to get a job as a level designer, show me your best levels. Make it clear up front that you are a world-class level designer. Describe in detail the decisions you made, why you made them, what makes them particularly noteworthy. I expect to see at least ten well-designed levels, each annotated about why you think they are well-designed.

 

I was going to try to annotate one of your pictures to comment on it, but your choice of heavily-scripted wix for your site makes that difficult so I'm not going to bother. 

 

 

Your portfolio is supposed to showcase your best work.  Is your best work really pyramid trees and roughly textured box buildings? Is your best work a simple island with a wooden boardwalk?

 

 


Check out my personal indie blog at bryanwagstaff.com.

#6 ThatGuyOverThere   Members   -  Reputation: 129

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 06:51 AM

Okay, reviewing it again on my PC.
 
It is a wix site. Many of the fancy wix features do not work on tablets, nor do they work on desktop computers with anti-spyware plugins, do-not-track plugins, or other defensive measures.  Be aware that some potential employers may choose to not look at your portfolio because of those choices. It breaks middle click, breaks tabs, and makes it hard to navigate that way I want.
 
 
I don't see what you want to be. Modeler? Level designer? I'll assume you want to be a modeler since that is the only thing that seems to be consistent.
 

Four projects and one internship video to review.
 
First one, the only words I care about are this little block:

My contributions consist of:
1. Title of the game
​2. 3D models of the crops, barn, and silo
3. Creation of the three major faction representatives
4. Design of the core request system
5. Concept for use of food and hunger to drive the narrative

 

I get to assume that everything else in the game was made by someone else. and I need to look through the game to see those things. 
 
1 -- don't care, but mildly interesting. I'm not looking for a marketer
2 -- Modeler experience. I would prefer you have images of them specifically, but since you called them out I can play the game and see them. You modeled three things.
3 -- Looks like minor design details from my view.
4 -- another seeming minor design detail, unless you have something more to add about it
5 -- implementation detail from brainstorming. 
 
Next one, same thing, only those five lines seem to matter with the rest being fluff.
My contributions consist of:
1. Level design and layout
2. 3D models of all architecture
3. Textures of all architecture
4. Design of the trap system
5. Designed the special attack icon
 
1 -- Much of the levels that I can see appear haphazard, so with no guidance it does not inspire me.
2, 3, 5 -- If we're looking at the same game, and if those blocks with rough textures are your best work, don't expect a call back.
4 -- You helped brainstorm the design
 
Next. ARC.

1. General game play programming
2. Art asset implementation

1 -- I'm not hiring a programmer.
2 -- some of the graphics are interesting. So far probably the best graphics of the bunch.

Finally, get in shape.

1. Made 3D placeholders objects in Maya.
​2. Assembled art and script assets in Unity3D.
3. Coordinated artists and programmers with scrum goals.
4. Designed, prototyped, and finalized the track and level layout

1 -- could mean many things, making a few boxes and cubes is hardly spectacular
2 -- place them in the right directory and Unity does that for you.
3 -- Light management
4 -- light design, and based on the look of the levels, not much of it.


And your blog that is on the site. It doesn't provide any evidence that you can do the job, even going so far as to point out how quickly you have been rejected.



If you are trying to get a job as a modeler, show me your best models. Make it clear up front that you are a world-class modeler. Show me your best work from school if you must. Show me your best work outside of school if you can. I expect to see twenty to fifty models that I could use in my AAA game.

 

If you are trying to get a job as a level designer, show me your best levels. Make it clear up front that you are a world-class level designer. Describe in detail the decisions you made, why you made them, what makes them particularly noteworthy. I expect to see at least ten well-designed levels, each annotated about why you think they are well-designed.

 

I was going to try to annotate one of your pictures to comment on it, but your choice of heavily-scripted wix for your site makes that difficult so I'm not going to bother. 

 

 

Your portfolio is supposed to showcase your best work.  Is your best work really pyramid trees and roughly textured box buildings? Is your best work a simple island with a wooden boardwalk?

 

What I want to do is take the art assets that the artists made and place them in the game through an editor, designate encounters (if there's combat), and script out commands or events that are supposed to trigger when a state or flag is active.

 

I suppose I want to work as a level designer. This has me puzzled, do I also show a video run through in addition to annotated images? Do I use assets I made or assets already made by others in modding editors? 

 

As for Wix, I tried using wordpress and it was a nightmare. Do you have any particular recommendations or can you point me to other sites that are better than Wix?



#7 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 21434

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 12:43 PM

What I want to do is take the art assets that the artists made and place them in the game through an editor, designate encounters (if there's combat), and script out commands or events that are supposed to trigger when a state or flag is active.
 
I suppose I want to work as a level designer. This has me puzzled, do I also show a video run through in addition to annotated images? Do I use assets I made or assets already made by others in modding editors? 

 

 

 

If you are pushing for a level designer, then yes, you would push all those things down a bit, the top few items should focus on actual level designs.

 

You can use your own assets if you want, just make it clear that level design is the priority, not art.

 

Then demonstrate a good level, explaining why it is a good level.

 

For example, one of your demos showed what appeared to be randomly dropped buildings.  I don't know the details behind that. Maybe you have a top-down view showing how every building is carefully aligned and situated so they are entirely equal or are balanced for some reason.  In many shooters there are collections of seemingly haphazard structures that are all carefully designed so while you gain some advantage you take a similar disadvantage. You may gain advantage of cover but lose the ability to see them sneaking up on you. You may gain a position where you can see the entire board but you can be shot from almost anywhere. Good level designers are careful to measure and document exactly why they chose the positions and angles they did.

 

For puzzle game levels, you might demonstrate the puzzles that were involved, the solutions you tried and discarded, and alternatives you considered. Some of your levels looked like you just randomly threw down paths for no reason. Show me you didn't just lay down some wooden planks. Show me you had some thought involved, that you were balancing various factors of the level, such as providing an easy path with little reward and a hard path with big reward, or that you can progress from A to B to C and the paths expose details that help win the round. Just saying "I made a level" is not enough to get a job as a level designer.

 

For platform type games, you might include other design tools used to build your levels like flowcharts or other design diagrams. Show me you didn't just drop down your collectible shapes because they looked nice, but because you had some actual reasons. Again, let me know the reasons. 

 

As it is, I cannot see any justifications in your web site. All I see is "I worked with a big team and they built this game; I contributed." There is description about what the demo game does, but there is nothing that shows off your specific work.

 

 

As for Wix, I tried using wordpress and it was a nightmare. Do you have any particular recommendations or can you point me to other sites that are better than Wix?

 

 

Some people choose to use site-builders. It looks like the flavor of the month Wix and Webly. Some people choose to use flash-based website builders. Some people choose to use ISP provided website builders.

 

This is nothing new. You can go back many years and see people proudly exclaiming their document was converted to a web page with FrontPage 97 and was best viewed in Internet Explorer 4.

 

The big drawback with all of these is that you are tied to the benefits and limitations of your particular website builder.  Wix seems to be designed for those on a PC with a 2013-era browser. It is heavy on the scripts, heavy on dynamic content, heavy on memory usage. Mobile devices can't handle it. Browsers from 2011 and before cannot handle all that. IE8, Opera 10, Firefox 3.5, all of these will display it incorrectly.

 

Are you okay with that?  

 

It isn't so different from the browser war era where people built web sites that could only be displayed with Netscape or with Internet Explorer or with Opera or with PowerBrowser or with some other browser fighting for a market share.

 

 

In the case of Wix you get all their super fancy templates and easy to use tools. For some people this is amazing. But if you look at what is going on under the hood, basically everything is a script, buttons aren't really buttons but are scripted elements, images are dropped in by script and cannot easily be referenced, it basically breaks everything related to HTML.

 

All those pretty pictures come at a cost. If you are on a mobile device it will probably crash the browser due to memory abuse, or it will otherwise refuse to display. Web crawlers and search engines struggle to index the sites, although they provide methods to index portions of them. You cannot share a URL, you only get the main page; for example, normally I can right-click an image, get the image address, and link to that for commentary; not so on your site. Some of the items open up a new URL and I can reference the entire page, but most are just windows inside the page. If I think it is awesome I cannot share a link on facebook or reddit or twitter or any other site because of that design choice.

 

A few years ago, before "script all the things!" became popular, site builders did the same thing only in flash. You couldn't link anything, you couldn't index anything, you couldn't reference anything, and it broke the browser functionality. But marketers could make things shiny, so they continued to use it (and still do).

 

You don't have to be an expert web developer. You can continue to use those sites. Employers will understand that you are applying for a level designer job and not a web programmer job.

 

Just be aware that the choice of an easy-to-use beautiful site builder often comes at the penalty of being less usable to the viewer. In my case, it means I could not view the site at all on my tablet. On the PC it triggered multiple security warnings about advertising and tracking, which are unfortunately becoming quite common. Using the fancy site-builder sites makes it easier for you to publish your stuff, but can make it less likely for people to review it. 


Check out my personal indie blog at bryanwagstaff.com.

#8 ISDCaptain01   Members   -  Reputation: 1396

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 02:57 PM

Your portfolio makes it seem like you have no area to specialize in. But then you state level design which is too niche. Find a scope thats narrow yet broad enough to define what you are without pigeonholing yourself. Are you a programmer? Artist? Which one? Initially no one makes it in as a desginer at first.

#9 ThatGuyOverThere   Members   -  Reputation: 129

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 04:35 PM

Your portfolio makes it seem like you have no area to specialize in. But then you state level design which is too niche. Find a scope thats narrow yet broad enough to define what you are without pigeonholing yourself. Are you a programmer? Artist? Which one? Initially no one makes it in as a desginer at first.

 

I'm not much of an artist, and my programming skills aren't so great (I'd say average) but definitely better than my art skills. The languages I know are C and C#.

 

Edit: ISDCaptain01, I'd rather describe what I want to do rather than use labels, but since labeling is a much quicker way for people to look at you, I went with it.

 

Edit 2: I made some edits, but more will be incoming in the next few days.


Edited by ThatGuyOverThere, 19 March 2014 - 06:51 PM.


#10 ThatGuyOverThere   Members   -  Reputation: 129

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 03:21 PM

Given that Frob mentioned that Wix isn't all that viewer friendly and doing some additional research about website builders, I think I'll take down my portfolio for now. Luckily, I'm still within my 14 day money back period with Wix. As for the portfolio itself, it'll exist, but I'm still gathering and locating as many of my old documents, pictures, and other materials as possible to update and redo my project pages.






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