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Demos vs. Games

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I''ve recently seen a bunch of graphics/sounds demos on the net that demonstrate a bunch of cool effects and stuff, and I got to wondering... When game companies are hiring, would it be better to have a few game projects finished that aren''t really really advanced, or a bunch of demos that are pretty advanced (looking)? I can think of advantages to both, but which would be more helpful?

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i personally have no experience in this, but...

i think a demo that shows off all you can do may be a more effective resume supplement kinda thing than a game because games if done right take a while to go through and experience everything. if you already have one made, it may not be a bad idea to include it, but i wouldn''t make one specifically for employers. if you make a crappy game that is just thrown together to show off a cool engine you wrote, the empolyer is going to be turned off.

an interesting, interactive demo imho would be more effective. think of it like a trailer for a movie and the actually film. in the trailer, filmmakers throw a bunch of scenes together to make an impressive, short, ''demo'' of the movie, show off it''s cool scenes or special effects or what not. with the entire film though, they must invest much much more work and things must take place more slowly, the film must have a good well developed plot, etc. in this little analogy, the tech demo would of course be the trailer and a game the actual film.

as i said before, i have no experience with this, but i think what i say should make sense...


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IMHO, a bit of both. While demos of flashy, cool effects certainly hit the right nerve, the problem is that they are presented within a program whos only function is to show off that effect(s).

On the other hand, even a basic game without flashy effects or music, shows the ability to -complete- a project. Many people start many, many projects, but how many of them see completion? That sort of dedication to a project is very valuable to companies. They want to see people who can finish what they start.

When I went for the interview for my current job (as a professional games programer), I brought along a port of a game I worte five years ago on the Amiga. It had the original miggy graphics and didnt have any sound effects, but the game was complete. I also too along a demo of my most recent project. It was nowhere near finished, but it did show of my sound code and some of the flashier effects that I could do.

What can I say? It worked for me

--== Rapier ==--
Save the whales, feed the hungry, free the mallocs!

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once i applied for a d3d programmer position. i had no d3d experience whatsoever. the interview took about 30 minutes, most of which consisted of me and my soon to be boss talking about the technical specifications of my demo. they called me the next day and told me i got the job.
much later, i applied to a company out of state (didn''t get a chance to show them any code) and they told me i didn''t have enough industry experience (i had a published title, lead experience on an unreleased title and had done a lot of non-game professional programming).
in my opinion, it''s a good idea to look at an interview this way: you''re given a certain amount of time, do your best to impress the shit out of them while not coming across as arrogant. therefore, the more impressed they are by whatever you show them, be it a game or a demo, the better your chances. unless it''s a commercial, published game or at least a VERY good approximation thereof, i''d say a demo has more of a potential as far as impressing people goes.
these are just my observations on the subject, take them with a grain of salt


Float like a butterfly, bite like a crocodile.

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