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STVOY

Portfolio Tips

20 posts in this topic

Hey There, I''ve just started to gather a portfolio of some of my games. Some one suggested it you see. I was just wondering if anyone had any tips on doing this. I''ve only made two simple games on Pascal. As I have only been learning it for 6 months I see this as quite an achievment. An tips on what type of games or what else I could do or show would be greatly appreciated. Thanx In Advance GUY Mega Moh Mine!!
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Well, a portfolio is normally for the more expirenienced person that has a good collect of games to choose from. But, I''ll fire off my tips anyway.

Only choose the games that you like, and are proud of. If you''re not proud of them, and you don''t like them, then the person your showing them too probably won''t.

As far as what type of game, nobody should make that descision for you. You don''t have to make shooters just because everyone else is. Make games that you enjoy and that you play. That way, you''ll no more about them and how to make them.

............
Guardian Angel Interactive
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A portfolio is a collection of your best work, or, depending on the work, a collection of all your work. It really doesn't matter, as long as what you have demonstates the skills and abilities you want to put across to people.

As far as do's and don'ts, if you do a portfolio for programming try to avoid installing connponents to the PC as ALOT OF COMPANIES DON'T LIKE THAT.

Is it programming you're going for? If it is then I would recommend you try your hand at C or C++ as well as pascal isn't used much in the industry.

Also if you wrote a non-interactive demo, which was cool to look at, that would be a good addition.

If I was demoing games for a sofware house, I would contact the company first by phone, ask questions (who do I e-mail, would you accept a CD with my portfolio?) and on the CD :-

An interface, (autorun not needed) to select the game you wish to see, and options to "view CV" "visit website", "screenshots" (in case they have problems running app, or wish to see what it looks like first) "Instructions" (these must be easy on the eye, no readme txt file shoved onto screen carelessly) "quit" and "about me" (a quick bit about yourself)

You could write the inferface in pascal or even HTML, but make sure you label the CD, and on the label is your name, contact, and the name of the file to run the menu.

It should be easy to load.
Try and test your software as you really don't want it crashing on them!
IMPORTANT: Remember that they may only wish to spend 5-10mins looking at your work. So don't send them a CD so full of stuff and can't possibly view all of! Quality over Quantity.

You might want to invest in a CD-Writer, you can buy a good one for £130-£150

As for labels, CD Stomper (Label kit) £30 from most places.

Your CV mustn't be "dull and corporate" Use a subtle amount of color and design to liven it up. (not too much mind, as remember that sometimes your CV might be faxed, so consider this with the layout)

One important note : don't use ANY material (code/sound/characters or music) that isn't your all own work, this isn't advisable. This is your portfolio for your work.

The very best advice I would give you, would be to contact a couple of software houses and ask them, what do they want in terms of content for a showreel/portfolio. You don't need to be looking for a job, just enquire. Ring them up by phone is better than email...

woo...bit of a post!
Hope this helps...

Good Luck!
Ste

www.stephen-hawes.co.uk


Edited by - Zonbie on June 22, 2000 8:11:10 PM
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quote:
Original post by Tiso
Only choose the games that you like, and are proud of. If you're not proud of them, and you don't like them, then the person your showing them too probably won't.


If you're not proud of your game/demo/whatever, that doesn't mean it's crap or that the company doesn't like it. I mean, I could get a job at programming games for GBC if I send the games I did on other Z80-systems, but I'm not really proud of these games. What matters is that they can see you are capable of doing what they want. If you can do it, you'll get the job (if there's no competition).

Arjan

-------------------------
-Programmers don't byte, they nibble a bit.
Unknown Person
-------------------------

Edited by - Arjan on June 23, 2000 4:36:06 PM
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Slow down there.

The reason I said that was because:
a) when your proud of a game, you did something extra that you enjoyed, or worked extra hard at it
b) they see that you enjoy your the games you make
c) I believe it

............
Guardian Angel Interactive
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Never post anything you''re not proud of. If you aren''t impressed, you can be sure I won''t be.

First thing in your portfolio should be the cover letter and your resume. Sure, sure, you want to write games. But you still need a good cover letter and a readable resume.

If you are putting games in your portfolio, choose the 3 best. Just like your resume, this is not a list of everything you''ve done in your entire life. It''s a quick way to show what you''re good at! For each item/game/etc, include 1 sheet of paper with a screenshot and quick description of what you did in this game (unless you did it all in a small game).

The CDROM (you *WILL* have a CDROM) should have an easy to use structure to it. I must be able to run your game "out of the box" so to speak and it must run right the first time or the CD is in the garbage.
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Well, what if your program needs to write to a file? It obviously can''t do
that on a CD. And what if some person tries to copy all your game files
to their hard drive? A read-only file attribute will be set for all your
files, and if you program needs to write to one of them, it will fail.

I would think the best way would require that your game be installed on
their hard drive with an installation program if it needs to write data,
like configuration info.
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Personally, if I was in the position of reviewing portfolios of demos, I''d hate receiving demos with full installation processes, such as InstallShield. Especially for small demos. I would much rather just copy or unzip it to a directory, run it, and delete it afterwards, than worry about it modifying my Start Menu, interfering with the Registry, etc. If you had to deal with 50 of these every day, I think you''d want them to be as ''clean'' as possible.
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I think if it''s easy to install, and easy to uninstall, then it''s a go. If you click install, it installs quickly and efficiently, and if you click uninstall the start menu is gone and you never see it again.

............
Guardian Angel Interactive
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As I said, alot of companies will refuse to install software from portfolios, it''s just too messy, time consuming and irratating...click and go. Seriously, if you can avoid installation I strongly recommmend you do. If in doubt, ring about and find out what companies would accept from your portfolio.

Some may not mind installing software while other do.

Simple as that.

www.stephen-hawes.co.uk

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Hmm. I don''t think clicking through a succession of dialog boxes and filling in directories etc is as convenient as right-click-dragging the zip file to the desktop, and selecting ''extract to its own folder'' or whatever. And are you telling me you''ve never had the problem of "Uninstall could not remove certain items. Please remove these manually"? Even professional installers seem to have this problem, so I expect amateur ones would too. What about if you install a .DLL to windows/system that is newer/bigger than the one they currently have? What if it''s subtley bugged?

Now, I am of course not speaking on behalf of everyone, just me. But I prefer to install software that is self-contained and isn''t making modifications all over the place, especially if he software is going to be gone shortly. If I had to do this sort of thing 20 times a day, I''d be even less inclined to want things installing anything to windows/system, or to my start menu, or anywhere other than the directory I put it in. I do think a self-extracting zip file is a very good compromise.
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Well looking at all of your suggstions I''d have to say
that I''ll probably just use a HTML file that links to
other .EXE files on the CD. I have seen a lot of
proffesional companies do this. Lots of great input
though guys.

Thanx In Advance
STVOY



Mega Moh Mine!!
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STVOY,
glad to help!

keep us posted with how things go!

www.stephen-hawes.co.uk
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Hey There,

Well I''ve gathered a few of my best games for Pascal, well
two actually. And I also made an application to view and
try all my snippets of code and animation. Once it''s all
done I plan to as I said before link it all to an HTML
document and burn the lot onto CD. Just wanted to keep you
posted.

STVOY

Mega Moh Mine!!
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Oh by the way doesanyone know how to hyperlink the
.EXE files on the CD if it is on some elses machine.
What I mean is that if some one elses CD drive was
E , and well mine is D would the hyper links to the files
on the D change dynamically to point to the E. Or
is there another process I should know about?

Thanx In Advance
STVOY



Mega Moh Mine!!
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If you are dynamically linking them like "/myfolder/mygames/mygame.exe" then you should be fine. If you are linking them like "file:///d:/myfolder/mygames/mygame.exe" then you have no chance of a dynamic link. I think this is what you are talking about, right?

-Chris Bennett ("Insanity" of Dwarfsoft)

Check our site:
http://www.crosswinds.net/~dwarfsoft/
and our eGroup:
http://www.egroups.com/group/dwarfsoft

Edited by - dwarfsoft on June 28, 2000 6:43:08 AM

Edited by - dwarfsoft on June 28, 2000 6:43:59 AM
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If I was to use the link

"/myfolder/mygames/mygame.exe"

Would it still work if the files were on CD rom

I should know really, I think it would, but
I would like another opinion.

Thanx In Advance
STVOY

Mega Moh Mine!!
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I agree that one should choose the easiest and simplest option,
but my game has to write out a high score list, and it can''t do
that on a CD. Is there any other solution to this other than
a full installation on someone''s hard drive? I would think my
game would have to detect that it is running on a CD somehow
to figure out what to do.

JA
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You could go back and edit it to be a demo, so then your game won''t require the HS stuff. Or just let it read the info from the file of the CD but stop it from writing. You should be able to get away with a few quick adjustments here and there to cull off any writes.

You could always just say "Bugger this! I''m making it INSTALL!!!" and be done with it, but I would prefer the first option


-Chris Bennett ("Insanity" of Dwarfsoft)

Check our site:
http://www.crosswinds.net/~dwarfsoft/
and our eGroup:
http://www.egroups.com/group/dwarfsoft
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quote:
Original post by STVOY

If I was to use the link

"/myfolder/mygames/mygame.exe"

Would it still work if the files were on CD rom

I should know really, I think it would, but
I would like another opinion.

Thanx In Advance
STVOY

Mega Moh Mine!!


If it didn't then I would be very surprised. Netscape and Internet Exploiter both accept it as a path. There has been no problems as far as I am aware. If you know how to use paths in a Command Line Interface then do a full path do the file (- the drive letter) and you should be fine. If you don't know CLI path then what are you doing trying to get employed as a programmer? .

Remember though, HTML sometimes only likes paths with '/' instead of the '\' (for all you DOS nuts out there.. I am one of 'em ). This is 'coz the Internet was originally built off 'NIX machines.

Hope thats all you need


-Chris Bennett ("Insanity" of Dwarfsoft)

Check our site:
http://www.crosswinds.net/~dwarfsoft/
and our eGroup:
http://www.egroups.com/group/dwarfsoft

Edited by - dwarfsoft on June 29, 2000 7:06:32 AM
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