Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
ak11streetballer

A reasonable game demo?

This topic is 3491 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Hey guys, Presently I am in my junior year and am very interested in getting a game programming internship this summer. While creating my resume to be sent to various companies, I found that including an original game demo and some sample code is a great way to showcase my talent. Fortunately, I have been able to create a small game using Torque. Its nothing fancy, but has all the basic elements a complete game should have like - 1. Preloaders 2. Main Menu GUI 3. User Profiles and High Score Tables 4. Particle Effects 5. Power ups 6. Sound effects 6. In game pause menu 7. Graceful Exits It is a 2D platformer game where the character has to go about doing a simple collection of randomly flying around frisbees which will earn the player points. And once the player reaches the final score of 500, he will win and his name will be recorded in the high score table. Also a player has three lives in the game, and losing all of them will result in the player losing the game. I just wanted to know if this will be more than enough to flaunt with my resume? This doubt has cropped up because I have seen guys come up with some very good games, particle effect engines etc. and it all looks really hi fi. What will the recruiters be looking for when they see a game demo? Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
It is better to publish games online. Unless your demo is very impressive, they will just think: "This guy has done his best, and this is all he has managed to make."

But if you describe a published game in your CV and tell how it has about 10000 players or 100000 downloads or that it has active modding community or online highscores and how grateful players donate you $1000 every month, they will at least look into the references you can give on that. Winning some "game of year on the big site X" competitions is very good thing, since it is easy to prove and tells more about your game than a quick play.

Your game sounds like very basic. You had better continue making games and learn by doing. If you want to impress with a single demo, it should have something impressive. Good graphics, good AI or good gameplay. Something that is easy to understand (and be amazed of) during a quick test play. It doesn't even have to have preloader or menu, person who checks 10-50 applications per day might be bored in those 10 seconds he has to wait before being able to play.

Outstanding game idea or plot or anything similar is not necessary, you had better publish those games and win some onlinecompetition with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by ak11streetballer
While creating my resume to be sent to various companies, I found that including an original game demo and some sample code is a great way to showcase my talent. Fortunately, I have been able to create a small game using Torque.

Sounds good. :) Besides that however, it's also a good idea to have a portfolio, or a blog where you showcase some of your creations. It shows how active and skilled you are. So, while we're talking, do you have some screenshots? ;) I think you'll find this article useful.

Quote:
I just wanted to know if this will be more than enough to flaunt with my resume? This doubt has cropped up because I have seen guys come up with some very good games, particle effect engines etc. and it all looks really hi fi. What will the recruiters be looking for when they see a game demo?

You can always do more, that's for sure, but it sounds like a good start. Don't be shy, just send it out. If it's not enough, you can always ask what they found lacking. Not every company is looking for the same anyway. Either way, don't stop here, but continue to create games. Learn from your mistakes, improve as you go.

Oh, two things: showing passion for game-development is always nice, and having solid programming skills is important, for obvious reasons. And a third thing: networking is important. Knowing some people who know some industry people, combined with your passion and skills, can help a lot.


@ville-v: ak11streetballer is looking for a programming internship, not a designer position. The popularity of your games doesn't necessarily indicate that you're a good programmer. I do agree that having insight in the whole development process is a big plus and that having released several games indicates a certain amount of experience though, but from my experience, winning competitions is not at all necessary. Well, it does help with getting your name out there, but I wouldn't call it a hard requirement for getting hired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Captain P
@ville-v: ak11streetballer is looking for a programming internship. -- I do agree that having insight in the whole development process is a big plus and that having released several games indicates a certain amount of experience though, but from my experience, winning competitions is not at all necessary. Well, it does help with getting your name out there, but I wouldn't call it a hard requirement for getting hired.
Using Torque sounds like using GameMaker for me. You can advance to advanced programming by scripting, that is true, but "5 years experience with Torque game engine" isn't exactly what companies look from from a programmer. If you make games with something else than DirectX, C++ or <insert here a term an employer is familiar with>, it is always good to have something to show off.

If I had to choose between two persons, of which first sends portfolio with: "I have just graduated and I want work. Here is demo I just made, and screenshots, and description, and source, and by the way, I just graduated." and another with "I have just graduated and I want work. Here is brief description of games I have programmed with my small indie team and published during last 5 years, oh and this one was third in the game of year competition at thedailywtf.com." If the demo was really breathtaking, I could hire the former person if he sounds fitting in the interview, no matter it is the only project he can mention about. If not, is it hard to guess which person would have a new job?

That is what I meant when I said "Your game sounds like very basic. You had better continue making games and learn by doing. If you want to impress with a single demo, it should have something impressive."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ah, I get your point. Yes, a single demo isn't much, and experience with C++ is pretty much a requirement (although that does depend on the company and the platforms they're developing for).

Still, that shouldn't stop someone from trying. Of course, you need to continue to develop your skills, but there's the danger that you're always keeping things to yourself, afraid of it 'not being enough'. After all, by sending out a demo you still have a better chance of getting an internship than if you don't send out anything. This article gets that point across pretty well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well yeah it is a pretty basic game, but doesn't the programming matter more? Will the recruiters base their selection on how good the game idea is or how good the programming is for a programming internship? Also, what kind of small demos can I create to impress? Could you give me some kind of ideas to get me started?

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Show what you've done, it doesn't matter if it isn't that great. It's still going to be a lot better than having nothing to show.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Codexus
Show what you've done, it doesn't matter if it isn't that great. It's still going to be a lot better than having nothing to show.


As someone that reviews resume for a game company from time to time I can say that a bad demo looks worse then no demo at all. This is from my point of view and I definitely don't represent all the other game companies out there.

For the original poster, if you're looking into a game play position try to focus on a single game play element and do it very well. The level of polish should be at the professional level, after all we game developers are hiring you for a position as a professional developer even if it is at the internship level. I gave this advice to someone else the other day - look at a game that has a game play element that you like and then implement it yourself and improve on it.

Some idea's possibly
- a very simple game that has one attack move but that attack move takes skill to master and is really fun! For example, maybe it could be some running/throwing a spear w/ a constant stream of enemies approaching.
- a one person navigation with a second agent that follows you around - implementing this correctly with polish takes a lot of work but if you do it well it will impress
- a set of ai agents that work as a team to accomplish some goal..

The above points are small and focused but allow for a high level of polish. In my opinion you should pick something small that has a very narrow focus and make it as awesome as possible.

Take care and good luck!
-= Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey David,

Thanks alot for that great advice. It kind of narrows down things for me now. I now know how to go about thinking of ideas to build. What game engine would you reccomend for me to make a demo? Presently, I am fluent in Torque. Not worked with 3D a lot but am very comfortable with 2D games. Should I use Torque or something else?

Also how many game demos should I create? I don't have a website at present to upload my work and time is neither on my side. I guess having more demos is much better, but will one do too?

Lastly I am also trying to apply for internships in firms creating games for the iPhone. I dont have a Mac at present, but I am learning Objective C so that I can code using the iPhone SDK. Would it be necessary to create sample games in the SDK to show those companies or would my PC game demo be sufficient to give them an idea of my skills?

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by ak11streetballer
Hey David,

Thanks alot for that great advice. It kind of narrows down things for me now. I now know how to go about thinking of ideas to build. What game engine would you reccomend for me to make a demo? Presently, I am fluent in Torque. Not worked with 3D a lot but am very comfortable with 2D games. Should I use Torque or something else?

Also how many game demos should I create? I don't have a website at present to upload my work and time is neither on my side. I guess having more demos is much better, but will one do too?

Lastly I am also trying to apply for internships in firms creating games for the iPhone. I dont have a Mac at present, but I am learning Objective C so that I can code using the iPhone SDK. Would it be necessary to create sample games in the SDK to show those companies or would my PC game demo be sufficient to give them an idea of my skills?

Thanks!


If you want to be an iPhone developer then start developing iPhone games. Pretty simple. I am not an iPhone developer so I can't give you any more advice then if I were one I would want to hire someone with iPhone experience. Though, sufficient low level experience and console games experience would suffice, for me. Take this advice with a grain of salt.

If you want to be a game play programmer in the console/pc market then yes you definitely need 3d experience. A good understanding of 3d gameplay is crucial and you wouldn't make it through many interviews with out it. If you aren't very comfortable with 3d mathematics I suggest you take the free online course at MIT by professor Strang. I don't have any recommendations with any engines to use but if you are comfortable with torque then use it I don't see any problem and it wouldn't bias my opinion on hiring a gameplay programmer on what engine they used.

As far as how many demo's you need - it doesn't matter. One good demo is enough as long as its really good. Two demo's are also great as long as their both really good. Just remember, two good demo's is worse then one great demo. Try to keep it focused and try to keep it polished at the professional level.

-= Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!