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KaushikRangaraj

Portfolio of a Game Designer

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After knowing all about what Game Design (http://www.gamedev.n...ng-game-design/) is and how to break into the Industry (http://www.sloperama...ce/lesson64.htm), thanks to the useful feeds from [color="#1C2837"]
Tom Sloper user_popup.png Zethariel user_popup.png sunandshadow user_popup.png
I am really interested to know what kind of a portfolio is expected from a Game Designer.

I started working on a portfolio of my own and started documenting the general understanding of game physics and the components needed to make a game successful. Then I was asked for a portfolio which exhibits my sketching ability and so I started sketching characters and environments. I was also asked for my game programming ability and so I made simple games in C. As a Game Designer must be able to execute his idea efficiently, I wrote stories and concepts for games and tried implementing them in GameMaker. What is expected from a Game Designer? The question which raised in my mind was that
Is a Game Designer a specialist or a generalist ?

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1. What is expected from a Game Designer?
2. Is a Game Designer a specialist or a generalist ? [/quote]
1. Experience in having designed games.
2. A specialist in game design, who probably has another specialty also (since many designers started the industry in another role).

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1. Experience in having designed games.



Designed a game? I have ideas for games, does designing include furnishing the script, designing characters and levels? or implementing the idea?
I have ambitious projects, they cannot be developed by a single person. How am I to display the talent of designing?

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[quote name='Tom Sloper' timestamp='1299857486' post='4784401']
1. Experience in having designed games.

Designed a game? I have ideas for games, does designing include furnishing the script, designing characters and levels? or implementing the idea?
I have ambitious projects, they cannot be developed by a single person. How am I to display the talent of designing?
[/quote]
"Experience" means "released products with your name listed in the credits."

The question I was answering was "what is expected from a game designer." Do you now wish to change the question, refine the wording of it?

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I'll be the one to crush your dreams, since no one else seems to want to give out a reality check here...

"Designer" is a vague position that offers nothing tangible. No matter what your position is, you're always designing elements of the game. Artists are designing art assets. Sound Engineers are designing sound files. Level Designers are designing levels. Writers are designing stories. Producers are putting their input into all of the above. You can't just say "I want to be a designer" without something marketable.

The position of "sit around and think about ideas for games" does not exist. It just doesn't. Think of how businesses in general work: you get paid for possessing a skill set. The generation of game ideas is not a skill set because everyone in the industry has that skill. Saying "I have good gaming ideas" as a game developer is equivalent to saying "I know how comma's work" as an English writer - it's not a skill, it's a check mark.

You need a skill that's valuable, and you need to prove its value before getting a job. Ideas aren't valuable. There are millions upon millions of ideas out there, and the odds that your game idea is actually the next Angry Birds is literally one out of a billion (and if you really think your idea is the next Angry Birds, why would you give it away for just a salary?)

Here's the point: what do you think your job is, and why can't you do it now? Seriously, imagine who your future boss is, and what tasks he's going to give you, and do them.

To give two brief examples:
- I got a job as a Producer, starting out with systems. For me, I pictured my future boss as someone who wanted UI elements that enhanced system flow, so I went out and made a few World of Warcraft and Warhammer add-ons that did just that. I went through feedback iterations, released them to the public, sent out updated versions, and eventually had the opportunity to show them in an interview to the person who would be my future boss.
- A guy interviewing the same day was interviewing for an artist. He had done the same thing - pictured his future boss who wanted completed art projects using the latest tools that were based on rendered 3d models, so he went out and made them. He then released them to the public to get feedback, incorporated the feedback, and created a very polished portfolio that was truly impressive.

You need a valuable skill. Think in terms of money - what can you do that adds real financial value to a game.

Your portfolio should say "I am worth money because I have a unique skill."

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I don't think he grasps the true freedom and aspect as fellow indie. YOU NEED to OWN your OWN BUSINESS. What do I mean? Make games, market them, sell them. It is ultra easy to get a decent looking game into the online publishers. Why work for someone else and not want to own what you want? Why is it so scary to people? I am a business investor, but I choose games to invest in with various other projects. I learned to model, code, draw, and map design through being self taught and a load of tutorials. Why go 4 years to college to be a wonderful artist or a programmer and not take up all you need to be self dependent? It's fear that grips people, that fear of failure. Is it so great that you want to miss freedom of being a developer for video games? Is selling 200k copies of a indie game on the Internet too far away for you?

I want to let you know that I didn't know squat at first. I simply had the will and thirst to learn and excel. I push myself into it, and I know I will succeed. It's not arrogance, it's confidence and you can be negative all you want, but some positivity is all you need. Yeah, use feedback from the internet, but don't let fear grip you. Do you know that with a little funding under $10K USD you can advertise and market well? You need to learn how to hook people into it, keep it up, and deliver everything and then some of what the players are expecting. Is it really that hard? If so, then I'm doing the impossible.

If you really want to be a indie game developer then do it. With the internet and a little money you can make easy 200k sales on the internet. The only time you fail is if you lack the will to advertise, market, produce (the product), maintain it, and start the project. One step at a time is all you need. Push yourself. Don't quit your day job til the game makes more money than you make in a year. You see indie's crash and burn cuz they lack skill in the advertising and marketing fields. If you are absolutely new and have no clue of what to do, then I suggest using white hat, black hat, and grey hat marketing methods for your game. If you can earn money, then you can spend money to make more. Some ways are even just making agreements with famous websites to cut sales if they pump ads for your game. You think it can't be done? Try it, then come back and post. I may have insight on investments and advertising, but I lacked the game (product). Now, I'm making the product, and I don't care what anyone says other than the feedback that I get from the players themselves.

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1. I don't think he grasps the true freedom
2. and aspect as fellow indie.

1. Who is "he"?
2. I don't understand this part of the sentence.

But the rest of the post is clear enough, and offers much interesting food for thought. However, the topic of this particular forum is Breaking Into the Games Industry. Perhaps I should be openminded to the notion that that can include starting out as an indie developer/publisher, but I usually think of this forum's topic as meaning "getting a job at a[n existing] game company." Many of the members of this website's community do want to start an independent business rather than get a job, but most of the time their questions more properly belong in the Business/Law forum.

This particular thread is about a game designer's portfolio. So I don't know why a dissertation on the wonders of going into business independently was called for here. I guess I'm saying that RedPin's post, while interesting, has veered off the topic of this thread.

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