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Zido_Z

Building a Portfolio

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It's funny, but I never actually figured out what types of things to put into a video game portfolio to show to future jobs in the game industry. I mean, I have made a couple of games thus far as a programmer, mainly for self study. I know what an art portfolio needs, being half artist, too, but I never questioned what types of things to show in a computer programmer portfolio. I'm 24, and I've yet to get my degree due to financial difficulties in getting through college. But I've been keeping my own education up and have been looking for ways to get into the industry if I end up not being able to get my degree, or having to delay it if I do land a good entry job. Unfortunately, from my research, employees won't even look at me without either a degree or a portfolio to show for it. And I have a feeling that the latter will have to be pretty good to grab attention equal to that of a degree. Having both would be awesome, but not by my situation.

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From what I understand, you can do the following for your portfolio:
[list=1][*]Create Complete Games & Game Mods[list=1][*]

Look online for teams to join. You can get together with a group to either make an amazing mod of an existing game or create one from scratch. Make sure that you're able to share the source code (or samples) with future employers before agreeing to join a team.[*]Create what you want to create at home now. Start doing what you want to do in the industry. If you want to be a DirectX Graphics programmer, create a game/mod that shows off SSAO or something. If you want to be a gameplay programmer, grab Unity3d & start going to town.[/list][*]Tech demos. Things that show off that you know the theory. Perhaps a complex animation system or a great pathfinding system. If you are able to implement it in a complete polished game, that's better.[*]Extremely Useful tools. Level editors. 3D model importers.[/list]When your able to tell an employer that you develped one of the above, they need to be able to quickly pull up the source code & be able to know what you did. So make a great, easily navigatable website that they can access.

If you need to have it available at expos, you can either have screenshots available (along with your website) or a computer tablet to show off what you've done quickly.

You also need to be familiar with your stuff to answer pointed questions. Last year, I created my online portfolio that contained a complete game with some solid 3D graphics ideas. I got an interview with a mid-sized company in California. The developer was impressed with the gameplay video enough to download the source code & try it. When we interviewed, he asked me how I would implement a specific block of code better (make it more efficient). I couldn't remember what I had done and froze. I never heard from them again.

Anyways, I hope that helps.

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[quote name='dbgamer' timestamp='1310342532' post='4833525']
From what I understand, you can do the following for your portfolio:
[list=1][*]Create Complete Games & Game Mods[list=1][*]

Look online for teams to join. You can get together with a group to either make an amazing mod of an existing game or create one from scratch. Make sure that you're able to share the source code (or samples) with future employers before agreeing to join a team.[*]Create what you want to create at home now. Start doing what you want to do in the industry. If you want to be a DirectX Graphics programmer, create a game/mod that shows off SSAO or something. If you want to be a gameplay programmer, grab Unity3d & start going to town.[/list][*]Tech demos. Things that show off that you know the theory. Perhaps a complex animation system or a great pathfinding system. If you are able to implement it in a complete polished game, that's better.[*]Extremely Useful tools. Level editors. 3D model importers.[/list]When your able to tell an employer that you develped one of the above, they need to be able to quickly pull up the source code & be able to know what you did. So make a great, easily navigatable website that they can access.

If you need to have it available at expos, you can either have screenshots available (along with your website) or a computer tablet to show off what you've done quickly.

You also need to be familiar with your stuff to answer pointed questions. Last year, I created my online portfolio that contained a complete game with some solid 3D graphics ideas. I got an interview with a mid-sized company in California. The developer was impressed with the gameplay video enough to download the source code & try it. When we interviewed, he asked me how I would implement a specific block of code better (make it more efficient). I couldn't remember what I had done and froze. I never heard from them again.

Anyways, I hope that helps.


[/quote]

Hi dbgamer, can you give us a link where we can see the game that got you the interview. I really want to see what kind of quality game I need to make to catch an employer's attention.

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[quote name='hchan4155' timestamp='1310347736' post='4833549']
Hi dbgamer, can you give us a link where we can see the game that got you the interview. I really want to see what kind of quality game I need to make to catch an employer's attention.
[/quote]


Sure. [url="http://mynameismatt.net/portfolio/"]http://mynameismatt.net/portfolio/[/url]

I'd like you to note that it's not a true representation of what I'm doing now, but the idea was it was a simple 3D DirectX programmed game.


It was enough to get me an interview, but in retrospect, it probably shouldn't have. It was pretty sloppy with some borrowed code. Some of it doesn't even really work. It's kind of embarrassing.

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