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Lazy Foo

Constructing my portfolio

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So I'm getting ready to finish my BS in Computer Science and I'm wanting to get a "real" game development job. While I did get a job making an App for a friend of a friend who was publishing a book, I'm looking to get an actual industry job. My ultimate goal is to get into design/production.

So things I'm looking to show off:
-The app I developed
-The 2D physics engine I did for an independent study course.

So should I put more focus on the completed app (which is fairly simple from a software engineering perspective) or the physics engine (which is more technically advanced, but not a complete game).

How do I show them off? Screenshots? UML diagrams? Source code?

What other skills should I look to show off? I was heavily involved in student organizations and wrote constitions/bylaws for 3 different organizations. Should I show them off to demonstrate my project management philosiphies or will people just think it's fluff?

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I think there are multiple ways for you to get into your ultimate goal. A friend of mine (and you can read multiple stories on the internet from others) went from QA, Community managers and whatnot to a somewhat design stage. From what I've read here and there, producers mostly grow out from experience (programmers, artists, etc). I'm not an industry veteran, so don't take my word from it.

I also keep hearing that if you want to be a designer or producer, you'll have a tough job at the start because no one wants a junior to touch their million dollar project. This is most likely for mostly the case for big companies, and might be less strict for smaller ones, but perhaps someone with more experience on that field can give a better answer.

As for showing stuff off on you your portfolio. I don't see any reason why you shouldn't show both of them off. The things you do need take into consideration is that you have to set an aim for yourself. Apparently, you're a programmer so keep your focus on that. Try to get a job as a programmer and learn your way up to design and/or production. It's probably the easiest way for you. Show what you can do, what you did. There is no reason not to include both your projects. Show your best work, don't try to put in design documents that might be half arsed written, it will only put people off.

How to show them? You're trying to sell yourself, show them what they want to see. Show them how your stuff works. You have a game in the appstore you're trying to sell, it is somewhat the same principle, except that now you need to sell yourself and not the product, give a small overview of what you did on the project. I think there are plenty of portfolios around you can take a look at (check mine, so far people seem to like it).

Also take a look at what this guy says, it might be more for artists, but the general idea still stands: http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39516

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1. So things I'm looking to show off:
-The app I developed
-The 2D physics engine I did for an independent study course.
So should I put more focus on the completed app (which is fairly simple from a software engineering perspective) or the physics engine (which is more technically advanced, but not a complete game).

2. How do I show them off? Screenshots? UML diagrams? Source code?

3. What other skills should I look to show off?

4. I was heavily involved in student organizations and wrote constitions/bylaws for 3 different organizations. Should I show them off to demonstrate my project management philosiphies


1. I assume "put more focus on" means "put higher on the portfolio list." The physics engine is more game-applicable, so it should be listed before the app. But this is not nearly a good enough portfolio. You need to make a game portfolio.

2. Yeah, all those things should be available on your portfolio site.

3. You say you want to get into design, maybe project management. So you should do some design-oriented work, some project management stuff. The thing is to show that you can do the job you want to do, and that you don't only do it because a teacher tells you to. FAQ 12 lists some ideas for portfolio-oriented things you can do.

4. You can make that a line on your cover letter, or (only if your resume is a bit thin) a line in your resume. It's nice that you did that, but nobody wants to see the documents you wrote -- nobody's going to be looking for a constitution writer.

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1. I assume "put more focus on" means "put higher on the portfolio list." The physics engine is more game-applicable, so it should be listed before the app. But this is not nearly a good enough portfolio. You need to make a game portfolio.


Actually, the App is a game. The game is a memory card game (see sig) so it was fairly simple from a technical aspect. My question here: do I want to put more focus on the simple yet complete published project or the complex but not a full game project?

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IMHO I see lots of stuff that shows you can hack together a project, but not much that shows that you can design or produce. These are generally very different disciplines than just writing some projects by yourself - although ability to ship product is obviously a great start.

I'd be interested in seeing more about what kind of team-leading you've done and how you've coordinated difficult projects across at least half a dozen developers if at all possible (on the production side) and more about how you design and think about games (on the design side). As it stands you have a passable entry-level programmer's lineup but nothing that jumps out and says you'd be a good hire as a designer or producer.

Just my tuppence.

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My question here: do I want to put more focus on the simple yet complete published project or the complex but not a full game project?


Instead, do a third project, and put more focus on that. Then do a fourth one, and put more focus on that (since each project will probably be better than those that went before).

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As it stands you have a passable entry-level programmer's lineup.


Actually that's my immediate goal, with design/production being my eventual goal. I do not expect any company to take a recent graduate for a design/production.

I have a relatively light semester coming before I finish my degree. Anything else I should consider working on before graduation to beef my portfolio?

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You might also consider adding a description/link to your SDL tutorials in your portfolio. They seem to be quite popular.

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You might also consider adding a description/link to your SDL tutorials in your portfolio. They seem to be quite popular.


They'll be on my resume, but all those tutorials are concepts for beginning game programming. I want to show off my more advanced skills.

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