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timothyjlaird

top down or bottom up?

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To give you a little background...

I write communications software (mostly c# and c++) for a relatively small company that is used primarily to read historical data from oilfield flow computers and data from PLCs through various protocols. I've done this for about a year and I enjoy the work but graphics have always fascinated me and I would like to do it for a living sometime in the distant future. Over the last months I have been experimenting with 3d graphics via XNA and have mastered some of the basics (rendering terrain, water, camera control, etc.).

My question is...what is the best way to start a portfolio? Would a prospective employer be more impressed by a complete and working game (made with something like a top-down cookie-cutter similar to Unity) or a small clever 3d game (from the bottom up with raw OpenGL, DirectX or XNA)? Based on my short experience writing a 3d game of any size is rather overwhelming...and while I'd gain experience either way I'm not sure how to best use my rather limited time (about 1 hour a day).

Any advice on which direction to take?

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My question is...what is the best way to start a portfolio? Would a prospective employer be more impressed by a complete and working game (made with something like a top-down cookie-cutter similar to Unity) or a small clever 3d game (from the bottom up with raw OpenGL, DirectX or XNA)?


I don't recommend living your life to satisfy other people's expectations. Do whichever one you'd rather do. People get jobs with all kinds of portfolios.

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