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tigertheory

Salvaging a portfolio

3 posts in this topic

Hi guys,

First off, I want to apologize for posting a third thread in such a short timespan, but I got some really great feedback on the first two threads and I figured one more couldn't hurt too much. Thank you to frob and Hodgman for responding so promptly. I hope to see more replies in those threads before they are finished, particularly the resume thread.

 

This post is sort of related to my resume thread, you can critique it here. http://www.gamedev.net/topic/651283-resume-review-breaking-in-from-another-industry/

 

A huge part of getting an industry job is having a portfolio site.

 

I know that mine is not very good. I'm constantly trying to re-do it to look better, flow better, etc. But honestly some days I just feel like scrapping the site and starting over, forgetting about listing any of those projects on it ever again. At the same time, no one ever wants to scrap everything. There's some work in that site. So two questions...

 

1. Is there any project that I can salvage on this website?

2. Is the name/url "tigertheory" detrimental to my job search? AndrewPerrin.net, AndrewPerrin.com and all variations were taken when I first started the site, but I have since checked and believe both of those are now available...

 

Here is my site:

http://www.tigertheory.net

 
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Note that the things I will be stating about your site or pretty much personal and based on what I experienced myself and heard what others prefer.

 

I guess the name of the site is partly a bit of a personal thing and personally. I prefer a real name, or a logical variation (APerrin.com, Perrin.com, etc).

 

- When first entering your site, I could see your name, what you (want to) do and some projects, it gives me the proper information for a first impression, so I would keep it as it is. I'm not really a fan of "blog" portfolio sites, but yours is at least decently represented and not obviously a blog. (the blog thing is a pure personal thing, I see them pretty often but not many people seem to be bothered with it if it is presented well enough) I would also hide the meta stuff.

 

- The tag cloud is something I do not like that much. Where the title states what you're aiming for, the tag cloud throws in some terms that might be related, but also states 3 different disciplines (programming, production, design), this might be confusing.

 

- One of your portfolio items is your first website. I get that you might be proud of it, but I think it's not really adding anything to it in relation to the rest. That would be the first thing I would throw out.

 

- It wasn't clear to me if for some of your project, you worked in a team or not. If you did work with something in a team, clearly state your role in it and what you did for the project.

 

- In happy hour, you're stating some negative things about GameSalad, rightfully so or not, it's not something I would put in there. You can however state some of the limitations and how you managed to work around that.

 

- In general, don't let people wade through walls of text, but provide them with a list of things in such a way that they immediately see what you did and how you did it. If it sparked an interest, they could read the text.

 

I'm sure there's always room for more improvement, but I think it's on the right track. :)

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Note that the things I will be stating about your site or pretty much personal and based on what I experienced myself and heard what others prefer.

 

I guess the name of the site is partly a bit of a personal thing and personally. I prefer a real name, or a logical variation (APerrin.com, Perrin.com, etc).

Agreed. I recently bought AndrewPerrin.com and I'm re-working the site

 

- When first entering your site, I could see your name, what you (want to) do and some projects, it gives me the proper information for a first impression, so I would keep it as it is. I'm not really a fan of "blog" portfolio sites, but yours is at least decently represented and not obviously a blog. (the blog thing is a pure personal thing, I see them pretty often but not many people seem to be bothered with it if it is presented well enough) I would also hide the meta stuff.

I think I'm going to hide the blog on the new site, and only make it visible if I've written something I really care to show.

 

- The tag cloud is something I do not like that much. Where the title states what you're aiming for, the tag cloud throws in some terms that might be related, but also states 3 different disciplines (programming, production, design), this might be confusing.

Well the truth is I'm not 100% sure exactly what I want to do yet, so while the title said "Technical Designer," I'm trying to be well-rounded enough to do multiple jobs. Clearly, when working on personal projects, we have to wear multiple hats. I'm just trying to show all my hats. I haven't found a good way to do this without making myself look unfocused, yet. On the new site, I'm just going to put "Andrew Perrin - Game Development" instead of listing "Andrew Perrin - Designer" or "Andrew Perrin - Programmer" or something like that.

 

- One of your portfolio items is your first website. I get that you might be proud of it, but I think it's not really adding anything to it in relation to the rest. That would be the first thing I would throw out.

Agreed. It's not going on the new site.

 

- It wasn't clear to me if for some of your project, you worked in a team or not. If you did work with something in a team, clearly state your role in it and what you did for the project.

The only team project was Daycare Disaster, and the other team members names are in the Credits document. I'll make that one more clear, though. Good call.

 

- In happy hour, you're stating some negative things about GameSalad, rightfully so or not, it's not something I would put in there. You can however state some of the limitations and how you managed to work around that.

Agreed.

 

- In general, don't let people wade through walls of text, but provide them with a list of things in such a way that they immediately see what you did and how you did it. If it sparked an interest, they could read the text.

I don't find 2 or 3 sentence paragraphs to be walls, but I'll try to limit my use of them, I guess? I'm not really sure how to explain what I did without using sentences, though.

Edited by tigertheory
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Well the truth is I'm not 100% sure exactly what I want to do yet, so while the title said "Technical Designer," I'm trying to be well-rounded enough to do multiple jobs. Clearly, when working on personal projects, we have to wear multiple hats. I'm just trying to show all my hats. I haven't found a good way to do this without making myself look unfocused, yet. On the new site, I'm just going to put "Andrew Perrin - Game Development" instead of listing "Andrew Perrin - Designer" or "Andrew Perrin - Programmer" or something like that.

 

I would advice to know what you want before you "put yourself out there", I don't think a "well I like all aspects of game dev, but I'm not sure what I want" will be the best thing to say in an interview.

 

With that being said. You should probably also take a look at the requirements at several companies that have your interest. There is nothing wrong with having experience on multiple terrains, but not every company is looking for a "jack of all trades, master of none". Now I don't mean to imply you are, but that could be a message you are sending off.

 

I think it's better to say "Hey I'm a designer with knowledge about programming/art/something" and all it's variations.

 


I don't find 2 or 3 sentence paragraphs to be walls, but I'll try to limit my use of them, I guess? I'm not really sure how to explain what I did without using sentences, though.

Didn't mean to imply you had walls of text :P and I don't think you should take them away, but supply a bullet overview of what you have done, or points of interest so the person looking over your projects doesn't have to read the details, which some might not even bother with (this depends of course on a person to person basis), but can skim over the points and if it does interest them, provide them with a few paragraphs as details.

 

Kind of like:

 

project:

  • OpenGL
  • C++
  • 5 man team
  • Multiplayer (Online)
  • 1 year

What I did:

  • Programming lead
  • Gameplay
  • *implementation detail*

Overview:

This project was made... *insert a few paragraphs here*

 

 

This way, a person can quickly go over your projects, know exactly what you did with what in a very short time. Should that person be interested, he/she can always read the details should he/she desire.

 

Of course the above is just an example, this is how I personally do it on my portfolio and I heard it was found pleasant, but there are more ways leading to rome :) 

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