• Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  

How beneficial can personal projects be?

This topic is 732 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

As far as applying for jobs, how beneficial is it to have a long list of personal, playable projects? Should I be aiming to make a large collection of projects that demonstrate a wide range of different genres, styles and mechanics? 

 

Thanks a lot for any help :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

As far as applying for jobs, how beneficial is it to have a long list of personal, playable projects? Should I be aiming to make a large collection of projects that demonstrate a wide range of different genres, styles and mechanics? 

 

Thanks a lot for any help smile.png

Not genres, styles and mechanism are important but showing understanding, knowledge and skill or just passion. I think , that some demos demonstrating skills in game design, visual rendering or AI behavior would be better. E.g. are you able to write a basic deferred rendering engine, a basic client-server, a balanced eco mini-game, some AI entities do some interesting stuff. On top of this you can try to create some over-the-top demos, implementing a more complex and modern rendering approach, solving some hard AI problems etc.

 

Game mechanism and genres might be useful for game designers only.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Companies generally won't care unless those personal project games are big and/or profitable.  They will overlook it if you do not have experience.

 

Source: 6+ years in the game/software engineering field.  YMMV of course.

 

Shogun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The details of what you have done impact your options differently, in part based on your location on the globe.

Having a portfolio of completed project is generally essential if you don't have a college degree. Generally if you have the degree then it becomes less essential, but still serves as evidence that you can do the job as well as evidence of passion toward the field.

Also, you don't compete in a vacuum. Your job application is compared against others at the same company. If you seem to have the skills needed for the job and are the best of the applicants, you are likely to get the job. Even if you have the skills you may not have interviewed as well, or may not have had as good of a presentation, or perhaps anther person had some social connections or relationships that you didn't.

As for the content, I prefer complete games showing you can survive the full process over small tech demos that are not complete games, but both of them compare favorably to not having anything at all. Both demonstrate interest and passion. How you present it to me matters as well. Where you choose to direct my attention and how you choose to discuss obvious flaws are important details about you as a person, and they are unique to you.

Having the collection of personal projects can be a great help, but may not get you the job. Remember nothing guarantees you the job you want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember nothing guarantees you the job you want.

 

Not even credentials, interestingly enough. I would say that your portfolio is fairly important. I've come across plenty of job postings that not only require a degree but also a portfolio that manifests your demonstrable skills. Nothing says that you can do mobile development better than a published app on Google Play, right? Actions do speak louder than words at times.

 

A resume says that you can do the job. A portfolio shows that you have done the job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A resume says that you can do the job. A portfolio shows that you have done the job.

 

I'd say the opposite for programmers.  The resume is the actual work history, a portfolio is typically hobby work rather than professional.

 

Game programmer portfolios tend to only exist at the entry level, after that a list of completed game credits is far more impressive than a hobby demo.

 

And sometimes a portfolio demonstrates that a person cannot do the job being filled.  I've seen too many of those. I can thank them for showing me their work, it makes it easier to reduce the applicant pool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

A resume says that you can do the job. A portfolio shows that you have done the job.

 

 I'd say the opposite for programmers.  The resume is the actual work history, a portfolio is typically hobby work rather than professional.

 

Game programmer portfolios tend to only exist at the entry level, after that a list of completed game credits is far more impressive than a hobby demo.

 

And sometimes a portfolio demonstrates that a person cannot do the job being filled.  I've seen too many of those. I can thank them for showing me their work, it makes it easier to reduce the applicant pool.

 

Hmm...  Cant find selective quote here.. anyway...

 

You tag the portfolio with hobby, then by default belittle anything presented to you therein as junior - Kind of typical of the industry gurus, but that can't be right. In fact I believe a solo-completed project should be more highly rated because you completed all the mechanics of the project without any help. It means you know your stuff thoroughly. As long as you can also demonstrate you can work well in a team 

 

Don't tag a solo completed project as hobby and then belittle it, that's unfair.  Or maybe you are saying the challenges of a solo project can't match that done within a company - well I think that's an illusion.

 

If someone A  completes a project and says that was his project with an indie company, you tag it with professional and rate it high - he gets the nod

If someone B completes exactly a similar project but says he worked on it at home, you tag it with hobby and that's it - he's too junior, he probably can't do the job. 

 

... which is why i think it's an illusion 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't tag a solo completed project as hobby and then belittle it, that's unfair.  Or maybe you are saying the challenges of a solo project can't match that done within a company - well I think that's an illusion.

 

 

If someone A  completes a project and says that was his project as with an indie company, you tag it with professional and rate it high - he gets the nod

If someone B completes exactly a similar project but says he worked on it at home, you tag it with hobby and that's it - he's junior, he probably can't do the job. 

 

... which is why i think it's an illusion 

 

 

I can agree with this.

 

 

 

A resume says that you can do the job. A portfolio shows that you have done the job.

 

I'd say the opposite for programmers.  The resume is the actual work history, a portfolio is typically hobby work rather than professional.

 

Game programmer portfolios tend to only exist at the entry level, after that a list of completed game credits is far more impressive than a hobby demo.

 

And sometimes a portfolio demonstrates that a person cannot do the job being filled.  I've seen too many of those. I can thank them for showing me their work, it makes it easier to reduce the applicant pool.

 

 

When you work on a project at a company, the results do not accurately display your own ability because you were part of a team frob. Everyone contributed. Having a portfolio is a means of isolating your own abilities and showing your own work, not the work of your teammates as a manifestation or extension of your own. I feel that your logic is unsound in your evaluation of potential candidates.

 

In any case, a resume will always be a resume. It's a document with words that say you can do or have done something. It doesn't have to be true, and we have all seen examples of individuals who are not truthful in their accomplishments. That is the main reason why many companies now require the candidate to write an algorithm, submit a code sample, or something of the like during the interview. On the other hand, I have seen examples of individuals who have even a Masters degree but cannot perform on the same level as someone who has years of practical experience.

 

Actions will always speak louder than words. That is not my opinion, but a fact. I can tell you that I built a castle, or I can show you a castle that I have built.

 

Focusing solely on words is a somewhat dated methodology of selecting the best candidate. This portion is indeed my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the castle analogy, I'd prefer the reverse.

 

Give me a resume that shows a long list of castles they helped design. I can use my own knowledge to decide the quality of that work.  If they list being in charge of high-profile castles that have survived many raids, or helped design the emperor's fortress, I can consider that. If they list several castles and I know they were all repeatedly captured and difficult to defend, I can consider that as well.

 

I much prefer that over a bunch of pictures showing small work of unknown quality that have never been explored in depth.  A portfolio showcasing a castle-maker's skills may show me a beautiful throne room or a remote structure that has never seen conflict, but I would wonder how the castle would survive an onslaught of siege engines, battering rams, and scaling ladders.

 

 

Of course I would prefer both, but if I am only shown one or the other, I'll take the documented history of successes over the portfolio showcasing eye candy that may not stand up well to the real world brutalities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement