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Amperian

Portfolio: Unity/Unreal vs custom engine

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Hi. I'm a recent college graduate who is currently working on building my portfolio. I've read a lot about what goes into a strong portfolio, but I still have one question: do hiring managers specifically look for game demos made "from scratch," using DirectX/OpenGL, custom physics, etc, or would Unity/Unreal games carry the same weight?

I'm happy to do either or both. I mostly just want to know which looks better in a portfolio. I guess that probably depends on the company and whether they are using Unity/Unreal or not, but I wanted to seek out advice before spending the next few months making a game that might not help my portfolio.

Thanks for any replies!

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I'm assuming you mean for an engineering position. Depends on both the particular person hiring and the exact job you're looking for. But overall, what I would say is that people are looking for ability. Whatever demonstrates that ability best is what counts. A half working demo mish-mashed together from scratch does not do that. A gorgeous UE based demo mish mashed together from samples and library shaders also does not do that. Apart from that - if I'm hiring someone to be an engine programmer, I expect them to have programmed engines. If I'm hiring someone for higher level logic, game code, etc then that doesn't really matter so much. 

For what it's worth, you'll find a lot of advice saying that you have to present something "polished" and in recent times I'm of two minds on that issue. I know a lot more people who really want to see code up on GitHub, see interesting technical work that is well thought out and executed beginning to end, than people who have spent inordinate amounts of time making nice menus and junk.

Also mandatory reading: 

Edited by Promit

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Thanks for the reply! And yes, I forgot to mention it was for engineering positions. It's good to hear that neither is really frowned upon as long as the content is polished and impressive. I'll probably start out with something on Unity, then, just from familiarity so I can spend more time polishing the gameplay experience and presentation. 

 

Thanks again for the input!

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