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[Portfolio Related] What kind of a game should I make to get hired?

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Hey guys, I'm halfway through my third year at a Game School in Tokyo. My job hunting process starts soon.

The way job hunting works here is everyone makes a project/game/tool(game related) and then present it to the game studios/game companies.

Here's a few things that I wanted to ask:

  • What kind of a game could I make that'd be a solid one and get me hired? I want to showcase good C++ knowledge and Direct X(which they teach us at school)
  • Specifically, what features should my game have that could come across as valuable?
  • What are they looking for in fresh graduates?
  • What game features are the industry people looking for? What could I make that'd impress them?

I'd really appreciate your advice/comments/answers

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Make whatever kind of game interests you.  If you are going about this as some kind of checklist of things to try and get a job it will come through on what you make.  They probably aren't looking for anything specific other then you have some kind of passion for games and that you can write clean, easy to follow code.  If you make something that interests you then it will come through.  Making a Tetris clone probably isn't enough but it isn't like you have to write you own complete game engine from scratch either.

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Take this with a grain of salt, because I am not a professional gamedev, but I would think the kind of game you should make is the kind that's playable, or at least demonstrable. 

Technical skills are important, but whether you choose C++ or C# or other; or unreal engine or unity, or you code from scratch; the important thing (I would think) is to have a finished product that someone can play, and that you can talk about in an interview. 

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I think it depends on the type of job you wish to apply for.

wanna be a gameplay programmer? do some really cool gameplay mechanics (like assassins creed style parcour, spiderman style flying, 3rd person shooter cover system, ...). wanna be an AI programmer? do an AI intensive project (RTS ?). wanna do tool programming? make a simple game but with a 'full' (in-game) editor. wanna be a graphics programmer? drop the gameplay and make a techdemo.

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If you want to be hired show that the games you make can earn money. Include some kind of micro transactions that work, it doesn't have to great, it only needs to work.

 

Remember that people want to hire you to profit from your skills and you want to be hired to gain the resources needed to use that skills.

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I'm not acquainted with how things work in Tokyo, but I would suggest emailing a few of those game companies and ask them what will they value in such a project. Unless someone who knows how that process works shows up in the thread, I think that we are mostly shooting in the dark.

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Employers are interested in two major things:

1: Will you do the job well?

2: Will you fit in? (meaning smart, creative, sociable and not young/white)

 

Since you're talking about c++ knowledge I assume your talking of a programming job.  In that case writing some small programs -- ANY small programs, is evidence toward both of those questions.  (If you were an artist then a diverse portfolio answers those questions as well.)

 

At the entry level the best that can be said of a college graduate is that they won't break the build too often and knows the basics of what they're doing, so whatever small projects you do will put you about average or possibly above average for entry level.

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13 hours ago, Smarkus said:

What kind of a game could I make that'd be a solid one and get me hired?

What kind of games are made by the companies you want to hire you? Make that kind.

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On 6/29/2017 at 0:32 AM, Tom Sloper said:

What kind of games are made by the companies you want to hire you? Make that kind.

Okay, But what if I don't get in it? 

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If you dont get into the company, then you dont get in? Apply to other companies using the project from what one, with competition being pretty high in most places for game dev jobs etc there is a fair chance you wont get in to the first job to which you apply.. you mentioned you are in Japan so im not 100% sure how the job market is for game devs out there (last time I looked was like 5 or 6 years ago and it was pretty fierce back then), but in the UK where I'de say expect to apply to minimum 5 - 10 companies, especially since its going for a first job it will likely take a while to get hired.. unless of course youre very skilled, or get lucky.

But really, if you dont get hired, just apply to other companies that do the kind of games you would enjoy working on.. even if the demo isnt the kind of games they tend to make, it still shows your capabilities

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