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lougv22

Tips for game programmer portfolio

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Imo, if I was reading a CV, ideally first I'd want to see stuff on the CV that looked vaguely alright, then a webpage with a list of links to your work, screenshots, videos (e.g. youtube) and download links. Then some code examples, some working projects on github or something, so we could see your coding, be selective and try and show your best work.

As for web builds, yeah sure do one if it does justice to your demo, if not just have the full build link and videos. They will download if interested. Don't email it, no one wants an inbox full of 1000 demos.

I'm not clear on what type of game jobs you are applying for, I'm assuming using unity and c#? There is a distinction here between applying for a job using high level language and a pre-existing engine, and actually writing low level stuff, usually in c++. What language have you been using for your non-game job for 9 years?

Some completed mini-games would be good to show all round ability in any case, but in the case of low level programming especially, you will often be applying for a specialized area (e.g. graphics, AI, sound, tools, networking, animation, physics etc etc), rather than jack of all trades. So in that case you would need to decide on what you want to work on, get good at it, and do some demos of this to show it off.

If you are showing something that is from a previous employer, make sure you have permission, and explicitly say 'by kind permission of blah'. Also make it explicitly clear exactly what you have contributed to anything you mention, don't try and claim credit for other people's work.

Personally although I'd never entertain someone pitching a 'great game idea' (for the legal reasons mentioned earlier as well as many more), I would expect to look at games / demos created by a job applicant. This might vary depending on company policy though.

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8 hours ago, Tom Sloper said:

You shouldn't portfolio all the code for the entire game. Just the code that shows off your good coding habits and the smart solution you used for a particular feature.

Thank you, this is good advice. Should i post the code in question on my portfolio somewhere? Perhaps zip it up and make the file available for download on the portfolio?

 

"Then you should program custom applications yourself just for your portfolio and resume. "

@Rutin,

Unfortunately there simply isn't a time slot where I could fit this. My schedule is very tight, between a full time job, spending time with my spouse, working on my indie game, attending martial arts classes, and making some R&R time for myself so i don't burn out, every hour of every day is spoken for.

Edited by lougv22

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2 hours ago, lougv22 said:

@Rutin,

Unfortunately there simply isn't a time slot where I could fit this. My schedule is very tight, between a full time job, spending time with my spouse, working on my indie game, attending martial arts classes, and making some R&R time for myself so i don't burn out, every hour of every day is spoken for.

Well that's 100% up to you on what you decide to do and how much you're willing to invest to get where you want to go. If I was in your shoes and wanted to change my full-time job to become a game programmer, then I would dump anything that isn't going to help me achieve that goal, even temporally. If working on your indie game is more important than creating your portfolio, and going to martial arts classes, then maybe this isn't something you truly want and will do whatever it takes to achieve. Those willing to prioritize getting their stuff together to remain as competitive as possible will surely be more attractive candidates if all you're able to show is a resume without a portfolio.

At the end of the day you have the option to temporarily place things on hold to work on what really matters. Again, best of luck either way.

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9 hours ago, lawnjelly said:

Imo, if I was reading a CV, ideally first I'd want to see stuff on the CV that looked vaguely alright, then a webpage with a list of links to your work, screenshots, videos (e.g. youtube) and download links. Then some code examples, some working projects on github or something, so we could see your coding, be selective and try and show your best work.

As for web builds, yeah sure do one if it does justice to your demo, if not just have the full build link and videos. They will download if interested. Don't email it, no one wants an inbox full of 1000 demos.

I'm not clear on what type of game jobs you are applying for, I'm assuming using unity and c#? There is a distinction here between applying for a job using high level language and a pre-existing engine, and actually writing low level stuff, usually in c++. What language have you been using for your non-game job for 9 years?

Some completed mini-games would be good to show all round ability in any case, but in the case of low level programming especially, you will often be applying for a specialized area (e.g. graphics, AI, sound, tools, networking, animation, physics etc etc), rather than jack of all trades. So in that case you would need to decide on what you want to work on, get good at it, and do some demos of this to show it off.

If you are showing something that is from a previous employer, make sure you have permission, and explicitly say 'by kind permission of blah'. Also make it explicitly clear exactly what you have contributed to anything you mention, don't try and claim credit for other people's work.

Personally although I'd never entertain someone pitching a 'great game idea' (for the legal reasons mentioned earlier as well as many more), I would expect to look at games / demos created by a job applicant. This might vary depending on company policy though.

That's great advice. Thanks.

My most recent and most extensive experience has been with Unity and C#. That's what I use for my indie game. I also have experience with C++ and Lua, at a game programming job I worked at a few years ago. So both, though my experience and my preference is more in the area of gameplay programming and AI (if you want to consider that a separate discipline from gameplay).

The languages I've been using at non-game jobs are C#, Java, and a variety of Web development ones (raw JavaScript and various JS frameworks, HTML, and so on). I am also fluent with several databases (MS SQL Server, Oracle, etc).

I do have two published games (albeit of the serious games category, i.e. not big AAA titles), a couple of small games I made for fun (and as a learning experience) a while back, a DirectX game-ish animation project, one XNA game project, and my indie game of course, so there should be enough content in my portfolio to demonstrate my skills and experience.

Edited by lougv22

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