I want to start by saying I have read most of the 'sloperama faq' and have spent a few months working on 'changing gears' so I have done my homework .
I am 22, and have a bachelors in Electrical Engineering. Long story short, I just don't have interest in EE What. So. Ever. I started down the engineering path because I knew I loved problem solving, and I work very well under extreme pressure.
I've played games since before I can remember. I still have my Vectrex sitting next to me that I played before my family could afford an NES or SNES. To be quite honest the only reason I didn't pursue game design was because I was afraid the job market would be too overloaded with others going after the same job... so I went for something else I felt I was good at, engineering.
Anyway, onto my questions;
I have a full time job in Buffalo NY, an apartment, and bills to pay. I know the faq says I need to move to where the jobs are, but realistically right now I can't. I have money saved up, and can pay to move myself, is there anyway to make this 'known' in a resume or cover letter without it seeming strange, or being looked over. Is it even worth mentioning?
Secondly, and most importantly, I really want to work in game design mechanics, or possibly level design. I have taken a few C++ classes and I was just never very good at programming. My art skill is quite low, stick figures and basic drawings. However, when it comes to actual design, such as control layouts, traps and powerups, etc, I know I can prove my skill. The problem is of course showcasing my abilities as a newcomer. I need something real to show in my portfolio.
How can I prove my worth? Design documents and one-pagers are nice, but they wont get me a job. I've read "Level Up! The Guide to Great Game Design" and have been working on documents, along with working in the Elder Scrolls Creation Kit (I have a major preference for RPGs of any sort).