Games Design Portfolio Advice

DESIGN_BANNER_small_with_boarderIf you’re applying for games designer jobs, a portfolio is essential because it helps to show a potential employer where your strengths lie and what skills and techniques you possess.

With that in mind; we’ve come up with our top Dos and Don’ts for games designer portfolios. You can find our top tips for games designer demo reels here.

*Don’t forget; if you are looking for games designer jobs, our jobs board is full of great vacancies – take a look today.*

 

DO:

Position Your Strongest Work At The Front:

A lot of the time, when reviewing candidate applications, a hiring manager will only have a limited amount of time to look at a portfolio, so it’s always a good idea to place your strongest work which you can talk confidently about at the very front. Why? Because this way you’ll ensure it definitely gets seen – and you’ll know that should an employer ask you about them at an interview (which they more than likely will!), you’ll have the confidence to discuss them professionally and not get tongue-tied.



Include Relevant Work To That Particular Studio:

The games industry is extremely competitive so you need to do everything you can to make your portfolio relevant to the studio or development house you’re applying to. For instance, if you’ve got lots of experience with high-poly 3D models – but the studio you’re applying to doesn’t make those sorts of games, it might be worth re-jigging your portfolio to include more relevant projects and models. Remember – you want to show that you’re a relevant designer and you already have the skills and experience that they’re looking for.

Include A Variety of Relevant Work:

Whatever type of role you’re applying for, it’s always worth including a variety of relevant work. For example, if you’re applying for a level designer role, be sure to include examples of levels in all genres eg. sci-fi, realistic, stylised, fantasy etc – or if you’re applying for a content designer job, be sure to include a variety of items you’ve created across a range of games – and don’t forget to include a bit of context to explain to an employer just what they’re looking at.

Link To Your Online Portfolio:

When it comes to games designer portfolios, it’s always a good idea to build an online portfolio and link to it from your offline portfolio. Why? Because sometimes your work won’t have the same impact offline. Whatever platform you choose to host your portfolio on, be sure to keep the design clean and ensure it’s easy to navigate – for example, you could group work together from similar titles or similar genres.

 

DON’T:

Forget About UX:

User experience is a large part of games design – so you need to ensure you apply the same principles to your portfolio. Make sure your portfolio has a clear journey and is easy to navigate, both on and offline. Also, don’t forget to include your contact details at the start and end of your portfolio, just in case it somehow gets separated from the rest of your application.

Include Unfinished Pieces/Pieces You’re Not Entirely Happy With:

There’s a lot of talk in the industry about whether you should or shouldn’t include unfinished projects in your portfolio but, just like pieces you’re not entirely happy with, we’d urge you to leave them out for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the unfinished pieces you include might not represent your skills and talent as a designer in general and they could suggest that you lack the drive and commitment to complete projects. And secondly, if you include pieces which you only class as ‘OK’, you risk reducing the quality of your portfolio as a whole – and casting doubt on your suitability as a candidate.

Show Off Extra Skills & Techniques:

At the end of your portfolio, particularly your online portfolio, there’s no harm in including projects which show off any extra skills or techniques you have – for example, illustration or photography. This shows to a potential employer that you’re multi-talented and possess extra skills which might come in handy later down the line if they employ you.