When it comes to putting your games designer demo reel together, it can be hard to know where to start. To help you out, we’ve come up with our top Dos and Don’ts for putting a games designer demo reel together.
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Keep It Short & Sweet:
When it comes to your demo reel, it’s understandable that you’ll want to try and cram as much in as possible to show off your range and depth of work – but it’s important not to go overboard. Why? Because hiring managers in games studios are busy people – so they’re not going to have time to watch a 10 minute demo reel from every candidate. As a rule, we’d advise you to keep your demo reel to a maximum of five minutes – this is long enough to showcase your versatility, but not long enough to bore a hiring manager to death.
Ensure It’s Watchable:
It’s definitely advisable to send your demo reel in on DVD or CD format and ensure each clip plays smoothly and flows well from one clip to another (title screens can help with this). Similarly, you need to ensure you haven’t made any silly mistakes such as using a random codec or another piece of technology which encrypts the files – and means a recruiter will have to download some software before they can watch them. Remember; hiring managers are busy people so if they have issues viewing your demo reel, they’ll more than likely just disregard it, rather than chase you up.
Keep It Focused:
When compiling your demo reel, it’s important to keep it as focused as possible to the role you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying for a job as a level designer, it’s probably not worth including examples of character design because these just aren’t relevant to the role – and probably won’t convince an employer to give you an interview. There’s no harm in including a few examples of your other skills, but we’d advise you to try and keep the majority of your clips focused on the role you’re applying for.
Choose An Inappropriate Soundtrack:
When it comes to games designer demo reels, you need to choose your soundtrack carefully. Why? Because, like it or not, if you choose a soundtrack which is offensive or overly-annoying, it could distract an employer from your demo reel and could cause them to discount you. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to choose a soundtrack which is fairly tame, free of swearing and abusive language – and which won’t get on a prospective employer’s nerves if they have to keep hearing it when they’re replaying your demo reel.
Forget To Include An Accompanying Document:
When submitting your games designer demo reel, it’s a good idea to include an accompanying document to explain exactly what it is that a hiring manager/recruiter is looking at – and what techniques you’ve used/which aspects of the clip you were involved in. Remember; this is your chance to show off your skills and relevancy for the role – so don’t be scared to mention things which you think might be obvious, such as the techniques or platforms you used, because this could be just what an employer is looking for.
Include Work Which Is Protected By An NDA:
If you’ve worked at a rival development house in the past and you’ve completed work under non-disclosure agreements, you need to ensure you don’t include these in your demo reel. Why? Because you don’t have permission to – and if you end up letting the cat out of the bag regards a future title, you could be in big trouble – and there’s a chance you might not have a future in the gaming industry.