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Need to Build a Great Game Design Portfolio. Presented by Saljack Enterprises. Gaming. Media & Entertainment.

If you’ve ever asked a professional game developer about the steps you need to take to get hired by a game company, they would mention you to build your game design portfolio. Since game making is a challenging and costly endeavor, game studios are very careful about who their hiring. In other words, recruiters want to see more than a degree, certificate or diploma. If you’re confused about whether you need to build a game design portfolio or not, this blog will help you!

The very first question that arises in your mind is, do you need a game design portfolio? If you want to increase your chances of obtaining a job in a good game studio, then, of course, yes! A portfolio is the most effective and easiest way for you to show off the relevant work that you’ve done. Game companies are dedicated to hiring game designers who can confidently explain that they’ve actually done what they are expected to do. By making your portfolio attractive and informative, you give a chance to catch the attention of hiring managers.

How Will a Portfolio Benefit Your Career?

If you have graduated lately and looking to get into the gaming industry, a game design portfolio will help you excessively. The truth is, most game studios want to hire people with expertise, but that doesn’t mean they’ll never pick up fresh graduates. It’s always impressive if the portfolio also has game projects that are done as a hobby or in the spare time. A game design portfolio makes you stand out from the crowd of people applying for game jobs. Whether you have recently graduated from a college or have a few years of experience in this field, potential employers want to see whether you have real-world experience of making games, even if it isn’t at any other game studio.

When compared to other portfolios in the gaming industry, game design portfolios are unique. For example, someone looking for a job as an artist or animator has to cover their portfolio with the images of their work while a game producer or programmer will need video, pictures and reel of their projects and the lists of the game they’ve worked on. A game design portfolio has much more than just videos and pictures. A game designer who has Modding experience or level design can add them to their portfolio so that others can easily see their work. Including links or downloads, can help people actually to play your levels and check them out first-hand. No one reads massive game design documents, but you can include short documents and blogs detailing your relevant experience. Recruiters love designers who can efficiently document their process while building a game, brainstorming rule sets, and solving out problems to design problems.

Studios are fascinated by portfolios that show the person has experience in making games. Like mentioned above, you can include anything related to the game design process from images, videos or links of the games you have worked on. For an overwhelming portfolio, you should talk about your favorite games or explain why you’re good at game design.

Wondering whether a portfolio matters if you only want to work indie?

Independent developers also want to be assured about their next addition to the team. How will you actually fit in and help them make great games? So having a game design portfolio is still vital if you look to make games for an indie dev. Since most indie game designers work remotely and with various teams, a portfolio is a best and the only way to showcase their abilities and experience.

So have you decided to make your portfolio? Tell us your views about building a portfolio in the comments section or tweet us @essjay_ent!

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17 thoughts on “Need to Build a Great Game Design Portfolio

  1. Kadoya Tsukasa says:

    I think resume is important regardless of what job is desired. While I agree that building a strong resume is an edge, honesty is also part of it.

    Like

  2. Kyo Kusagi says:

    The above comment is interesting. However, I think what he is trying to say is do not blow up your resume. In these parts, where jobs are scarse, people are faking things even credentials. Real Talk.

    Like

  3. Killa says:

    Nowadays, portfolios are really what employers need. It doesnt matter if you came from a diifferent school. but for designers, skills are very important.

    Like

  4. Rebi says:

    Yes you really need to show what you got for many employers to hire you. It’s also about experience.

    Like

  5. MC says:

    Building a portfolio is really a great tip for aspiring game designers. Aspiring artists/illustrators need to build their portfolio too. The portfolio is your body of work so you have to build one that can impress your future bosses 😛

    Like

  6. Mau says:

    By building a game design portfolio, not only will you boost your chances of landing your dream job but you’ll also experience how to create games in real life. It’s definitely worth to create one. If I were a recruiter, knowing that the applicant has a portfolio (even without job experience) matters a lot.

    Like

  7. Rain Santos-Ocampo says:

    I remember working in the creative department and we had to hire game designers and the first thing we look at is the portfolio and not necessarily the resume. It’s portfolio and attitude of the applicant.

    Like

  8. Raphael Fabella says:

    Game designing is definitely a very difficult area of work. Making and funding games can take a lot of money, and because of that many game designers get intimidated from doing what they love. But there are also indie game developers that make wonderful games without the help of big AAA companies to help fund their games. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t make a portfolio though, I’m just saying that there are always other ways to do what you love.

    Like

  9. Evan says:

    If you’re planning to work as a game developer making a portfolio should really be a must for you. Having a portfolio also sends a message to your future employer that you are sharp and ready to step up to the tasks of the company.

    Like

  10. Therese Marie Y. Baguio says:

    I agree that a portfolio is a MUST nowadays especially for freelance game designers. Game design portfolios showcase the game designers knowledge and skills in game designing, whereas a resume only list down schools attended as well as experience and description of previous to current employment. With the tight competition of outstanding game designers today, companies will always look into an individual’s skills and experience rather than scholastic achievement.

    Like

  11. Sandra Lane says:

    I think having a formal portfolio not only shows experience, but also a bit of professionalism. It helps you to stand out from the competition as the client will see beforehand that you have the chops to produce, so I agree that it is a good step to take regardless of how you decide to work.

    Like

  12. Victoria says:

    I agree with everyone here, a portfolio is very important! Gone are the days that employers are accepting only referrals and ‘word of mouth’ to agree to use your services. Game design is a very visual field as such all your clients will want to actually see what you can do before agreeing to hire you. What better way to do this than to use a portfolio? Without one, you may end up doing some free work for the client just to build trust, and nobody really wants to spend their time working for free.

    Like

  13. Maury Cheskes says:

    A portfolio sounds like an excellent way to boost your career. It looks way more professional to give your employer visuals than simply talking about your accomplishments in the field. It definitely shows you’ve prepared and demonstrates your skills and experience in a more intricate way than simply writing them down on a resume.

    Like

  14. earlitocash says:

    It’s always good to keep track of all your projects and work places but make sure you pick the right one for that job interview, I mean, some places look for a specific profile and maybe one your project may harm, so i would advice to make the right portfolio for your next interview!

    Like

  15. Ate Lulu says:

    If I were the interviewer, I’d go straight ahead and check the portfolio. Companies want talent and skills and what better way to demonstrate that than through a portfolio of games you made even before you graduated! When you present your portfolio, it’s like saying, “hey this is what I got, am I good enough for your company?”

    Like

  16. Janina says:

    What if I don’t have a portfolio after graduation? Does that mean I have lesser chance of being hired even if I graduated at the top of my class?

    Like

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