In another of today's main Gamasutra features, game recruitment veteran Marc Mencher points out: "These days, to get a new job in the game industry, you must have a demo no matter which career track you choose as a focus", and lays out key tips for designer, programmer and artist portfolios.
When discussing different demonstratable skill sets for game and level designers, Mencher imparts the following wisdom:
"The trick is to clearly show and communicate your abilities in the area you intend to focus your career. For example, if you strive to be a full game designer, what most game companies expect you to demonstrate -- outside of good communication skills -- is your ability to generate clearly understandable design documents, diagrams, and AI designs. And you should be able to pace out the gameplay throughout the entire game, keeping the player engaged, excited, and not frustrated.
Similarly, if you desire is to be a level designer or world builder, you should be able to not only show levels you created in the area you are seeking employment, but also an ability to walk your prospective employer through each of your levels, explaining why you designed it the way you did. Don't be afraid to talk about how you altered your designs to fit a game engine or game hardware restrictions. That information is very impressive. Show and share it!"
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject
, including more on Mencher's top tips to be well-received by possible employers (no registration required, please feel free to link to this article from external websites).