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GCG Feature: ‘The Game Design Portfolio: Is There Such a Thing?’

Artists has portfolios. Programmers have sample code. Animators have show reels. What do game designers have? A new feature on GameCareerGuide.com looks at what aspiri
A new feature on sister web site GameCareerGuide.com, “The Game Design Portfolio: Is There Such a Thing?” examines the concept of a game designer portfolio for aspiring designers who have no published game titles to list on their resumes. Being a professor of game design and having previously been in the position to hire fresh-from-college game designers, author Brenda Brathwaite is ripe with ideas for how talented individuals can demonstrate their game-making abilities: “The answer that I ultimately came up with was this: ‘Make games. Any kind of games. Flash games, board games, card games, collectible card games. Use whatever you have at your disposal and make a game out of it.’ Access to hardware and software shouldn't be and isn't an excuse. After all, how many polygons are in the Risk board game? Of all the many, many games I have on my shelf, from Wii titles to Xbox 360 titles to PlayStation 2 stuff, Risk is the one I've been taking down and playing the most. Next, I'm planning to move on to Settlers of Catan. Those two guys that I hired straight out of college weren't hired on the basis of their amazing Unreal level or previous work on a triple-A title. The fact is there are a lot of designers working in the industry today who have neither of those on their resume. Rather, these two designers were hired on the strength of the existing non-commercial games they'd actually made, both digital and non-digital, as well as their amazing enthusiasm for games from a design perspective. This brings me to another point: They wouldn't have been hired on the strength of their design doc. Many times, designers that are frustrated by an inability to program or a lack of artistic skill will instead create a game design document -- usually something in the 250 page range -- that covers every last detail of the game in question. While knowing how to write a solid design document is a great skill to possess (and if you've seen bad ones, you'll agree with me wholeheartedly), it will rarely get you a job.” To read the complete article, visit GameCareerGuide.com.

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