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what's wrong with my portfolio ?
by Jonathan Jennings on 12/31/11 06:23:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


  Hello my name is jonathan Jennings, i am a  recent game programming graduate  from Devry university seeking employment as a junior developer . Being a new-grad is difficult, i am trying to do research and learn things on my own aftr college and am just trying to improve and solidify my current skillset as a game developer. I rcently had two job interviews in the past two weeks and while both studio heads seemed interestd in me I got a sort of vibe they didn't trust I knew everything i stated I knew on my resume . So in order so that hopefully future interviews will go better I thought I would present my portfolio and lf the professionals of gamasutra  could tell me what I can improve, what my current portfolio says, and what I can do to better demonstrate that I am a worthwhile employee to invest in in the future ?

Here is my portfolio :

I think the issue I find most common is I am asked for code samples when I have a blog that I link to in the portfolio itself with examples of some of my code.  however I know this may not be a problem of the developers themselves but a problem in my own perception. I just am shocked that alongside my work they don't ook at my programming projects as well. is that normal? is just the work on the portfolio just what matters, should i do a better job of advertising my code blog?

any and all help is appreciated I just want to make sure my portfolio is appealing in the correct way and that  If nothing else future employers may be able to look at my code and atleast partially judge my programming based on those small projects I have done thus far .

Also my portfolio is still being built upon. Right now i am interested in researching unity and sharpening my C++ skills so most of my focus on my portfolio and blog has been about those two aspects but for january 2012 I plan on starting a few personal projects to  better show off my own custom scripting abilities.


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Mollie Harms
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My big comment is to clean up your writing. Use caps, proper grammar, and check for spelling. This is a professional site, and your work should reflect that.

Jonathan Jennings
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Thank you Mollie, that is something I agree I definitely need to work on . In the future and in regards to my portfolio I will attempt to make sure I include better use of grammar and correct punctuation . THANK YOU !

Aleksander Adamkiewicz
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A few pointers:

1. make the games download-able, if you want to showcase your code you need to show it in action

2. I would completely remove the "Models and Maps" section because frankly it doesn't look any good. If you are showcasing your work, only showcase your "best", don't put "tests" or "training" in your portfolio.

3. In general - too many screenshots, just keep the eye-catching ones

4. In the Shattered Ties section, you are mentioning that you worked as UI designer primarily and environment artist secondarily, but you do not showcase the UI? (the HUD was made by someone else)

5. In general - you need to put in vital project information on the top of the post. A potential employer immediately what -you- did in the project that is showcased. Also, Behance is a very powerful tool for portfolios if you mod it around a bit, take advantage of it more to give it a bit more flair.

6. Split your gamemaker-games into separate sections for each game, they are eye-catching and look really good, now they waste away on the bottom of the screen. Always put the best looking stuff on top.

7. use the "frame view" for presentation:

8. small gripe, the video in the unity section is incredibly low framerate

In general I'd "hire" a (competent) graphics designer/web designer to design the portfolio (aka beg one to do it for free or a laughable sum) from materials that you provide. I think there is a lot of potential to be gained if you would just organize and downscale the presentation.

Also as a coder or buddying game designer (not sure which way you want to go), I'd talk a bit more about the games, the design-process involved in particular. If a employers eye catches something he likes he will want to know more about it, but will not be bothered to write you an email.

In short, make it -appear- professional. You know exactly where your faults lie in the designs you are showcasing, mask them, yes its not an honest thing to do, but thats how the world works. If you are a 3d modeler and there is a spot on the model that you know has bad texturing, you will not present a screenshot of that region, etc.

You need to find out what you want to focus on in particular, what do you want to showcase? Right now its a jumbled mess of screenshots, I cant really tell if you are trying to showcase your game-design, UI-design, coding?

You can look at my Behance portfolio for comparison if you want, its not perfect, but I think it conveys what I'm trying to say:

Jonathan Jennings
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Thank you Aleksander, wow lots of good info here okay I will definitely consider re-arranging the portfolio as a whole. many postings I see for game developement positions ask for an individual to be well versed in multiple aspects of design but I also see how the need for specialization is important too . thank you so much i am going to take your advice and really look into refocusing my portfolio.