If you ask someone in the gaming industry what you need to get a job as a developer, they will likely tell you a game developer portfolio is a necessity. A portfolio allows you to show a potential employer your game designer skills instead of telling them. This will increase your chances of getting a job in a competitive job market.
If you don’t know how to create a portfolio, no need to worry. This article will show you how to make a game developer portfolio with examples. You will also learn tips on what to include in your portfolio and projects you can start with to build your portfolio.
What Is Game Development?
Game development combines art and technology to create games. It involves concept generation, building the game, designing special features, testing the game, and, eventually, releasing the game. Some important things to consider when working as a game developer are the rewards, game mechanics, player engagement, and level design.
Video game developers write code for games that can be played on consoles, PCs, mobile phones, and web browsers. The duties of a game developer include checking design specifications, writing code to bring the concept to life, using APIs to allow different software to interact, programming non-player characters, and programming the terrain of the game.
Do You Need a Game Developer Portfolio?
Yes, you need a game developer portfolio to increase your chances of getting a good job in the industry. A well-curated portfolio is the most effective way to showcase all the great work that you have done. Not having one would put you at a serious disadvantage. Game companies want to employ professionals who can prove what they will deliver as video game designers.
In other careers, you only need to create a good cover letter and a resume to get hired. For game developers, an online portfolio supplements the resume and cover letter. It will give you the opportunity to catch the attention of potential employers. Having an attractive and informative portfolio makes you more memorable and likely to be asked for an interview.
Elements of a Strong Game Developer Portfolio
- Contact page. A strong game developer portfolio must have a contact page. This page is very important as it will make it easier for a prospective client or employer to reach you. Contact details such as a telephone number and email address are essential.
- Resume. A resume can help to provide details of your past experiences as well as highlight your skills that are relevant for the role. A well-organized resume filled with all the relevant information is a must for your portfolio. Research tips on how to write a resume so you can put a good one together.
- Game download link. It is very important that you display your video game design abilities in your portfolio. This will give prospective clients or employers a feel for what you can do for them. You need to provide a download link for a game you have worked on so that your work can be reviewed.
- Feedback or reviews. Potential customers will naturally gravitate to testimonials showing satisfaction from other users. Ask your former colleagues or managers to leave feedback on your page. This will show that you are reliable and can produce high-quality work.
- Demo video of a finished game. You should have a video on your page that shows what your game looks like. A high-quality video with nice graphics can be very appealing. Ensure the video captures every detail, especially the designs. You can leave a short note explaining certain aspects of the game visuals and what aspects you worked on.
How to Make a Game Developer Portfolio
Now that you have learned some of the essential elements that you need to include in your game developer portfolio, it is time to break down some of the steps you need to take to successfully build your portfolio.
1. Choose Your Host
You can find a wide array of sites to host your portfolio on. You don’t need to have strong programming or design skills to make something nice. Another great option if you want something free and relatively flexible is Google Sites. Having web development or coding skills will make it easy for you to build the right portfolio on a variety of platforms.
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2. Add Your Best Work
The purpose of a portfolio is to highlight your best work as a game developer. If you’re a fresh graduate or are just entering the industry, you can jump on low-cost team projects so you can build work experience. If you’re a seasoned professional in the business, ensure to include only the top projects you’ve worked on in your portfolio. Showcase your work through visual media.
3. Add All Relevant Information
As stated above, your contact information is very important and must be in your portfolio. If possible, add it in several different places within your portfolio. Add your email, phone number, and social media handles. A link to your resume or a downloadable file must also be in your portfolio. Other relevant pages like your LinkedIn profile can be added through a link as well.
4. Organize Your Portfolio
Carefully choose a great design to make sure your portfolio looks presentable and is easy to navigate. It’s best to avoid clutter and too many pages. Have just a few pages if possible as this will ensure that your game portfolio is organized neatly and pleasant to look at. A disorganized page will leave a terrible impression and visitors will likely not return.
5. Share Your Page
After you have polished your portfolio, make sure to post it on job boards or community forums that people in the industry visit. Add a link to your portfolio to your LinkedIn page. Also, when applying for a job, ensure you add your portfolio link somewhere in your cover letter if there is not a designated space to add a portfolio in the application.
Game Developer Portfolio Examples
It may not be easy to create a portfolio from scratch, but there are many portfolios for you to model and get inspiration from. We have put together some of the most exemplary game developer portfolios, pointing out key details in each to help guide you in your portfolio building process.
Dean Tate is a game designer. You will get a complete overview of Tate’s important projects and case studies once you click on his portfolio. All of his projects are well-curated with a proper description. A potential client will find this at the top menu features pages.
Best Parts of Dean Tate’s Game Developer Portfolio
- Tate’s layout is streamlined, with a simple site structure, white background, and clear typography.
- All his social media links are on the page.
- The relevant videos in the portfolio are well arranged, making them easy for visitors to locate.
Nikolas Kraj lives in Romania and works as a game and user experience (UX) designer. He is a leader on the game design team at Ubisoft. Kraj was the lead designer for Assassin’s Creed Origins, one of the most popular games from Ubisoft. The game has been released on seven different platforms. Kraj is also an expert on live games.
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Best Parts of Nicolas Kraj’s Game Developer Portfolio
- Kraj’s portfolio reveals a lot about his experiences, projects, and brilliant design skills.
- Fun and witty lines used in different parts of the portfolio, especially the contact card, help to make visitors comfortable and it makes the navigation of the site fun.
- The portfolio is simple and well organized with a tidy layout.
Josh Caratelli is a game developer who works as a software engineer at Sledgehammer Games. Caratelli’s portfolio includes a compelling video that narrates his story as a game developer. The layout highlights his experiences working on major projects like Call of Duty.
Best Parts of Josh Caratelli’s Game Developer Portfolio
- On the left side of the portfolio, potential employers or clients can access his contact details and LinkedIn profile. His blog, awards, resume, and personal projects are also visible there.
- Caratelli’s portfolio is just one page but it is packed with all the important features that may attract a prospective client.
- Clicking on the left sidebar’s link redirects users to the link’s website.
Hugo Peters describes himself as a passionate game programmer and designer. Currently, he is working on Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora at Ubisoft. Hugo’s portfolio showcases his previous projects that have turned out well and the techniques he used to pull them off.
Best Parts of Hugo Peters’ Game Developer Portfolio
- His professional projects, as well as case studies, are strategically put on display for visitors to spot easily.
- The portfolio has a showreel section in his “about me” section that highlights his personal story and experience as a game developer.
- The bottom of his page contains his contact details so potential clients or recruiters can reach out.
Molly Jameson’s portfolio focuses on her qualities, such as a strong passion for Tetris, her game programming skills, and her work ethic. She also lists the companies she has worked for and who she’s currently working with. Many recruiters and visitors will find Jameson’s portfolio to be highly fascinating.
Best Parts of Molly Jameson’s Game Developer Portfolio
- Jameson’s portfolio allows users easy access through user-friendly pages.
- All the important information including her contact, professional projects, and fun side projects are fully captured in this portfolio.
- Beautiful design with catchy colors and well-organized pages.
Best Game Developer Portfolio Project Ideas
Starting a career in game development can seem like a daunting task to some. If you feel that way, there are some easier projects you can do in your spare time before going on to handle more complex projects. Check out a few of the projects below that will help enhance your game design portfolio.
- Sudoku game: Sudoku games can help improve the IQ of game players. Developing this game is a great way to begin game development. In this project, you will discover how to develop a sudoku puzzle with a nine-by-nine grid consisting of three-by-three squares filled with numbers.
- Tank fight game: This project will require that you develop a multiplayer game. Two players equipped with tanks will shoot at each other repeatedly. Whoever falls off the cliff loses the game.
- Tetris game: This game is a basic one, making it one of the best project choices for first-timers. This game is all about using arrow keys to control the movement of elements.
- Fruit ninja game: Fruit ninja games became popular following the production of touchscreen devices. Pygame library is used to develop this game. This project is all about animating the action of slicing fruits.
- 2D racing game: This project will require you to use the Python programming language to develop a 2D car racing game. In this game, the player has to switch gears according to RPM in a car race to emerge as the winner.
Game Developer Portfolio FAQ
When creating a game design resume, show that you are proficient in programming languages and understand basic algorithms and game trends. Creative skills, storytelling skills, technical skills, analytical skills, good interpersonal skills, and being a team player are other top skills to add to your portfolio.
Yes, it can. Having a portfolio showcases your talents in a way that just talking about your game designer skills never could. Your value increases when potential clients can see your value firsthand and get an idea of what you’re bringing to their game company.
Yes, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics web developers and digital designers have a job growth outlook of 13 percent for 2020 to 2030, which is higher than the seven percent average for all careers.
Yes, game development is a highly rewarding career but it can also be stressful. Many developers work overtime, during weekends, and even on holidays. This is to ensure deadlines or targets for a game project are met.
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