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The Importance of the Mid-Point Portfolio

April 2, 2008

What shape would you be in if, say, Activision came looking for interns? If you’re a sophomore or junior in college, the last thing on your “to do” list might be to develop your portfolio, if it’s even on the list at all.

Move it up. It’s a good time to be in games.

The number of internship opportunities that are being offered to our students this summer is the highest I’ve ever seen it. Granted, it may have something to do with the caliber of our students (it’s a seriously good school, or I wouldn’t have come here), but still, when the morning news trumpets yet another downturn in the economy, the jobs I see coming my way are indicative of a thriving industry and make me genuinely grateful for the course I took in life out of pure passion for games many years ago.

Students, particularly sophomores, often ask what should be in their portfolio. The answer? A few things that you worked and worked and worked and worked on. If you are just slapping your class project on a reel, unless it was unbelievably outstanding, it’s likely not going to make the cut. Why? Because some other person did work and work and work on theirs, and they are going to get the job. Put in as much work as you can, add polish to everything you do, and always keep your portfolio updated. Get feedback from people other than your mom, and remove any pieces you put in just to “make the page look full”. They will just “make you look bad.”

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 3, 2008 1:07 pm

    Portfolio’s are something I have not yet considered. Despite wanting to get into game design, I am currently in an industry where a portfolio is not standard, so I’ve never really put thought into it.

    Besides, if you really wanna make games, making games, even on your own time, is a great way to uh.. do that.

    But the question I have is: if you’re no longer a student, do portfolio’s apply in the same way?

  2. April 3, 2008 10:30 pm

    I heard someone once say:

    “Being in the game industry and wanting to advance is like having two jobs. You have your paid job and you have your unpaid job for yourself.”

    Also, I really like the K.I.S.S. tao, especially from a design perspective. If people can’t understand, it’s not enjoyable.

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