Hi there, Gamers and Game Makers!
This week, I'm going to try give advice on creating a good game design portfolio based on my own experience in making and maintaining one.
Game Design portfolios are different from other portfolios in the sense that they require a broader range of things you have to showcase. For example, an concept artists portfolio will consist of primarily their artwork giving details on what projects the images are from and perhaps talk a little about the process of each one. Composers will have samples of their audio along with a showreel or link to the game featuring their music.
A Game Designers portfolio will consist of various things from images of games worked on to a showreel to even game design documents and samples of scripts from games. Basically a Game Designers portfolio should contain anything that conveys their ability to effectively design and create good games. You need to think of your online portfolio as being like a CV. It's the first impression someone is going to get of you and the quality of your work. So, it's very important to put your best content clearly in the portfolio.
Before you start putting your portfolio together, you need to decide what platform you want to use to showcase your work. Is it going to be a website, a facebook page, a Tumblr account or something else. I personally prefer having a website as it can act as a hub showcasing my work and I can then use social media to drive traffic towards it. But, you need to identify what suits your needs best and go from there.
Once you've decided on a platform for your portfolio, the next step is to start adding content. Make sure you add the best of your work and what you're most proud of. I find having the likes of a showreel top of your page or on your home page is a great introduction for new comers to your work. Make it easy for the to see and when it comes to the showreel itself, keep it short and to the point.
Depending on who you ask, you'll get different opinions on how long a showreel should be. I personally find something around the three minutes mark seems to work well. Anything longer than that and you run the risk of loosing peoples interest. People want to get a quick overview of what you've made and your skills. Not watch a feature film. As for the music you use during your showreel, it doesn't matter that much. Anyone watching it should be impressed by it even if it was on mute and you'll find most professionals tend to have them muted when they have a lot to get through. If you want an example of a showreel, you can check out my 2017 showreeel below.
As important as it is to show your best work on your portfolio, it's all for nothing if it's not clear or easy to get in contact with you. Have a contact page or a link to your CV with details on how to best get in touch with you.
Make sure you keep the site organised. So many times I've seen portfolio sites that are just a cluttered mess. And the thing is these sites have fantastic work on them but if it's all over the place, I'm going to loose interest and leave. Keep it simple and well structured. You don't need to be too fancy with it. Once you have a portfolio to be proud of, it's time to get it out there. Start sharing it around online and if you're applying for a job make sure you have a link to your portfolio in your CV or cover letter.
I hope this has been of some use to any of you trying to put a portfolio together. Feel free to shoot me any questions or leave a comment below.
Until next time!