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gr0mit 09-30-2010 10:49 PM

Need help! Graduating soon!
 
Hi, I am finishing my B.S Computer Science degree soon, and I am looking forward to get into the game industry. I would like to be a programmer, and more specifically on the graphics side in the long term.

But first I would like to do a Master degree, preferably in game programming or specialized in computer graphics. So I am wondering which degree would be better to help me to get into the industry?

Another question I would like to ask is the awesome portfolio I read that I should be keeping. During my time as a undergrad, I have completed four projects in University for publication in different conferences. However, they were either done in a group (vary between 2 to 3 people) or they were built upon other previous projects.

So here are my questions regarding portfolio:

1. Can I use the work I have done in a group or the work that built on previous projects to put into my portfolio and demo?
2. Would projects built using 3rd party game engines or physics engine not be suitable for portfolio? As using them seems to indicate that there's a lack of skills on my behalf.
3. The work I have done were mostly not directly related to games, but things such as physically based modeling, building a skeleton animation engine. Would it be better if I do some projects and demos that are games?
4. I read from some source that C++ executable projects are preferable with demos. I have made a game in C++ on iPhone using 3rd party game engine, but it won't be executable straight away unless the person who looks at my demo/portfolio has OSX and XCode. Would it not be suitable for me to use such project?

Thanks a lot! I would appreciate if you guys could answer some of these questions!

Adrir 10-01-2010 04:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gr0mit (Post 21719)
Hi, I am finishing my B.S Computer Science degree soon, and I am looking forward to get into the game industry. I would like to be a programmer, and more specifically on the graphics side in the long term.

Awesome.

Quote:

Originally Posted by gr0mit (Post 21719)
But first I would like to do a Master degree, preferably in game programming or specialized in computer graphics. So I am wondering which degree would be better to help me to get into the industry?

Whatever interests you. It doesn't matter.

Quote:

Originally Posted by gr0mit (Post 21719)
1. Can I use the work I have done in a group or the work that built on previous projects to put into my portfolio and demo?

Yes; albeit, you must make it very clear what your contributions were and how they fitted in with the contributions of others. You should also emphasise what projects you did for fun or in your free time as opposed to university assignments or paid work experience.

Quote:

Originally Posted by gr0mit (Post 21719)
2. Would projects built using 3rd party game engines or physics engine not be suitable for portfolio? As using them seems to indicate that there's a lack of skills on my behalf.

That is fine. You do not need to reinvent the wheel. Again, just make things clear.

Quote:

Originally Posted by gr0mit (Post 21719)
3. The work I have done were mostly not directly related to games, but things such as physically based modeling, building a skeleton animation engine. Would it be better if I do some projects and demos that are games?

It depends. Do you want to be a gameplay programmer? An engine programmer? A tools programmer? Focus your portfolio to the kind of role that engages what you are most passionate about. Always follow your passions!

Quote:

Originally Posted by gr0mit (Post 21719)
4. I read from some source that C++ executable projects are preferable with demos. I have made a game in C++ on iPhone using 3rd party game engine, but it won't be executable straight away unless the person who looks at my demo/portfolio has OSX and XCode. Would it not be suitable for me to use such project?

Supplement the executable with a video. If you have an iPhone you can show it to an employer at an interview or career fair.

Quote:

Originally Posted by gr0mit (Post 21719)
Thanks a lot! I would appreciate if you guys could answer some of these questions!

No worries. Check out Tom Sloper's Website and IGDA's Breaking In Website as they should answer many of your questions.

tsloper 10-01-2010 07:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gr0mit (Post 21719)
1. But first I would like to do a Master degree, preferably in game programming or specialized in computer graphics. So I am wondering which degree would be better to help me to get into the industry?

2. Another question I would like to ask is the awesome portfolio I read that I should be keeping. During my time as a undergrad, I have completed four projects in University for publication in different conferences. However, they were either done in a group (vary between 2 to 3 people) or they were built upon other previous projects.

1. The one you want to get.
2. It's fully expected and normal to have group projects in your portfolio. You just have to be prepared to say what you contributed to the project. But the majority of student projects are not suitable for portfolios, because when you are making a student project you haven't yet learned the stuff you're trying to demonstrate familiarity and facility with. You need to make more projects (but I shouldn't have to tell you that -- you should already be making more projects, since that's what you profess to be passionate about).

Claxon 10-01-2010 08:02 AM

I second Adrir's comments. Particularly the point about including videos of your work. Sure, source code and executables are good, in case the person looking at your protfolio has time and is interested to see how your game worked, but the easiest thing for them is to record a video of what you want them to see, in a common video format.

Accessibility is they key here. If you do include executable, make sure you've tested them on several machines. The last thing you want is for them to encounter an error because they have a different version of DirectX to you.

Also including group projects is not only acceptable, but can be quite a bonus - particularly if you were not the only programmer. When you get a job you will probably have to work in a team, so they should be confident that you can handle that.

If you want projects to work on that you can put into your portfolio, head over to the programming board and look at the programming challenge. ;)

gr0mit 10-01-2010 02:44 PM

Thanks guys! Your comments are very valuable to me, thanks again!

Quote:

Originally Posted by tsloper (Post 21722)
But the majority of student projects are not suitable for portfolios, because when you are making a student project you haven't yet learned the stuff you're trying to demonstrate familiarity and facility with.

I never thought about that, but indeed those were the cases for most of my projects. Thanks for your feedback!


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