I appreciate that many of you encounter a host of threads akin to this one, always asking the same thing, but I am hopeful that I will avoid asking questions with most obvious answers.
On a preliminary mark, a little background info about myself.
I am 22, just graduated LLB and I live in an area where the game industry is nearly absent. Due to my degree, my 'monetary reserves' took a major hit, so it is not amongst my options to move away immediately. I need some time to save some money. Now, I understand that resting on my laurels in the meantime is not going to get me into the industry, so naturally it would be prudent to engage in some, actually rather enjoyable, creative activity. Now this is where I have problems.
It is, it seems to me, unanimously accepted that one requires a degree and a portfolio in order to stand a chance to enter the industry with the current climate therein. My education is legal, it is not creative, and as I understand this fact delimits the choices I, realistically, have in terms of a route of entry.
I have done the preponderance of my learning as an autodidact, so I am not intimidated by having to rock in a corner and learn from a book, but there is a limit to what I can do. Computing is a knowledge-based discipline, whereas art design is predominantly skill-based. I, lamentably, have no artistic skill, so that is out of the question.
Regarding the portfolio, I am a bit puzzled as to what is acceptable, works of what nature, that is. From the top of my head, I can think of the following as potential items in a portfolio:
-Functional or semi-functional games
-Literary (fictional) writings
-Game critique (reviews)
This is not an exhaustive list, I understand, and with a bit of effort one can find additional categories. I would like to function as a producer, a designer, if you will, in the industry at the end of my career. Given my aptitudes, some of the aforesaid items are more and some are less difficult for me to produce and naturally some are more tightly intertwined with my goal occupation. In light of this, would you recommend, nevertheless, that I attempt to create a diverse portfolio, or should I concentrate on my strengths?
I don't understand the game industry as well as many here do, the very people who are already within, so I feel I must ask what you would recommend considering my strengths?
I am, predominantly, a 'thoughts person'. I ready extensively on a wide spectrum of topics and I have, at least superficial, knowledge of most things that games touch on expressly or impliedly. I mean, I like the humanities, history, philosophy, literature, I like sociology and psychology. I've read the overwhelming majority of freely available academic material on games, I love mythology, bioethics, current philosophical issues. In other words, all the idea stuff. I have also concentrated mainly on intellectual property modules during my studies, choosing all elective ones that I could, which includes copyright, media law and trade marks and patents, so that is who I am. Naturally, writing an article, academic or otherwise, or a design document or something would come more easily to me, but is it wise?
I don't want to sound narcissistic, I am not. I merely included this information so that, should you be willing, you can respond accurately based on it.
If I have left anything relevant out, please do remind me.
Thank you in advance.
A designer portfolio would showcase any creative works you have done.
Does this article help? --> http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson12.htm
In my understanding, then, a diverse portfolio is advantageous for a designer. Is that correct? I mean, within the boundaries of reason, I don't mean stuff that is extremely hard to relate to most games like the culinary arts or something like that.
I'd also be curious to know if companies look favourably upon academic writings. Like an article on contemporary game paradigms or the sort of sociological stuff that Anita Sarkeesian does or even psychology?
2. You lost me there. You need to do more research on what a designer does, and you need to get experience developing games (so you fully understand the limitations and possibilities of the job) before anyone will hire you as a designer. I recommend these:
After you've read those, you need to get involved in some projects. Read the Classifieds at gamedev.net, participate in discussions with other people (not only me).
3. To a certain extent, yes. A game designer needs to be able to write game designs, illustrate them to some extent, make presentations, and demonstrate knowledge of games, movies, literature, music, and popular culture.
4. Do not assume that "companies" are all alike, that "companies" have opinions. You'll be interviewed by people, not companies. And people are individuals, each one with different likes, dislikes, opinions, and tastes. A designer does need to understand psychology - psychology of players, programmers, artists, musicians, producers, marketers, and game publisher executives. Just having written an article isn't much, but if it got a lot of attention, like Jane McGonigal's TED talk (http://www.npr.org/2012/05/25/153235...ve-real-issues), that's worthy. But would it get you a job... as a game designer... if you had never actually worked on a game? Doubtful.
I don't expect an article to elevate me to the position of the next Hideo Kojima, but writing articles is one of my strengths and so if it in the least helpful, all the better.
I will do more research according to your recommendations.
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