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Old 01-31-2008, 01:51 PM   #1
drummerboy17
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Default Portfolio contents - must it be unrealEd etc?

Hi all,

I'm interested in getting into design (I've been in QA now for a few years) Currently my portfolio consists of levels made for several 2d homebrew games (Knytt Stories, Riah) and some maps done in XSI (a few generic 3d action/adventure maps, a few for God of War, Mario Galaxy etc).

My worry is that without levels from editors like UnrealEd and Hammer, I will be overlooked for design positions (I'm shooting for entry-level design positions obviously)...because a) people in charge of hiring may not be willing to download these homebrew games, familiarize themselves with the gameplay and install the levels and b) if I'm not doing levels in UnrealEd or Hammer etc, but the other 50 applicants are, well I figure I probably wont get much of a look.

Should I just bite the bullet and learn these editors? I dont really have much interest in first person shooters (especially multiplayer)...I have basic C++ and BASIC skills, but I doubt I could work the magic needed with UnrealScript to break free of making a first-person shooter...I love Deus Ex and used to fool around with level making for it, but considering how buggy the modified UnrealEd for it is, and how you can't load Deus Ex levels into anything above Unreal 2.0, the worries listed above creep back in.

If I could get some advice (especially from designers that have experience hiring new employees) that would be much appreciated.

Thank you
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:04 PM   #2
fenderize
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Hey,

Unreal or other standard editors would look better to most, depending on the role of the job and depending on the company this could change. I believe that finding someone with lots of potential for design is often worth more then finding someone good at the tools but not as well at the design. There are other options.

learning Maya or Max can also help allot. But if you purely want to showcase the design of the level over the modeling quality, try something like Sketchup. I have used Sketchup as a required tool for interviews in the past.

You mentioned that your interested in design, is this level design? Game design or both? If your not interested in the FPS genre then be creative. Unfortunately most games out there are FPS.

Another great way to get some design experience is joining a mod team.

Even better then that, I found was creating games in flash to showcase good design skills.I was hired for my current job based off of the design prototypes I create in my own time. These don't need to be fancy when showcasing them in an interview. You would be surprised how potential employers react when they see someone who is passionate to work on games and create something outside of work. However if your having problems just getting into the interview you will obviously need to make a complete game.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:54 PM   #3
drummerboy17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fenderize View Post
I believe that finding someone with lots of potential for design is often worth more then finding someone good at the tools but not as well at the design. There are other options.
I agree You can teach tools, you can't teach passion and inherent creativity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fenderize View Post
learning Maya or Max can also help allot. But if you purely want to showcase the design of the level over the modeling quality, try something like Sketchup. I have used Sketchup as a required tool for interviews in the past.
As I wrote previously, I do know Softimage...although I'd like to learn Maya or Max as well. I've messed around a little bit with Sketchup, but I still prefer XSI for doing simple layouts and blockouts. However I haven't used Sketchup enough to fully judge it's usefulness. But I do see it on mentioned job postings occasionally..

Quote:
Originally Posted by fenderize View Post
You mentioned that your interested in design, is this level design? Game design or both? If your not interested in the FPS genre then be creative. Unfortunately most games out there are FPS.
I'm more interested in designing game mechanics and writing storyline/dialogue, but it seems that most of the entry-level design positions out there are for level design. It really depends on the genre though.

Another question that comes to mind, regarding level designer portfolio size - What's a good size?

Thanks for your time Fenderize!
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Old 02-01-2008, 10:27 AM   #4
yaustar
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Read: http://www.gamecareerguide.com/featu...tfolio_is_.php

As you probably know, there aren't very many entry level positions for game designers so the usual route is to enter the industry as level designers at which point, knowing the more mainstream tools becomes important to hit the ground running. Learning Hammer or UnrealEd will definitely boost your chances for an interview.

If you want to present your work from last mainstream games without worrying about your potential employer downloading the game, host a video of a playthrough of the level with a report of design document to explain the more intricate parts of the level.
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