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Old 11-24-2009, 06:20 PM   #1
boojum
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Default Game Design Resume?

I was supposed to attend Vancouver Film School for their game design program but the money lenders new policy made me paying for the program infeasible so I had to back out.

Now I'm looking to go about it the hard way and had a few questions. I've already been looking at Tsloper's website and it's chalked full of so much knowledge, it's going to take me a couple sittings to get through and have it all really sink in.

I suppose I'll state a little bit about myself in hopes that it is helpful in someway:

I got my bachelors in Media/Communications and am about to finish up my masters in creative writing (scriptwriting) here at the end of January. I've been involved in theater, both directing and acting. I was even Big Bird at an amusement park (though I doubt this is helpful ). Also do some voice over work.

My question at this point I imagine is about resumes for a game designer. I've read several places that you should show you're a balanced person. what percentage should it be?

Tsloper talks about making your design work (as far as writing) available on a personal website. Would a blog be okay for this or is it too impersonal?

Not too gifted with making maps or levels (all I've tried is Steam's Hammer engine and I pray not all mapmakers are that confusing and frustrating). Not sure what else I can do to prove my chops than to overcome the toolset (though I don't think mapmaking is my gift) or to keep writing articles on games, design, etc.

I want to hit up a couple people that know people within the industry but I certainly don't want to contact those people if I can't prove my worth or merit.

Thanks for the help ahead of time.
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:13 PM   #2
Retro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
Thanks for the help ahead of time.
Well, first.... Wow. Someone asking questions in a completely understandable and readable way. That's refreshing around here, and I'm sure when Sloper makes his rounds, he'll be tickled he doesn't have to translate this one before he responds.

Second... as someone who's not part of the industry, but has had experience with portfolio design, I can say that a Blog probably isn't going to do the trick. Not that there's anything automatically disreputable about them, just that everyone and their dog (literally) has one these days, and it's very hard to make one stand out. A fully fleshed out website (with real web address) will have much more impact than just saying "Yeah, here's my blog, ignore the parts about my goldfish dying and that rant about 2012".

But, like I said, I'm not part of the industry, so... take that as you like. When I went through the paces of portfolio preparation, it was much better to spring for the leather-bound portfolio than to pass out photocopies bound at Kinkos.

I'll defer the rest of your questions to the wisdom of greater minds than I.
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:20 PM   #3
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Retro,

Obviously entries that aren't game-related are a big no-no, but I don't see what's wrong with a well-organized, committed-to-your-work blog, except the lack of an impressive url. Do you think if the blog was solely devoted to his portfolio it would work?
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Old 11-25-2009, 03:29 AM   #4
Retro
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Quote:
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Retro,

Obviously entries that aren't game-related are a big no-no, but I don't see what's wrong with a well-organized, committed-to-your-work blog, except the lack of an impressive url. Do you think if the blog was solely devoted to his portfolio it would work?
Nothing is wrong with it, but a separate, well-organized portfolio 'site' would also help. There is a distinctive difference between the two, and that's enough to matter. If you're handing out business cards or someone asks to see your portfolio, unless you're standing there to explain it to them, their first impression may just be "great, he's another blogger-turned-wanna-be-designer". Will that matter in the long run? Maybe not, but first impressions matter.

Definitely keep the personal entries to a minimum. You can have more than one blog, so I don't see a problem with maintaining a 'work' and 'personal' one, if sharing your every personal thought with the world is something you feel you have to do (sorry, I like to rag on the bloggers, I think they're mostly silly).

Blogging can help, but I guess I come from the old school (pre-google, gasp!) and I can't help but want to see a nicely organized, inventive portfolio site with resume / CV. Maybe I hold a bit of a bias against Blogs, but they seem, for the most part, less informal. That's probably just me, however. I hold the same opinion on Twitter and Facebook; they're nice little tools that can keep you networked, but they leave a lot to be desired in terms of professionalism and appearance.

Edit: Yes, I am aware of the irony presented by my signature, which contains a link to a blog (lacking updates, as is standard for the medium) and no personal site. But then, I know I don't have a portfolio worth showing off yet.
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Last edited by Retro : 11-25-2009 at 03:50 AM.
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:36 AM   #5
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Hah, that is pretty funny.
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
I got my bachelors in Media/Communications and am about to finish up my masters in creative writing (scriptwriting) here at the end of January. I've been involved in theater, both directing and acting. I was even Big Bird at an amusement park (though I doubt this is helpful ). Also do some voice over work.

My question at this point I imagine is about resumes for a game designer. I've read several places that you should show you're a balanced person. what percentage should it be?
62.5 percent.




OK, obviously that was a flippant answer. What on earth do you mean, "what percentage should it be"????
BTW, I love your degrees and your theater, voice acting, and amusement park background -- I think that kind of thing is ideal!
So you have some kind of question about your resume, you said?
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsloper View Post
62.5 percent.




OK, obviously that was a flippant answer. What on earth do you mean, "what percentage should it be"????
BTW, I love your degrees and your theater, voice acting, and amusement park background -- I think that kind of thing is ideal!
So you have some kind of question about your resume, you said?

Sorry, let me be more clear. I'm very used to a performing resume where it basically focuses on that alone, performing. Now I've also done plenty of work resumes and you want a mix of extracurricular stuff you do along with work experience and anything specific pertaining to the place you are applying.

I haven't been able to find a faux or real game designer resume so I'd no the general way I should go about it. As I don't know exactly how I should go about a game design resume, I'm reluctant (before talking with you guys who know much more about this) to start or send in a resume when I could be putting stuff on there that doesn't matter, thus wasting space.

I hope that clarifies. So in short I suppose an example resume or a break down of what should and should not show up on the resume.

Thanks again guys.
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Old 11-25-2009, 10:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
Sorry, let me be more clear. ... a break down of what should and should not show up on the resume.
What should show up:
All paid work experience.
Your degrees.
A profile and/or an objective.
Relevant outside activities (theater participation IS relevant).
Software skills.
Language skills.

What should not show up:
Stuff about high school.
Non-relevant outside activities.
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:41 AM   #9
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I've been struggling with a similar issue on resumes. I'm applying for several internships for next summer and one of the big things they all require is a resume. Still being in school, I was kind of at a loss as to what I could put on that could be relevant. It didn't seem like stating my activities in high school or small summer jobs when I was 16 would really make an impact. But I've been working with my department director at my school to get my resume in tip-top shape. One of the big things she's been stressing is to not undersell myself. Sure, that game project was just for school, but it was still experience working with a team on a project that had to be made deliverable within a deadline. One of the guidelines I've been going by is "if you think it's relevant, then it probably is, and if it's relevant, then it should probably be on the resume".

I'm still trying to figure this out as well, but following these guidelines have made my resume phenomenally more impressive without inflating it.
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:08 PM   #10
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Hey tlove,

What kind of internships are you applying for?
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