Friday, November 11, 2011

Question #3: How do indie games help a portfolio?

Question:


My friend and I in college are starting a studio to develop indie games while we are in school. We are likely going to start in the mobile market and hope to get a game or two published onto the Xbox Live Arcade for our portfolios. From your personal experience, do these actions benefit a resume in the industry? How do you personally view indie games and small teams when you are looking for future employers?

My response:


It kind of depends on what you want to do, but really I think that any game development experience is very valuable when it comes to looking for a job in the industry. Creating an indie game on your own or with others shows that you are ambitious and motivated, and will give you a chance to show what you can do (writing code, thinking up good gameplay ideas, etc).

If your goal is to become a software engineer and are programming the games yourself, the games you make will show off your programming skills and will allow you to create a portfolio. If your goal is to be a game designer for mobile and/or indie games, then these games be will extremely relevant to your portfolio.


However, if your goal is to become a game designer making AAA console games, those developers will want to see level design and/or scripting using a relevant engine. Mobile games will probably not tell them what they need to know about your game design skills. Same goes for 3D art and animation. The indie and mobile games are great additions for any portfolio, but if you want to be an artist you may need to create more sophisticated art pieces in order to get noticed by employers.


Regardless, all game development experience is beneficial and will give you something to show and talk about with potential employers. Good luck with your games!

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  2. I agree whole-heartedly that making indie games looks great on your resume. When I was a hiring manager for a mobile game studio, I always - always! - leaned toward the candidates that had made their own games. For the reasons that Kristin mentions in her post.

    A couple of articles that might be helpful:

    Interview with Kris Durrschmidt, Indie Developer

    Stand Out from the Crowd: Be A Rock Star

    Just do it! :-)

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