Get the latest Education e-news
 
Old 10-24-2012, 07:58 AM   #1
Derfel Cadarn
Junior Member

Activity Longevity
0/20 6/20
Today Posts
0/11 ssssssss3
Default Oblivious.

Hey folks.

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:
-Audio
-Animation
-Functional or semi-functional games
-Design documents
-Literary (fictional) writings
-Academic writings
-Game critique (reviews)
-News articles
-Industry analysis

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.

Last edited by Derfel Cadarn : 10-24-2012 at 08:14 AM.
Derfel Cadarn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2012, 12:51 PM   #2
tsloper
Super Moderator

Activity Longevity
3/20 14/20
Today Posts
1/11 sssss1882
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Default Re: Oblivious.

Quote:
Regarding the portfolio, I am a bit puzzled as to what is acceptable, works of what nature, that is. ... I would like to function as a producer, a designer, if you will,
A producer portfolio would list projects you have managed.
A designer portfolio would showcase any creative works you have done.

Does this article help? --> http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson12.htm
__________________
Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done. www.sloperama.com

PLEASE do not use this website's PM feature to contact me.
tsloper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2012, 05:08 PM   #3
Derfel Cadarn
Junior Member

Activity Longevity
0/20 6/20
Today Posts
0/11 ssssssss3
Default Re: Oblivious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsloper View Post
A producer portfolio would list projects you have managed.
A designer portfolio would showcase any creative works you have done.

Does this article help? --> http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson12.htm
Yep, certainly it does, thank you. Sorry, it was a mistake on my part, I used designer and producer interchangeably, I would want to do the job of a designer, juggling with all sorts of stuff.

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?

Last edited by Derfel Cadarn : 10-24-2012 at 05:15 PM.
Derfel Cadarn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2012, 08:42 PM   #4
tsloper
Super Moderator

Activity Longevity
3/20 14/20
Today Posts
1/11 sssss1882
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Default Re: Oblivious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derfel Cadarn View Post
1. I would want to do the job of a designer,
2. juggling with all sorts of stuff.
3. 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.
4. 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?
1. "Designer" is the single most sought-after job title. Everybody wants to be the designer. You have a LOT of competition.
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:
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/epi...-game-designer
http://www.gamespot.com/features/so-...igner-6129276/
http://www.technewsworld.com/story/66418.html
http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson14.htm
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.
__________________
Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done. www.sloperama.com

PLEASE do not use this website's PM feature to contact me.
tsloper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2012, 07:00 AM   #5
Derfel Cadarn
Junior Member

Activity Longevity
0/20 6/20
Today Posts
0/11 ssssssss3
Default Re: Oblivious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsloper View Post
1. "Designer" is the single most sought-after job title. Everybody wants to be the designer. You have a LOT of competition.
I don't expect it to be a stroll in the park and I understand that it is woefully unlikely that anyone would become a designer overnight, but it is not unprecedented that people do become designers through extraordinary effort and patience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsloper View Post
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:
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/epi...-game-designer
http://www.gamespot.com/features/so-...igner-6129276/
http://www.technewsworld.com/story/66418.html
http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson14.htm
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).
I will bear that in mind. I will participate in discussions, it is simply that I have just moved country. I'm doing all the related paperwork as well as hunting for jobs and internships and whatnot. Once I get the slightest amount of free time I don't have to spend on feeding or sleep, I will, certainly, participate more broadly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsloper View Post
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.
Thanks. That answers my question perfectly as well as being the answer I was hoping I would receive. Interdisciplinary is ace.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsloper View Post
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.
Got it. I understand that they're not completely alike, but at the same time I scarcely have access to the innermost minds of any of the game industry folks, so I can only conduct my affairs based on the general consensus at this point.

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.
Derfel Cadarn is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:26 PM.






UBM Tech