Blog Archives

3 Art Portfolio Traps To Avoid

Futuristic weapon concept art by Eliott Lilly

When it comes to your online portfolio, you’ll need more than a good aim to hit your target.

Eliott Lilly has been a concept artist in the video game industry for over a decade, and is credited on mega-franchise titles such as DOOM, F.E.A.R, and Black Ops. He currently works as a freelance artist, but he also finds time to mentor thousands of aspiring artists through his books and website.

All that coaching and question-answering has given him unique insight into three portfolio “traps” — fundamental problems that could be sabotaging your job hunt. In this guest post, Eliott discusses how to find and fix the most common art portfolio problems. Read more ›

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Posted in Applying

Build a game art portfolio in 15 minutes (with personalized URL)

Home page of a finished art portfolio site

Start basic and personalize until it’s uniquely you

If you’re an aspiring video game artist, you need to have a gorgeous online portfolio.

Why? Because when art directors open your job application, the first thing they look at is your portfolio. If they aren’t immediately impressed, their next move is to hit DELETE — and send your job application to the trash.

Fortunately, you can easily build your own portfolio website — with your own personalized URL — in under 15 minutes. (If you consider yourself “technology challenged,” give yourself 30 minutes.) Here’s how. Read more ›

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Posted in Applying, Tools

What should I put into my video game programming portfolio?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Supreeth, who asks, “Hey Jason! Supreeth here, we here in India appreciate all the information provided in you website and I’m a huge fan of your podcast :). So, I would feel glad if you could provide me any certain information regarding, How do I make a game programming demo to apply for jobs? How should the demo be? In video format? How do I show my code along with my demo reel?”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why you can’t afford not to have a game programming portfolio
  • How to use the “what, why, how” portfolio format
  • How to get your own portfolio website and your own domain name

Read more ›

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Posted in Podcast, Resume

Do you need an art degree if you already have a strong portfolio?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Mihai, who asks “I have a question regarding game art colleges. I’ve watched Marc Brunet and other artist’s videos and they strongly advised us not to attend any colleges as long as our portfolio is as strong as the Industry demands. Would you recommend attending a game art college if I already have a game studio quality portfolio?”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Whether you can get a job as a game artist without a degree
  • Why an art degree doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a job… or that you’ll be a good artist
  • How to get real, candid feedback on your art skills

Read more ›

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Posted in Applying, Podcast

Video Game Job Hunt: Your Complete Guide

video-game-job-search

Contents

So you’ve worked hard for months – maybe years – learning how to make games. You’ve got serious game dev skills under your belt, and whether you went to school or you’re self-taught, it’s finally time to start looking for a full-time job making games.

Congratulations, because all that hard work is about to pay off. You’re soooo close to becoming a professional game developer. (That’s got a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? “Professional game developer.”)

The only thing standing between you and a job making games, is writing a good resume. And building a portfolio. And applying for jobs… and doing all those interviews… Well, okay, I guess you’ve still got some work to do.

But you’re in luck, because what you see before you is the Internet’s most comprehensive guide to mastering your video game industry job search. The opportunities are out there, and I’m here to help you find them and make them yours.

You can thank me later, once you’ve been hired and your dream has become a reality at long last. Until then, check out the articles below to help you on your way.
Read more ›

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Posted in Applying, Careers, Interviewing, Networking

Should I drop out of college and learn to make games on my own?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from John, his son is wondering if he should drop out of college and learn to make video games on his own?

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to push your boundaries in ways you never dreamed
  • The best way to convince employers that you know how to “GSD”
  • How to build deep, lasting connections with game industry insiders

Read more ›

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Posted in Podcast, Schools

Video Game Graphics Programmer Portfolio

This article is part of our Video Game Job Hunt Guide. Read the full guide to learn how to write a strong resume, build a winning portfolio, ace your job interviews and more.

Screen shot from Particle + Noise shader demo, Brandon Fogerty

A graphical programming portfolio can make your resume mesmerizing.


If you’re searching for a job in the video game industry, it’s important to have an online portfolio to showcase your work. That might be easy for artists that already work in a pixel-based medium – but how can video game programmers make their code into something visually appealing that looks great on a web page? Read more ›

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Posted in Resume

Art Degree vs. Portfolio: What’s More Important?

This article is part of our Video Game Job Hunt Guide. Read the full guide to learn how to write a strong resume, build a winning portfolio, ace your job interviews and more.

Graduation hat in a grassy field

Do you need the hat and tassel, or is talent enough?

Art student Jessica Parker wrote in to ask: “How important is a degree vs a portfolio when applying for an art position? I’ve heard very polarizing opinions on that front.”

I’ve heard this discussed many times between artists as they plan out their careers in the game industry. It’s important because school is time-intensive and expensive, so the idea that you could skip the education and get a job just by building a kick-ass portfolio is an attractive option.

But the answer is more complicated than it might appear. As it turns out, “degree vs. portfolio” is a trick question – with an even trickier answer. Read more ›

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Posted in Applying, Schools

Top 20 Free, Easy Resources for Building Your Video Game Career

Find game schools near you

The Internet is full of info about the game industry. But only a handful of resources cut through the noise to offer current, practical information to help you get a job and grow your career in games. And they’ll save you a lot of time and effort along the way.

The resources below are the cream of the crop, and come recommended by top game schools and industry professionals. And – bonus! – most of them are absolutely free. Enjoy!

Read more ›

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Posted in Careers, Tools

Is Your Online Art Portfolio Lacking? Get Advice, Inspiration from 7 Professionals

This article is part of our Video Game Job Hunt Guide. Read the full guide to learn how to write a strong resume, build a winning portfolio, ace your job interviews and more.

Illustration of Winged Boy with Skateboard

Is your online art portfolio setting you up for success? Or dragging you down?

Building an online art portfolio is a critical part of applying for video game artist jobs. But it isn’t just about showing your awesome work to the art director before an interview. It’s also important to highlight your individual passion and personality as an artist.

We’ve assembled a collection of 7 game artist portfolio examples from working, industry professionals. Each artist offers clear and actionable advice on how to make your online art portfolio really shine.

Read more ›

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Posted in Applying, Interviewing, Resume