What makes a good portfolio or showreel?

Why is a portfolio important?

Within creative industries such as the video game industry, a portfolio is the most important piece of information that a potential employer can survey to assess whether an individual would be the right candidate for them. This is because every candidate’s portfolio should give an insight into both their experience and quality of work as well as a sense of their personality. An effective portfolio that hits all these points can be the deciding factor influencing whether an employer will give you an interview and potentially a job.

Where should my portfolio be?

LinkedIn Network

Within the creative industries it is incredibly vital to have a strong online presence to showcase your work.

The most used network within the games development industry would be LinkedIn, as is stated on their website it is the largest professional network on the internet that is incredibly easy to access.

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the internet. You can use LinkedIn to find the right job or internship, connect and strengthen professional relationships, and learn the skills you need to succeed in your career. You can access LinkedIn from a desktop, LinkedIn mobile app, mobile web experience, or the LinkedIn Lite Android mobile app

What is LinkedIn ?

LinkedIn is especially useful for connecting with potential employers who are then able to access your portfolio and showreel with ease, not having this online presence could be damaging to your employment chances as it is a useful tool used by most companies.

How to get noticed?

First impressions always count, and that should be no different with portfolios. The first pieces of work that anyone viewing your portfolio should see should draw in their attention and captivate them, the easiest way to achieving this is by having your best work highlighted on your home page as a link straight to that piece of work will give whoever is viewing your portfolio less chance to miss it or lose interest in trying to find it amongst a list of other work.

It should also be abundantly clear which career path you are aiming to take within the industry within the first few paragraphs. Games developers would want to steer their portfolio more towards gameplay clips or trailers, game design documents or even GitHub to show their version control, whereas a level designer or artist may choose to show off concept art, 3d and 2d models, sketches and renders.

What is a showreel?

A showreel is a short video, usually between 3 to 4 minutes showing off the authors best work from different projects and usually gives the viewer a good idea of the authors level of quality while also allowing the author to show off their diversity if they have worked on various projects with different genres or if they have undertook different roles within different projects.

After some research I came across Jakobsen Beck’s Game Design Showreel from 2017, I personally found this to be the best showreel that I came across as it not only gave an insight into the five distinct games but also showed the variety of both the games he had worked on but also different roles he had played in the development of each. These ranged from level designer for “Sky Keepers”, narrative designer for “Children of morta”, and overall game designer and narrative designer for “Tale of ronin”.

Overall I feel like his showreel encapsulates everything that a showreel should, as it shows off his different abilities and skill levels in multiple roles.