Portfolio Guide: Game Design and Production

This Portfolio Prep Guide: Game Design & Production edition is to specifically help individuals who are considering in applying in our Game Design & Production program. Successful game designers must have stellar writing capability, the ability to communicate your creative ideas effectively, and evidence of putting a genuine effort in a secondary skill. If you haven’t applied yet – don’t fret! Read this guide before you apply to see if you would make for a good fit. Let’s begin by breaking down the main things we’ll be looking for.

Your ability to write and think creatively.

Give us something new, a fresh spin on a classic. Tell us a story about a princess that isn’t your typical princess story. Is it possible to create a first-person shooter with the objective to not kill anyone? What about a real-time strategy (RTS) about dueling cupcake bakeries? Create a role-playing game where every character is just a geometric shape. What would the design of a game be like if the player were visually-impaired?

Your submissions should be written using proper grammar and spelling. Correct spelling, punctuation and homonyms shows that you not only pay attention to details, but that you take your project seriously. Just like you wouldn’t go out on a job interview without brushing your teeth, and clean clothes, you shouldn’t submit a document without making sure it’s cleaned up. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

Trials of Wukong - Academy of Interactive Entertainment

Effectively communicate your ideas.

Not only do you have to articulate your ideas in writing, but you will also need to do this verbally. Presenting your game is just as important as those who will refer to game design documentation, and good communication skills is one of the most important skills for video game producers. On a team, you will be presenting that information as the lead game designer or producer for your capstone project.

Willingness to learn a secondary skill.

If you haven’t already explored a secondary skill, there are a ton of benefits to cross-training. When you supplement your focus on game design with a technical skill, it boosts your productivity. Whether you learn the basics of 3D modeling or programming in Unity, knowing the essentials in a secondary skill is highly important for any successful game designer. You don’t have to be a master in programming or 3D art, but if you know standard pipelines for 3D art and programming will help improve the production stages of a game. Knowing how to speak their language helps form a more streamline channel of communication between teams.

Game designers and producers also come from a variety of backgrounds, such as but not excluding to: business, psychology, economics, law, marketing, and project management. If you can apply your knowledge from a secondary skill, you’ll know how to emphasize and specialize your position as a game designer or producer. If you still aren’t sure whether or not Game Design and Production is for you, then why not check out our intro course on Game Design? You’ll get your feet wet in the essentials of game design, and it’s a great way to get started on your portfolio.