A good portfolio is essential for getting your first role in the games industry, and not just for artists! You will be expected to show examples of your work when applying for roles at a games studio, whether you’re a game artist, programmer, designer, or any other dev role.
Here we’ve walked through all aspects of a standard portfolio and outlined how you can get the most value out of your work.
Make it easy to access
Have a dedicated place to host it with a short, direct link. Check out options such as WordPress and others for hosting a simple but effective portfolio site. A GitHub or itch.io profile isn’t going to be enough as a portfolio on its own, but should definitely be referenced in it. Artists are recommended to just use Artstation to host their portfolios.
Have a simple intro profile
Similar to an intro profile that you’d write on a CV, you need to very briefly explain who you are and what you do. This should be as short and concise as possible, covering the key information you need people to know: what you do, where you’re based & what type of work you’re looking for.
Quality over quantity is key. Showcase only your best pieces and don’t make the viewer work to find it. Include big, high-quality images which include a link to the live version.
Write a brief description for each project you’re putting on display, while listing any technical skills, tools, engines, languages etc. used.
If you can get one, a testimonial from a client / player can do wonders and inspire confidence in your skills.
Programmers and designers should include examples of complete, finished projects and prototypes. Get them published (e.g. itch.io) & available for download.
When providing video content, annotate or provide commentary if possible to allow the viewer a better insight into the work you’ve done and the skills you have.
When showing collaborative projects, you must be able to provide a clear explanation of the work that you personally did. Studios will want to know what your level of contribution was to the project & this will almost always be asked at a job interview.
Extra personal content
You can add more details in an About Me page. Sharing details about yourself outside of your work can help the reader feel connected to you.
Feel free to show off any achievements or awards you may have earned that relate to your portfolio; it can only build confidence in your abilities.
Have a blog or devlog
Adding or attaching a blog or journal to your portfolio is an easy way of showing some of your personality. It’s also a fantastic way for people to see how you work, how you approach projects and how you deal with problems.
Create a schedule of how regularly you’ll post content here and stick to it; a consistently updated blog shows that you’re committed to your field of work.
Make it easy for people to contact you
Any contact details you provide should be clearly presented and in an easy to find place. Either a ‘contact me’ tab at the top of the page or placed as a header/footer on every page will do.
A professional email address is the best contact option, though a simple contact form is fine too. Just make sure it’s an account you actually check regularly!
If you have professional social media accounts, leave links to these here. Use social icons for accessibility.
Finished with your Portfolio and now looking to work on your CV? Check out our advice on how to write a CV for the games industry!