So there was a lot that happened at GDC this year. DirectX and Vulkan 3D APIs that I talked about in the last post just scratch the surface. Among everything that happened at GDC, Valve arguably had the most extensive and most industry-changing announcements. This blog post on the Valve website goes over most of the stuff that they announced in more detail, and the Steam Universe website has plenty of awesome info about each product as well as some sweet pictures that I'll post below.
For both Game Art and Animation and Game Programming, what exactly sits in your portfolio when you go to find a job should be somewhat obvious. With Game Design it can seem like things appear just a little bit murkier. You learn early on that much of your job as a game designer is documentation. Then you start learning mechanic, concept and level design; all of which can be substantially more visually exciting to look at but not always. Plus with level design, you can't always expect that developers would have everything you need them to have in order to play your level. So what do you do? What do developers really want to see from Game Designers? Well we recently had the opportunity to speak with developers from EA and Blizzard and they revealed some fairly enlightening things.
So part of getting into the game industry is having a portfolio to show off what you've accomplished. Don't think of this as a "good idea" but a requirement. If you don't have a solid portfolio then your chances of getting a job is virtually zero. It's something that you develop the entire time you're in school or even just stuff that you develop independent of school work entirely. I also feel the need to stress something that is stressed by my teachers frequently: you are developing this portfolio the ENTIRE TIME you are in school or in general over a period of years typically. Some people think that they can develop their portfolio after they graduate and "have all the skills" to create something truly great but this almost never works out. While it certainly isn't impossible, each of my teachers have said that they've seen this strategy work exactly zero times. So any time you are working on a project you really should put as much effort into it as possible because you never know what will end up as a portfolio piece. Steve Merka, a lead mobile designer at EA, has even stated that you are much better off with a single exceptional piece than a bunch of good pieces. In fact, we got some awesome advice about what to put in a portfolio from several developers from the industry. However, that post will have to wait until tomorrow.
Originally this post was gonna be me spazzing out about more video games, but right as I created a blank post I ran into a tweet about DirectX 12. DirectX has been around for AGES and it's what most game companies use to actually get their games running in 3D on PC with the Direct3D Drivers, so hearing new information about DirectX is basically hearing new information about the future of PC gaming!