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5 Must-have Items to Make your Game Design Portfolio Stand Out to Clients:
Provide Details About Who You Are
People want to know who they are working with. Give some context about who you are — your education, previous experiences, and the skills that set you apart from the competition. This also helps reinforce to the client that you know your stuff. Here are some things to include:
- Education – Provide details about your educational background to lend credibility to your profile.
- Bio – Help clients feel connected to you as a person by outlining how you became interested in Game Design, why you choose this career path, and what your favorite game is and why.
- Expertise – List the skills you have in detail. Many clients want to know the talents you possess like which programming languages you are proficient in, as well as soft skills like the ability to work as a team and communicate effectively.
Need some inspiration? Check out this example from Madeline Hui. She includes a well-written bio, details of her education, and a comprehensive list of her skills.
Provide Context to Paint a Picture
Providing a laundry list of gaming projects you’ve worked on may seem like a good idea at first, but it’s important to remember to provide some context to each one. The person viewing the project won’t have a clue what your contributions to the game were unless you lay it out specifically. Here are some things to include to provide context for your projects:
- A short description of the project – Describe what the project was, its goals, and its timeline.
- Your role – Provide some info about your role within the project. This helps describe your level of seniority and experience.
- Your responsibilities – List the areas you were responsible for. This helps prove you possess the skills you listed in your bio.
Here’s an example from Chupavix. He does a good job of outlining what the client was looking for and what he delivered.
It can be difficult for a client to decide between two equally good game design portfolios, and one of the best ways to stand out is by building credibility with a few elements like:
- List notable clients – People trust other people, especially those from reputable companies. Listing who you’ve worked with in the past can help prove to clients that you’re a true professional.
- Awards – If you’ve received awards for your work in the past, it’s a good idea to list those for clients to see.
This example from Sedmands shows how you can increase your credibility with certifications and previous work completed on behalf of notable clients.
Provide Images, Videos, Links & Downloads
Game design can be a difficult area to articulate and sometimes the client needs to play the game themselves to get a feeling for the project’s complexity.
- It builds trust – Potential clients can see first-hand how you met the project’s requirements.
- It proves your skills – What’s better than describing a project’s complexities? Showing them first-hand. Providing a link or download to your game helps prove that your skills are as good as you say they are.
- It gives your profile legitimacy – It’s easy to say that you’re a talented game designer, but adding real, working documentation lets the client see for themselves.
- Speak about their experience working with you. Usually the biggest fear for a potential client is that they are unsure of your professionalism. By asking previous clients to talk about their experience dealing with you, it can help future clients mitigate their risks and feel at ease.
- Leave a review close to the project’s completion. You’ll want the client to write the review shortly after a project has been completed. The quality of your work will be on the top of their mind, making the review easier to write and more accurate.
- Speak in industry terms. Ask clients to speak about the specific skills you exhibited. Did you code in C++? Did you help with wireframes, prototyping, mods, compulsion loops or monetization? This helps reinforce the skills you laid out in your profile.
Make Your Game Design Portfolio Stand Out
As the freelance game design industry grows, it becomes harder and harder to distinguish yourself from the crowd. By providing a robust portfolio, you can not only prove your game design skills, but also make a lasting first-impression on potential clients.
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