Do you want to know more about how to improve your portfolio for specific job areas within game development? In our Portfolio Tips series, we let our experts share their top 5 tips on how to do just that! Here’s 5 portfolio tips from Alex Riviere, Audio Director at Massive Entertainment.
1. Demonstrate a passion for your craft
When reviewing your portfolio, not only do we evaluate your game audio design capabilities but also your attention to detail and the full range of your audio skills.
As a sound designer, you have a lot under your umbrella, which is why we want you to demonstrate your aesthetic taste, storytelling capabilities, game-play mechanics understanding, as well as editing and mixing skills.
With that in mind, the length of your show-reel, its pace, and how you handle audio transitions between different clips are probably as important as your demos themselves.
Keep it short (4-5 minutes max), with the right pace, consistent (EQ, dynamic range, levelling following loudness standards), and in a sensible order (see if you can tell a story – your story!).
2. Custom-made for the role
We might look for candidates with different skill sets, even if it’s for a similar role. Make sure you understand the role and that your portfolio is crafted to fit the role.
For example, if you apply for a generalist sound design role, we would expect absolutely no music in your portfolio. Instead, we would like to evaluate your general sound design skills, both on the content and the implementation side of things.
If you’re applying for a music designer role, we would likely want to evaluate your music editing skills, but also your capabilities to design music systems that would serve gameplay or narrative.
Make sure you read through the job description in detail, read between lines, and try to understand what candidate profile we are looking for.
3. Keep it Clear
Label everything. We want to understand your responsibilities on the different projects show-cased in your reel. If you are editing a game capture with all sound design assets playing, we need to understand if you were responsible for the ambiances, the NPC Foley (or weapons), the player character, or something else.
On top of that, we would love to know if you worked on the contents, their implementation, or both.
Make sure to provide clear explanation regarding your responsibilities.
4. Make a first (and last) impression
Order matters. Don’t waste time in a busy and connected professional world where we all constantly switch between things to do.
Make an impression on your first clip to hook the hiring manager right away. Keep in mind we are likely reviewing a lot of demo-reels to evaluate candidates, along with their resume, before we even talk to them.
If you start with your most impressive work, we will get more inclined to keep watching until the end, and then hopefully experience your second most impressive work, finishing with something that would stand out and be remembered.
5. Open for more content to be reviewed
If you’ve done a good job following the guidelines above (and are a fit for the role), then it’s always a good idea to reference a full portfolio page, and/or a website at the end of your show-reel.
Your portfolio is there to make an impression, but if we like what we hear, we might want to dig deeper into your skillsets, the projects you worked on, and more.