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4 School Projects That Build Your Professional Portfolio in Game Development
Posted By: Hannah Whittenly on August 12, 2019

The gaming industry is incredibly competitive, and you need to leverage your experience as much as possible if you want to be successful. Rather than waiting until you've graduated to start working on major projects, it's often a good idea to get your start while you are still in school. Below are four types of projects that can help you build up your professional portfolio before you graduate.

Start Making Apps

The future is mobile, and game developers increasingly want to hire people who have experience in mobile spaces. As such, it's a good idea to start getting familiar with app development early on. It doesn't necessarily matter if your apps sell well or if they're useful but having a proof of concept available to show a potential employer is always a good idea. Even if you don't plan on going into the mobile space, being familiar with how it works can be quite helpful.

Work on Skins

If you're on the artistic side of the development process, you might want to start showing off how well you can work with pre-existing tools. Find a game that allows creators to make their own skins, and then learn how to work with those tools. Not only is this a really good way to get used to using some real-world art tools, but you can actually make a tidy sum of money off of the skins that you create.

Look at the Mod Scene

Game mods are a subset of development that has a long and storied history. Modders take games that are already on the market and work within the existing framework to create something new. If you can start modding games that are on popular engines, you can show that you understand both the underlying logic of how games work as well as some familiarity with existing engines. This is a great way to show future employers that you understand a bit about what they do.

Start Getting Games on the Market

The most impressive thing you can do in school isn't just making a game - it's selling that game on the open market. When it comes to best practices crowdfunding is usually a smart way forward, especially if you can leverage a groundswell of popular support into making real sales. Companies are always more interested in hiring people who have a track record of success.
If you want to break into the gaming industry, make sure you get started early. Tackle big projects while you are in school so that you can show that you've got something to offer. The earlier you get to work, the better chance you'll have of landing a job.
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