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Game developer portfolio: How to create one and what projects to include

Updated: Jun 12

For the longest time, the ticket to getting a great developer job was to have a compelling resume.

Employers could read what you’ve done, how capable you are, your work experience, and so on.

However, that’s not the case anymore. Employers want to see what you’re capable of.

And that’s where portfolios come into the picture.

It’s especially important for game developers to have a portfolio. The simple reason is that it allows your potential employers to see what you’ve done, how advanced your skills are, how creative you are, and what you can do, essentially.

Think of your portfolio as a supporting document for your resume. The resume gives your employers a chance to get to know your work experience and your portfolio allows them to see what you are capable of.

This blog is a comprehensive guide on how to create a fantastic game developer portfolio. We’re going to go from the basics all the way to some tips that’ll help you stand out from the crowd.

Whether you are an aspiring game developer, a professional looking to upgrade your portfolio, or an employer wanting to understand what to look for, this guide will serve as an authoritative resource.

Let’s get started.

How to create a game developer portfolio IMAGE

What is a game developer portfolio?

A game developer portfolio is a curated selection of your most noteworthy work in game development.

This collection might include video game designs, programming snippets, game mechanics you've devised, art and animations you've created, level designs, narrative scripts, or any other pieces that demonstrate your skills and abilities.

In essence, it's a personal showcase that gives potential employers, clients, and collaborators a clear picture of your talents, work style, and areas of expertise.

The importance of a game developer portfolio

Firstly, a portfolio offers tangible proof of your abilities. Rather than merely listing skills on a resume, a portfolio lets you show off your game development prowess in action. This evidence can be a powerful persuasion tool when you're trying to land jobs or secure freelance contracts.

Secondly, a portfolio offers a platform for self-promotion. In today's digital world, your portfolio is accessible to anyone with internet access. This global exposure can lead to unexpected opportunities, from job offers to collaborative partnerships.

Lastly, a portfolio helps you reflect on and learn from your past work. By periodically reviewing and updating your portfolio, you can track your growth as a game developer, identify areas for improvement, and chart your future development trajectory. Think of it as a work diary.

What makes a good game developer portfolio?

The key to an effective game developer portfolio lies in its ability to communicate your unique strengths and vision. Here are some factors that differentiate a good portfolio:

  1. Quality Over Quantity: A portfolio crammed with mediocre projects won't impress anyone. Instead, select a handful of your best works that demonstrate your range and capabilities. Make sure each entry in your portfolio is something you're genuinely proud of.

  2. Clear Presentation: Each project in your portfolio should come with a brief but informative description. Outline the project's purpose, your role in it, the techniques and tools you used, and the skills you demonstrated.

  3. Professionalism: This refers not only to the quality of your work but also to the design and functionality of your portfolio. A clean, easy-to-navigate portfolio shows that you take your career seriously.

  4. Personality: Your portfolio should reflect who you are as a developer. Whether it's through a distinctive visual style, a passion for certain types of games, or a knack for innovative mechanics, your unique flair should shine through.

A good portfolio should showcase your skills, promote your personal brand, and demonstrate your growth and aspirations as a developer. It can be your ticket to exciting job opportunities, collaborations, and even career breakthroughs.

What should a game developer portfolio contain?

Personal Information and Contact Details

This one’s obvious but it bears mentioning again because some devs completely miss this. Your personal information and contact details should be very easy to find. A prospective employer shouldn’t have to search around your portfolio just to figure out how to contact you.

Your portfolio should start with basic details such as your name, a professional headshot, and a brief bio that offers insight into your background and interests in game development.

Here are a couple of examples:

Personal information and contact in game developer portfolio - example 1

Personal information and contact in game developer portfolio - example 2

Skills and Experience Summary

Here's where you get to brag about your game development skills.

List your key skills in game development, such as programming languages known, familiarity with game engines, proficiency in animation, sound design, level design, etc. Highlight your unique selling points.

Showcase of Work/Projects

This is the heart of your portfolio. Here, you will showcase a selection of your best work.

Each project should be presented clearly, with high-quality images, videos, or playable demos, accompanied by a short description explaining the project and your role in it.

It does not matter (very much) if you created the game on your own or if you were part of a team. The idea is to show off your work.

So, even if you were part of a team, focus on what you did. Focus on your contributions. It’s really all about you.

Here are a couple of examples:

how to write projects in game developer portfolio - example 1

how to write projects in game developer portfolio - example 2

how to write projects in game developer portfolio - example 3

Testimonials and Recommendations

Testimonials and recommendations add credibility to your portfolio. These could be from previous employers, clients, or team members. They provide third-party validation of your skills and work ethic.

Employers want social proof. They want to know that someone else has paid money to get work done by you and they were happy with what you did.

Let me emphasize this: Nothing will bring in better opportunities than testimonials and recommendations. They’re the easiest way to get high-paying jobs. So, make sure you get testimonials and recommendations either from your clients or old employers.

Resume and Certifications

Your portfolio should contain a section where you can upload your current resume and any certifications relevant to game development. You can read more about creating a game developer resume here.

This provides an at-a-glance summary of your professional background, education, and achievements.

Blog or Writing Samples (optional)

If you maintain a blog or have written articles about game development, linking to these can add an extra dimension to your portfolio.

They can show your ability to articulate ideas, your engagement with the game development community, and your ongoing commitment to learning and sharing knowledge.

Having a portfolio and a blog will allow you to build a personal brand, attracting better opportunities.

How to create a game developer portfolio?

Choose the right platform:

The first step in creating your portfolio is to select a suitable platform. There are numerous online portfolio platforms to choose from, like ArtStation, GitHub, or Behance, as well as website builders such as Wix, Squarespace, or WordPress.

When choosing a platform, consider the type of work you'll be showcasing and the customization options available. For game developers, platforms that support video and interactive content are beneficial. Also, ensure that the platform supports responsive design, so your portfolio looks great on any device.

Organize your portfolio: Order and layout

A well-organized portfolio allows visitors to navigate your content easily and quickly grasp your skills and experience. Consider starting with your most impressive or recent projects. Group similar projects together and create categories if you have a wide variety of work.

Your portfolio should have a clean layout, intuitive navigation, and clearly labeled sections. While creativity is a plus, don't let flashy design elements distract from your work. The focus should be on your game development projects.

Write good descriptions for your projects:

When showcasing your projects, include concise yet informative descriptions. Explain your role, the tools and techniques used, the project's objective, and its outcomes. This context helps viewers understand your contribution and the scope of your skills.

Try to strike a balance between technical language and accessibility. While it's important to demonstrate your knowledge, avoid overly technical jargon that may confuse non-technical viewers.

Incorporate visuals and media elements:

A picture is worth a thousand words, and in game development, visuals are crucial. High-quality screenshots, concept art, and short video clips can make your projects come alive. If possible, provide links to playable demos or trailers.

Remember that loading times can impact user experience, so optimize your media files to load quickly without compromising their quality.

Update your portfolio regularly:

Your portfolio is a living document of your career progression. Regularly update it with new projects and achievements. Removed outdated or less impressive works as you add new pieces. This not only keeps your portfolio fresh but also shows that you're continuously learning and improving.

Regular maintenance also includes checking for and fixing broken links, ensuring your contact information is up to date, and periodically refreshing the design for a modern look.

What projects to include in your game developer portfolio?

Variety is important

Variety in your portfolio can demonstrate your versatility and ability to tackle different types of projects. Including a range of projects such as 2D and 3D games, mobile and desktop games, or different game genres can show your breadth of skills and adaptability.

The idea is to cast a wide net. You don’t want to limit yourself to a specific genre or a specific type of game.

Quality over quantity

The saying says it all. The number of projects in your portfolio isn't as important as the quality of those projects.

A few high-quality projects that showcase your best work are much more effective than a large number of mediocre projects. Choose projects that you're proud of and that represent your abilities well.

Demonstrate your skills and talents

Your portfolio projects should reflect the wide array of skills you bring to the table. This could be your proficiency in specific game development tools, your ability to create engaging game mechanics, your narrative and world-building talents, or your art and design skills.

You can read an in-depth blog about the skills you should have as a game developer here.

Showcase Projects that Reflect Your Career Goals

Lastly, your portfolio should align with your career aspirations. If you aim to specialize in a specific area of game development, make sure your portfolio reflects this. Similarly, if you aspire to work in a certain genre or type of game, your portfolio should showcase relevant projects.

Tips to create a stunning game developer portfolio

Showcase your process and progress

Displaying the evolution of your projects can be a fascinating insight into your working process.

Consider including early sketches, wireframes, or prototype screenshots alongside the final product.

This demonstrates your ability to see a project through from concept to completion and gives viewers a deeper appreciation of your skills and dedication.

Example: If you’re a game designer, you could include early concept art, level designs, and character sketches alongside the final in-game screenshots, showing the project's transformation from early drafts to the polished final product.

Highlight Achievements and Recognition

Have any of your games won awards, garnered favorable reviews, or achieved impressive download numbers?

These achievements should definitely be highlighted in your portfolio. They offer tangible proof of your success and indicate that your work is appreciated by players and peers alike.

Example: If your indie game was featured on a popular gaming site or won an award at a game development competition, make sure to highlight this accomplishment and include a link to the feature or award announcement.

Include Unconventional Projects

While it's important to showcase projects that demonstrate mainstream game development skills, don't be afraid to include unconventional or experimental projects. Gaming, when all is said and done, is a creative field. It’s about imagination, experimentation, and pushing the boundaries.

No project is too wacky. In fact, the weird and unconventional stuff can help you stand out and show your ability to think outside the box.

Example: Did you create an augmented reality game, a game using unconventional mechanics, or a game with a unique art style? Such projects can showcase your creativity and your willingness to push boundaries in game design.

Involvement in Game Jams, Competitions, and Community Projects

Participation in game jams, competitions, and community projects shows your commitment to the game development community and your ability to work under tight deadlines. These experiences can be significant additions to your portfolio.

Example: If you participated in the Global Game Jam or a similar event (you can find events here), be sure to include the game you created, along with a brief description of the event and the challenge it posed.

Link to Your Social Media and Professional Networks

Linking to your professional social media accounts and networks like LinkedIn, GitHub, or Twitter can help visitors connect with you and follow your work.

These platforms can give a broader view of your professional persona, your interests, and your ongoing engagement with the industry.

Example: You might have a Twitter account where you share updates about your work, and industry insights, and interact with other game developers. Providing a link to this account can give viewers a sense of your professional community involvement.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Creating a Portfolio

Cluttering Your Portfolio

While it's crucial to showcase your best work, cramming too many projects into your portfolio can create clutter and overwhelm visitors. It's important to curate your work and present it in an organized, digestible format.

Instead of including every project you've ever worked on, select those that best represent your skills, creativity, and range. Organize them in a clear, logical way, using categories or tags, if necessary.

Neglecting the User Experience

User experience is paramount in a portfolio. A poorly designed or confusing portfolio can frustrate visitors and cause them to leave. Ensure your portfolio is intuitive to navigate, visually pleasing, and responsive across devices.

Test your portfolio on various devices to make sure it's responsive. Also, ensure that navigation is straightforward, information is easy to find, and the design isn't overly complex or distracting.

Failing to Show Personal Growth and Progression

Your portfolio should tell the story of your development journey. By not including older projects that showcase your growth and progression, you may miss the opportunity to demonstrate how much you've improved over time.

Ideally, you should include a section in your portfolio dedicated to showing your progress as a game developer. For instance, showing the first game you created alongside your latest can highlight how your skills have evolved.

Overlooking Errors and Inconsistencies

Errors in your portfolio, like broken links, typos, or inconsistencies in your project descriptions, can create a negative impression. They suggest a lack of attention to detail, which can be off-putting to potential employers or clients.

Regularly review your portfolio to ensure there are no errors. Check that all links work, proofread text for typos and grammatical errors, and ensure consistency in how you present information across different projects.

Not Showcasing Your Unique Style and Personality

Your portfolio should reflect who you are as a game developer. Not allowing your unique style and personality to shine through can make your portfolio seem generic.

Find ways to infuse your personality into your portfolio. This could be through the design of the portfolio itself, the way you write your project descriptions or the specific projects you choose to include.


A game developer portfolio isn’t simply a list of all that you’ve done. It’s more than that. It’s a way to tell the world how good you are. It’s a simple, yet effective way to present your skills, experience, and insights to the gaming community and to your potential employers.

Spend some time creating your portfolio. Don’t do it all in one sitting. Sleep on it. Refine it. Again and again. Update it whenever you’ve done something new. Amazing jobs shouldn’t be too far away.

One way to find amazing game developer jobs is Simple Job Listings. All jobs on Simple Job Listings are remote, most pay amazingly well, and a significant number of jobs that we post aren’t listed anywhere else.

Check out Simple Job Listings and find an amazing game developer job. Good luck!

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