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Al Anselmo - Game Designer and Level Designer


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Hey guys ;]

I finally came up with a portfolio that concentrates some of my best works as Game and Level Designer until this very moment, because I'm always studying to improve my skills.

http://anselmo.gd

Please let me know what you think. Feedbacks are always welcome!

Edited by Al Anselmo
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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm doing an experiment with facebook/ twitter/ google+ (plusOne) buttons in my portfolio.

What's your opinion in this? What do you guys think about adding these in portfolios?

That's an easy way for visitors to share the portfolio and increase the audience, and potential employers.

Another fair point is that anyone who visits the site may see how many people found the portfolio worthy to click in that button and recommend it to someone. This may help to grab people's attention to continue viewing the portfolio content.

The Google button helps to place the site in higher positions in searches, which is good too.

What do you think? I was afraid that they could be a little bit distracting from the main info of my portfolio, but I decided to experiment with it anyways.

Looking for some feedback. Thanks.

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Hey Al,

You have some nice work - but it's difficult to know it at first as it's scattered throughout different pages and in PDF's.

Your illustrations in your Innsmouth PDF for example, are really quite good for a level designer but they're not on your main page. Additionally, the visual presentation in that PDF alone is substantially better than your website (the same goes for your blog, both PDF and blog come across better presented and more passionate than your website). I always go by the motto that "presentation is everything", the amount of time and effort you put behind presenting your work is just as valuable as the work itself - if not more so.

So I would start by looking at the theme of your website and then categorising it all a little better. Separate GD and LD and under both, show your best examples.

Innsmouth: PDF is great, nice theme and presentation and as mentioned, some excellent illustrations. I would personally remove the majority of the screenshots on that page and leave just one or two you're really happy with. Regarding your illustrations: try and show the players direction through a scene in those rather than your screenshots/photoshop. It proves you were thinking about such things in the illustration/drafting stage and they weren't an after thought.

Get Salt: There's no content in here yet, I'd remove the link altogether or instead have a brief description of what Get Salt is all about, until the GDD is complete. If you really want to show it - still add some details of what Get Salt -as a game- would be.

Homens De Negocios: Again some great presentation in here! Looks like a lot of effort went into it, but there are no details at all about what rules and mechanics are in place to make the game fun - just a bunch of nice looking photos. Presentation wise I would have one of the photos as the main image instead of the cover as the photos look really nice!

Design Docs: Remove the links that have no content (i.e. Diablo), they're clutter and there's no useful information there.

Thats about it for now. Reduce clutter, separate GD from LD, promote your best stuff and present it as good as your PDF's and blog!. Also, promote those unity whitebox videos! Thats good content man! :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey tofu,

Thanks a lot for the great and detailed feedback!

[guys, sorry for the long post, but I need your feedbacks and I'd like to ask some questions in the end of it]

How could I improve my portfolio presentation?

Main Page:

  • I separated the projects according to my main attribution.
Is it better and more organized?

GetSalt:

  • This is my best game to this moment. The GDD is indeed complete. I didn't make the game public yet because after graduating, my team and I decided to extend its development to try to commercialize the game. So, we decided to "hide" it untill everything we planned later becomes complete.

    GetSalt is listed under "
Design Docs" because I planned to show the entire GDD. I'm sure that would be really strong for my portfolio. But, as I mentioned, as we extended the development, I minimized the GDD content to show only the document structure/ Table of Contents - which is something important to have a feel of how I structure the information, right?

I added a brief description (About) of the game, but I'll only feature GetSalt in the main page after releasing it - which is sad. I want all of MapCore to play it! All those precious feedbacks...! :dance:

Homens de Negócios:

  • I agree with you that I should change the main image for one that shows the playtesting. Way more attractive, indeed!
    About the rules, at first I thought to include all of the Rule document, but maybe that's not really necessary to understand how the game works to be fun. Maybe a small section/ description should be fine? I'll work on it later, thanks!

Design Docs:

  • I included Diablo to let visitors know that I'm currently active in its Beta Test, but I'll remove it and bring it back when the Beta is over and my documents/ links to forum threads are stabilized.


Innsmouth:
  • I agree with your suggestions. I removed some of the screenshots to emphasize the level design part and I may add some of those level design illustrations that are in the .PDF, pointing the player direction. This is something valuable and was missing.

    That said, Innsmouth was one of my lovely graduate projects. As much as I can say that I learned a lot from that, today, being way more experienced, I can detect some flaws and things that I would easily do a lot better. So, that does not reflect my current knowledge and experience.

QUESTIONS:

- Do you think I should maintain the project in the portfolio? What do you guys think about that? Is it interesting and worthy presentation-wise? How all of you approach to this kind of situation (where a project in your portfolio seems outdated to your experience).

I'm thinking if it's best to invest some time fixing those and translating parts of the documentation to update the portfolio, or if would be better to invest my time getting more experienced in Level Design with my current projects (Portal 2 mapping, for example) and substitute Innsmouth for them.

Thank you again for the feedback, and thanks for reading everything haha

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  • 3 months later...

Hey guys

I am testing some versions of how to make the projects' headers of my portfolio more interesting.

I tested adding an overlay with a brief info.

This would remove the need of visitors click on the images to have the slightest knowledge of my projects.

What do you guys think?

> Left: new version (the test)

> Right: the old version

bqEiQ.jpg

Also, I'll be updating my portfolio with my Portal 2 levels (yay, Mapcore challenge) and new articles describing some of my design decisions.

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I like the added info, but it'd probably be better to have the title of the project on the top left, then the details on the right. That way it works with the natural left to right reading flow.

Also, did you just hand code up some html for your site, or use something else? I like the layout, I'm thinking of switching mine from Carbonmade to something more like what you have set up.

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thank you, guys!

I just noticed that if I add the info on the headers, it wouldn't be necessary to have the headings that tell what was my role in each project ("Game Designer", "Game and Level Designer", etc). They take a loot of space and I'm not that happy with them.

I like the added info, but it'd probably be better to have the title of the project on the top left, then the details on the right. That way it works with the natural left to right reading flow.

Also, did you just hand code up some html for your site, or use something else? I like the layout, I'm thinking of switching mine from Carbonmade to something more like what you have set up.

That's right, the reading flow would be a lot better that way. I'll remake those headers.

I did the HTML by myself. I searched some sites/ portfolios to use as reference and took a look in their source code to learn how they did. I use FireBug (an extension for Firefox) which let me change the HTML and CSS and see the changes in real-time. This helps to save a lot of time when you are experimenting with your layout.

I strongly recommend building your portfolio in a platform where you can edit and make that how you really want. I had carbonmade in the past but decided to make my own layout.

Adding info is good I guess, but you should really look at doing something else than havin those black splooches behind.

Work with the textcolor or text outline or whatever instead.

Thanks, I'll experiment and see what I can do with the colors to keep the added info readable. Maybe each added info will have a different text color depending on the overall color palette of the header (some info may be better in blue, other in pink...)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey guys!

I just updated my portfolio!

There are two new projects: Competurn and Indirect Ctrl, the levels I designed for the Portal 2 challenge we made here.

In each project (the top and bottom at home page) I included articles where I describe my design decisions behind each level, gameplay videos (;D) and screenshots.

Do you remember that level flow I was mentioning about one of my levels? I created a presentation and embedded in the article "Behind the Level: Competurn".

[Currently available for work and able to relocate]

wcnYD.png

Please let me know what you guys think! If you have any feedback, feel free to share your thoughts.

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Very nice! Here are some thoughts:

infoqm.jpg

Actually you could leave only "Home / Portfolio / Articles / Contact / Resume" menu. That would be clean and nice. Less is more ;)

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Very nice! Here are some thoughts:

[image omitted in this quote, but can be seen above]

Actually you could leave only "Home / Portfolio / Articles / Contact / Resume" menu. That would be clean and nice. Less is more ;)

@Seir

First of all, thank you for the attention and I'm glad you enjoyed it! I think your suggestions are really valid and I'll take them in consideration. I have some questions about them, if you don't mind:

-> Title

• I don't usually see "game industry portfolio" in the title of the portfolios around. Is it really necessary?

• I saw that in the suggestion the "Game and Level designer" was removed. Wouldn't it prevent the visitors to know what my job positions are?

---

-> About the scheme for the header image:

VsjM7.jpg

3aJBC.jpg

• Color: do you think that using only white and bold in the text is better than using blue to contrast the information?

• Additional: I was thinking to keep the "(Personal project)" statement in the info to enrich the project. What do you think? (I changed the "sole" project for "personal" project).

• Logo: do you mean the game's logo that a project is related? For example, adding the Portal 2 logo (as seen above)? I believe this would certainly increase the attention given to a project, as the logo should be directly recognized.

• Engine: in those two Portal 2 levels I designed, I didn't use Hammer. However, in the end, the levels are running in the Source Engine. Do you think that nevertheless I can keep the "(Source Engine)" in the info?

---

-> The cleaner menu:

• I am thinking about the "Home" and "Portfolio". As in the current format the Home displays the header images, wouldn't these menus take the visitor to the same place?

• I saw that you (apparently) suggested the removal of the menus "Design Docs" and "Extra Skills". Don't you think they are worthy to be kept?

Thanks again :-D

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• I don't usually see "game industry portfolio" in the title of the portfolios around. Is it really necessary?

I couldn't see what's your profession so I've wrote "game industry". As you'll notice on some portfolios there's a profession right next to the name:

http://www.adambromell.com/

http://www.littlelostpoly.co.uk/

http://www.claeng.com/

http://www.dux.interlopers.net/ ;)

http://www.minerality.fr/

http://www.3decade.com/

It's not a "must have" but I think it's a good habbit.

• I saw that in the suggestion the "Game and Level designer" was removed. Wouldn't it prevent the visitors to know what my job positions are?

My bad, I've removed it by mistake when modifing the menu ;) As I've wrote before - you need to inform about your profession so - yes - it should be there ;)

• Color: do you think that using only white and bold in the text is better than using blue to contrast the information?

Blue is better :)

• Additional: I was thinking to keep the "(Personal project)" statement in the info to enrich the project. What do you think? (I changed the "sole" project for "personal" project).

Cool, but it's hard to find a correct place for it. You could make Personal and Professional parts of portfolio (inform about it in description and in header of the projects' list). I was trying to make such thing on my website but I had only one personal project. It could look like this:

HEADER (logo)

MENU

----- (separator)

Portfolio:

Professional Work

[projects list]

Personal Work

[projects list]

------

FOOTER

• Logo: do you mean the game's logo that a project is related? For example, adding the Portal 2 logo (as seen above)? I believe this would certainly increase the attention given to a project, as the logo should be directly recognized.

Yep, don't leave only logo because it may be unreadable (most of the logos are very readable but I've seen some unreadable like Call of Juarez's ;) so it's good to leave text and additional logo if present).

• Engine: in those two Portal 2 levels I designed, I didn't use Hammer. However, in the end, the levels are running in the Source Engine. Do you think that nevertheless I can keep the "(Source Engine)" in the info?

If the game is running on Source Engine it means that it's OK :) If you used GTKRadiant instead of Hammer, just type it in your skills section in resume.

• I am thinking about the "Home" and "Portfolio". As in the current format the Home displays the header images, wouldn't these menus take the visitor to the same place?

Yep, frontpage of the portfolio should show the gallery so there's no Home page actually ;)

• I saw that you (apparently) suggested the removal of the menus "Design Docs" and "Extra Skills". Don't you think they are worthy to be kept?

Move it to portfolio as a part of Professional or Personal Work. It's a part of your folio and it should be on one page so it will be easy to print/check on mobile phone. I think that "Portfolio" page (main page) should contain all your works. Only one page. The second page is Resume (with contact) and the rest are up to you (Artices, Dev Blog, Links and so on).

Good luck!

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