View Full Version : Using LBP Content in a Game Designer's Portfolio?

09-14-2013, 10:54 PM
One of the great things about making levels in Little Big Planet is how it can easily be used to teach players the elements of game design, from concepts and mechanics to level design and testing. This is particularly applicable to me as I am a professional game designer myself!... Technically speaking.

You see, last spring I graduated from DigiPen Institute of Technology (https://www.digipen.edu/) with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Game Design. Unfortunately, I've been on the hunt for a job ever since, and I suspect part of it is because my online portfolio isn't quite large enough to demonstrate my experience as a game designer. To make matters worse, no longer being at DigiPen means I don't have access to the wide range of tools the school supplied: All I have is a laptop which barely has about enough power to run The Sims 2, let alone level or game editors like Unreal or Unity, making it hard to create stuff to expand my portfolio. However, I do have a PS3... and Little Big Planet 1/2/Karting.

So, here's the question I have for anyone who has enough personal experience to know: Would it be a good idea to create games/levels in Little Big Planet and then include them in my professional, online portfolio? On one hand, it's definitely a fully fleshed-out game engine that lets you quickly dive in and create virtually anything with relative ease, not to mention one I have immediate access to. On the other... It isn't exactly a "professional" game engine in the same sense that Unreal or Unity is (the only company that uses the "LBP Engine" to make games would be... er... Media Molecule, basically) and, while the lack of any coding experience needed makes it really easy to make stuff in it, it also means that I could NOT use it to demonstrate my own coding ability in any way, except possibly in a very "high level" fashion using logic gates. What do you all think?

09-14-2013, 11:02 PM
Well, I know a lot of designers use mods, but those are different in that they are made on the computer where games are actually made. So I don't know really, lol. I know there are some actual game developers here (or at least there used to be, I think MM and other studios hired them all up :/) so maybe they'll be of more assistance.

Otherwise, you could always try to go into indie development or try and be a contractor. But number 1: get a better PC. That should probably be your first priority, as you've already said it prevents you from helping find a new job. If you need to sell some stuff to do so, well, then you got to do what you got to do.

09-18-2013, 09:50 AM
I don't see why you shouldn't include your work on LBP (presuming it was successful). Frankly, if you designed something that became popular, I think it would be a waste not to include it and mention it's popularity. LBP might not be a professional game design tool, but that doesn't mean you can't prove anything with it (if anything, it's a good display of your commitment, ambition and passion for game/level design) . If you make a case during an interview, and explain what this is and why it matters, I think you'll find that people will at least be intrigued (heck, designers who interview can't wait to see sketchbooks with ideas, not to mention wacky stuff you came up with and made possible. They tend to be artists, not coders)

On that note, I should mention that Level design and game design are two separate things, and as a fresh face in the gaming industry, you might want to look for work in Level design first (since they don't require as much experience, and your LBP portfolio will make much more sense that way)

Good Luck! :D

09-18-2013, 03:39 PM
DigiPen! I got a fan letter response from nintendo years ago saying to get there if I really wanted to be a part of nintendo. That was 6-7 years ago, haha! Also, I think you can put it on your portfolio because you created the stuff within an engine or software. It's like using photoshop to make a project and you put it in your portfolio. LBP is like a game design program so to speak so I would not imagine it being any different unless you pay to incorporate money some how, then that is a different story.


09-18-2013, 05:23 PM
As somebody who is actually looking for a formation in 3D modelling, I wondered too if it was a good idea. I asked some advices around me and the most recurring answers were: "do not show what you do (because of the childish aspect of the game :(), but show your comprehension of the gameplay as a whole."

Apparently, it would be better to explain why you choosed that or this [anything] in your level, given the context, because it sounds like you have undestood the limits of the tools, what you can or can't do, and have a better comprehension of the earlier and later processes of the job (like game design, physics, beta testing, etc.). This turned me a bit off, because I expected to show more design as an artistic value.

Also, I live in France, where it is hard to have a honest answer on the subject, because most videogames-related jobs (or even somewhat-artistic jobs) are not yet considered as "real" jobs here... When I started working in graphic design seven years ago, most of the people told me: "the job you describe does not even exist !", which turned out to be false, of course.

09-19-2013, 02:34 AM
Portfolios are designed to demonstrate your abilities. As long as you can demonstrate those abilities professionally I would say it doesn't matter how it's done.

Like you said, LBP isn't going to be able to show off your coding abilities. Technically the logic could to some extent but your not going to be able to sit down and explain what all these wires are so don't use it for that. If level design and/or artistic talent are abilities you want to convey then I think LBP would be fine to use in your portfolio.

Of course, it would be good to present it nicely in a video (& in-game), one with some basic editing done. Use the video to help explain what you've done.

It might be a good idea to create a very simple (low power, so it can be done on your current laptop) 2D game to go along side it to demonstrate you can actually do the behind-the-scenes work too.

09-22-2013, 03:45 AM
It's fine to use some LBP stuff to supplement other stuff you have, but do not rely on it. Have your own games, mods and various other things you can show off as well.

It also entirely depends on what kind of job you're looking for, as stated above by people much more experienced than I am. :P

09-27-2013, 11:03 AM
Provided that your creations are of a very high quality that you feel truly represents your game design and artistic skills, then there's no reason not to include them in a portfolio. :)

Whilst some companies may request a skill set in a specific tool that they use, others will be just as impressed if you're able to showcase that you have the skills to adapt to a variety of tool sets from the popular to the obscure, therefore you will want to build up a portfolio containing such a variety of development tools to demonstrate this ability.

So whilst it' is unlikely that most companies would use the LBP tool set, the ability to show off your aptitude with such a unique tool set could still help raise a few eyebrows in your favour. :)

09-27-2013, 01:28 PM
Anything that shows your skill whatever medium it is can be included to portfolio