Hello. Do you think having a game programming YouTube channel can be useful as a portfolio? Like recreating game mechanics from existing games or creating new ones, and explaining my thoughts and decisions through the videos. Similar to Artstation for artists, but in this case for programming.

I do like the idea of having an online portfolio where a candidate can showcase their skills, but I am not sure that a youtube channel is the ideal platform for it. I can see good gains to be had from doing so, but there are also non-trivial drawbacks. I'll explain what I mean.

First, doing personal game development projects earns top marks. There's no better way to stand out as a candidate than to have experience doing that work already and game development is no exception. Show us that you can do the job by doing similar work. Earning experience as an amateur will translate to leveling up as a professional.

Second, there's definitely a lot of benefit to practicing communication skills which you get from posting for public consumption. My own personal ability to communicate has improved significantly since I began this blog. The regular practice of posting to the blog has honed my skill at taking difficult, technical, and/or complex concepts and conveying them in an intuitive and understandable way. These are extremely helpful skills in a professional setting, especially when communicating with others who are not versed in the technical or design context.

There are also two drawbacks I see here.

The first drawback is in the choice of platform. Video production is extremely time-consuming - at the very least you will need to record the needed footage, write and record the commentary, add any needed visual bits (e.g. intro, outro, key art, transitions, etc.) and (most time-consuming of all) edit each video together. Most of these skills are not directly transferable to game development and are the primary reason I decided against going the Youtube route for myself.

The second drawback is in the public-facing nature of posting your work. If you get hired by a game company, you will become a corporate representative to the players of that company's games 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Your personal public posts will likely be read and dissected by the game's fans and used as potential ammunition against your employer. It is not abnormal for public blogs and the like to need shutting down (either temporarily or permanently) once you get hired. It may become a legal liability and that's not something you want to deal with while juggling a full-time job. I avoid this by staying anonymous but it's a double-edged sword - I must also forgo the benefit of having a public portfolio that I can show to potential employers.

That's basically the rundown. There's a lot to be gained from doing personal game dev work and posting it publicly, but you don't need to go all or nothing. There are really good skills you will develop by doing so, but you should absolutely be mindful of the major drawbacks of doing so in a public venue. I would encourage you to consider these issues and find a solution that you think will work best for you.

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