Technically a resume should be a list of completed accomplishments and skills that you provide. I use the term "vaporware" to loosely describe any product, whether it be a 2-day proof of concept or a year long commitment, that gets shelved for whatever reason.

I imagine in the game development industry this is completely expected on a resume and may not speak negatively about the candidate due to the nature of that industry. I'm in the public sector and sometimes politics are at play and will halt a project big or small, sometimes leaving you with slim pickings to display on a resume.

I want to demonstrate my ability to dissect the requirements of a project, architect a solution and execute it, but how do you gracefully mention it was shelved for some unforeseen reason beyond your control?

If I were an employer I suppose I'd like to know:

  1. Was the project halted due to a bad solution provided (overly complicated architecture)?
  2. If so, does the candidate understand why the project wasn't completed? And do they understand technical debt?
  3. Why are there so many incompleted projects?


  • As a programmer, not only in the game industry, I think half or our time goes to the void because of features and reports that will never be used, 180 degree decision of the management or specs that finally does not connect with real world. So I expect that most programmers have worked on projects that have been shelved. – Sebastien DErrico Oct 31 '17 at 15:44
  • Are you applying for a management role or a technical role? You concern seems more on projects management. Also, concepts like architecture, technical debt, etc. will be demonstrate more during the interview, if it is really important for you, you can on your resume something like position then participate collectively of the management of the technical debt as a responsability of the position – Sebastien DErrico Oct 31 '17 at 15:53

Vaporware is a term that's generally accepted to mean a product that doesn't exist, or exists only to make a pitch. Not many people will assume that any significant work was put in to these products (if any).

If it existed (at least for a short time), it's not really vaporware, so don't pitch it as such.

The pieces of work you created are "proof of concepts" or "prototypes".

Remove the term "vaporware" and you'll remove this ambiguity.

  • This is the right answer IMHO. Whether a project is shelved should not ( usually ) come up in an interview and definitely not be on the resume/CV. – Mister Positive Oct 31 '17 at 11:37
  • Agree with @MisterPositive. In a resume/interview you say that you worked on a project that does XYZ - no need to mention whether the program was successful or not so long as the skills you used are still applicable. – David K Oct 31 '17 at 11:57
  • Vaporwave is also a Music Gender – DarkCygnus Nov 2 '17 at 18:40
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaporwave – jkdev Aug 27 '19 at 7:19

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