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How you got into the industry

Discussion in 'CBP General' started by TheSpoonDog, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. Sjosz

    Sjosz (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

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    Again, depends on the company.
     
  2. Hyrage

    Hyrage New Member

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    He is right and it also depends of the game you are working on.

    By example, if you are working on an old Splinter Cell, the lights are part of the gameplay, so it means = LD job.

    In some companies, the Level Designer do pretty much everything [modelling, lighting, layouts, etc].

    In some companies, the Level Designer exclusively make the rough layout of the map, balance the gameplays, make a soft lighting, place the 3D meshes, place the cameras, etc. The Environmental Artist comes later and work with the LD to properly give an outstanding visual and improve the lighting for visual art.

    In some other companies the LD is doing the layout, the weapon balance, the scripting behind the gaemplays (no deep trigger interface like Hammer or Kismet in UE3), etc.

    The Level Designer job is always a mystery nowadays, it's a very challenging and highly polyvalent job.:rolleyes:

    The name also change sometimes, Level Artist to Environmental Artist and Multiplayer Level Designer to Multiplayer Designer directly.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2008
  3. Hourences

    Hourences New Member

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    As said, it depends on the studio but if you know for certain that a certain company has BOTH a level designer position, and a level artist position, then your defintion is likely to be true for that certain company.

    If they only have a level designer position, there is no way to find out what the hell they expect from a "level designer" without asking them or reading over a job ad.

    Not all companies have a level artist, some just have an environment artist, which is basically the same...
     
  4. Angel_Mapper

    Angel_Mapper Goooooooats

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    Here, designers make the layouts, but the gameplay programmers place items and do scripted events. Weird huh?
     
  5. evilmrfrank

    evilmrfrank Banned

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    At gearbox the level designers are required to do pretty much everything. The job of a level artist, level scripting, layouts, and everything else related to level design.
     
  6. cooloola

    cooloola A good samaritan

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    Thanks all for the replies, they were enlightening. It seems to me that the level artist position is more interesting, since i suck at making maps that play well, I guess I'd better start learning some 2d apps and work on my modeling skills (not the ones' where i parade around in tight underwear, I'm already perfect at that). I still have 5 years before I hit the job market, so I'll have plenty of time to do that. Hopefully uni won't get in the way too much :p
    @evilmrfrank
    Did you used to use the nickname Burkart or something like that? If so, long time no see, it's good to hear you got a job, I wondered what happened to you after you disappeared from Team USP. BTW I'm Wael.
     
  7. Slainchild

    Slainchild Gold Member

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    I was on a nasty acid trip during most of 2006, came out of it in Germany at Acony Games. Was really confused, dunno how I got there. :confused:

    Now working at Chemistry with Sjosz.
     
  8. evilmrfrank

    evilmrfrank Banned

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    Ya, I used the name BBurkart for a while. :) Never realized that you and Wael were the same person. I was only in the USP for a short while and had to quit because college was keeping me a bit too busy :)
     
  9. Hyrage

    Hyrage New Member

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    If the Level Designers are doing pretty much everything, how much time do you need to make one map, approximatively? It must be very long, but this is just what I think, at least if you meant that you were also building all your 3D meshes.

    modif: the hyperlink in your signature seems to be broken?
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2008
  10. evilmrfrank

    evilmrfrank Banned

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    When I said Level Designers are doing pretty much everything I didn't mean on all fronts :p I meant just in terms of Level Design. We are Level Artists, enviromental artists, Level Scripters, Gameplay Designers, and whatever else you wanna throw on the pile. A lot of the LD's on Brothers in Arms have done a decent ammount of mesh making though.

    And thanks for the heads up on the web link being broke :D
     
  11. Sjosz

    Sjosz (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

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    Environmental artists and level artists are generally people who make models/objects and textures/materials to decorate a designed level... I doubt that you mean just what you said.
     
  12. evilmrfrank

    evilmrfrank Banned

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    Yea I guess it could have different meaning than what I meant :p I meant the people who are responsible for the visuals of the map and all :D
     
  13. Lord_Porksword

    Lord_Porksword Connoisseur of Bourbon!

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    Very interesting to hear how some of the best community mappers got into the industry. From a gamer perspective it's good to see you still make maps for us gamers in ya spare time! :)

    My hat off to you!! :D
     
  14. Angel_Mapper

    Angel_Mapper Goooooooats

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    Really I'm just doing it to further my career.

    Plus I love doing it. :D
     
  15. Hourences

    Hourences New Member

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    Same.

    And you need to understand a production environment is very restrictive, large teams, long project times, and so on. It is fun to just be able to make your own thing without people interfering
     
  16. Lord_Porksword

    Lord_Porksword Connoisseur of Bourbon!

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    Good to hear you do it because you have fun doing it. Having fun means you put more into it which will produce better maps for us other gaming freaks to enjoy I reckon! :D

    I'm not suprised about the restrictions with working on a professional game project. However you need them restrictions in place otherwise the project would blow way out of scope (and budget) due to a constant flow of new ideas ending up with nothing ever getting completed.

    Question though, do you ever get bored of working on something that long, constrained within a set scope? Or does the fact that you can work within said bounds, then go home and work on whatever you want balance it all out eleminating any 'tedious' times'?

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-

    My spil below for those interested my personal gaming history(not industry related at all though)...

    I've been gaming since I was 5 on my colecovision and spent many years gaming on my commodore 64 before I managed to con my parents into getting me a PC for my studies.
    Studies was the official excuse. The real excuse was that I wanted to play games on it. ;)
    Even taught myself basic DOS commands so I could play games on my mates PC's before I got my own. Doing that got me a career in IT. :D

    I dabbled in the past with some mapping and found it quite enjoyable. It's a whole new side of gaming which I find was just as rewarding, if not more, as playing the game normally. I could create anything I wanted which attracted me to mapping. Plus I was playing something that I made myself which was the icing on the cake.

    Starting off in Doom2 then onto very brief stints in Quake and HalfLife2 ending up into the FarCry Sandbox editor due to the attraction of the lush tropical environments and the "simple'ish" outdoor editor. Never touched indoors though....
    None were ever released publicly in any form. All were SinglePlayer/coop maps. Only kept them to myself and a mate or two for our own amusement.

    I got heavily into mapping after playing UT3 then watching the editor vids and realizing that it was a lot less difficult to make a map than what I originally thought. Plus the gfx in UT3 were killer!!

    Originally I wasn't going to publicly release my 1st map Orbital Deconstruction due to the fact I'd never released anything previously and that peeps would think it's crap. Glad I did release it though. Good feedback and help from other modders kept the inspiration up for me to eagerly start a second map and soforth making me think that I should stick with it.

    I got so enthuastic while working on OrbDecon that I even read the 'extract' from Hourences level design book to help me out with some base theory on mapping. (huge thanx for that)
    Admittidly I didn't follow it to a tee but it showed my what to avoid and what works well. :)
    I've even been tempted to buy the full book on an occasion or two so if I stick with mapping expect me to purchase a copy!

    I make maps to get the type of action and visuals that I want in the game. Unfortunately this overrides proper map theory but I enjoy it anyway. I'm thinking of keeping at it and see if I can learn the proper skills, make better maps and eventually look into getting into the industry down the track if I can get it right.
    A mates mum has been telling me for two years to get into the industry seeing I'm addicted to games so much. After seeing my work in the editor she's given me a business card of a good friend of hers, who happens to be the executive producer of Krome studios in Adelaide here.
    It's her way of helping me out if I ever want to get a foot in the door to the industry.
    I only hope I can grasp the concepts and produce some good work to show that maybe I can actually do this sucessfully as a job.
    ..time will tell...
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  17. Hourences

    Hourences New Member

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    Incompetence leads to blowing projects out of proportion and budget, not insufficient planning or restrictions. Some of the greatest games ever were made with minimal planning and with few real restrictions, some companies plan so much they effectively stand still. Of course you always need to have some organization going, but there is a nuance of how much really. It is very much like a huge cooperate company vs a small garage studio, which one is more flexible?
    Companies usually start overplanning things because it is "not working", so they start organizing everything even more in the hope that a bunch of excel files are the magic key to success... Overplanning is usually an indication of greater problems.

    I wouldn't survive a 2 year cycle easily. Not because I would get bored with the theme, but because you are just waiting and redoing things all the time and because you are at the mercy of some other guy who doesn't really know what to do either... And so you remake some more stuff....And more...And more...

    Games could be 10 times cheaper to develop really, if you'd how incredibly much money is wasted on either stuff that is irrelevant, or things that are thrown away later because someone somewhere didn't do his job well...

    Then again, I have been doing this for 10 years now, I am not looking at it from an average dev's pov.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  18. TheSpoonDog

    TheSpoonDog CBP3! Yarrr!

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    QFT :p
     
  19. Lord_Porksword

    Lord_Porksword Connoisseur of Bourbon!

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    LOL at the magic spreadsheets. :lol:
    I think some of the managers here at my work have magic spreadsheets to hide their incompetence. Said managers also carry "fingers of blame pointing +1" as well......

    Have you ever had the issue of people running the project who have never been gamers themselves and expect unrealistic things to be implemented that aren't possible or just don't work in a game environment? Or have you found that the places you work are generally run by gamers/ex-gamers?
    Would you think that it even makes a difference to the success of a game if the team members working on a game are gamers/ex gamers or not?

    The large company vs small backyard developer is an interesting topic. Large companies have lots of money to throw at a project therefore can hire more peeps have more equipment, bigger advertising but have to take in the account that the end product is required to make more money than what has been spent on development.

    I wonder though with larger 'money rich' companies that it becomes rather too easy to bloat out a team with positions and ideas that don't really need to be there due to the fact that funding isn't an issue. These positions/ideas cost money which could be spent in better areas of development. Bit like having too many managers when they aren't needed. eg.. Too many chiefs and not enough indians... :eek:

    Whereas backyard developers may have little funds, hardly any equipment but don't have a bunch of shareholders breathing down their neck expecting to make them money. I'd like to think they have more freedom but with little funds maybe they don't...

    In the end both can be quite successful but the question is..who would be better to work for...



    Thanx for responding as well! :)
     
  20. Angel_Mapper

    Angel_Mapper Goooooooats

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    The problem I'm having right now is that my position and influence on our projects does not match my immense talent. I'm consistently ignored and am growing increasingly frustrated at the horrible design decisions being made and the horrible levels being produced, without there being anything I can do about it. Smaller companies != better work environment or better games necessarily.
     

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