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    Robin-Yann Storm
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    Level & Tech Designer
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    The Netherlands

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  1. Oh absolutely! But I do cover all of that in the talk. After explaining how great the basic geometry editing of Hammer is I then switch to the next chapter and explain how awful the complex geometry editing is in Hammer and how much better it is in Unreal and 3dsMax. I'm not sure if your reply was focused on me and the talk, but if it was: I think I covered those topics and those ways of thinking in the talk, and how while Hammer is great sometimes, it's also awful sometimes, as are all the other editors I discuss. Apparently I did not make that clear enough, or that slipped through the cracks, as I have gotten the argument of "You are much too positive about Hammer/CSG/BSP!" multiple times after the talk, which is why I wrote this Gamasutra article to explain that wasn't my intention: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/RobinYannStorm/20160503/271373/Dont_fear_the_Hammer_The_importance_of_UX_in_editors__tools.php Did that part feel like it was glossed over? I hoped with the words I used and the inflection of my voice to really set straight that this 'pause-edit' system was absolutely amazing and that any editor benefits from such a system, regardless of team size or game genre. Please let me know if I did not make that clear enough!
  2. Sorry! I already had to cut so much good stuff when building the talk, and things had to go. Generally I'm still happy what the talk gave out as an idea, but originally I went over all 5 editors on each chapter. I loved doing this, and going into full detail, but sadly the time wasn't there. Even with those cuts, and talking super fast, I barely made it into 50 minutes. Please let me know what was erroneous though! I am not perfect, I do not know everything, and I'm always willing to learn. Yep, time constraints and cuts sadly had to happen, but as a general idea to share this knowledge (especially something I rarely hear people talk about) I'm still happy with it. True! I work the same way in hammer. One of the first iterations of the talk actually had me build the exact same house/room in each editor to show different workflows, but this was much too time consuming, and made it difficult to compare the editors as there was a lot of time inbetween the different features. This resulted in the final format, which in this way meant the creating of the brush & the editing/copying/moving of the brush were split up. So I do talk about both placing and copying/edit to create sections (Or if it feels like I didn't, please let me know if that wasn't clear!) the two topics are so separate it doesn't look like normal level design workflow. Thanks for letting me know, I did not realize that until now! It doesn't have to be easy to pickup, no. There is time to work with it and get used to it, but the section where I talk about the 'ok' button vs the 'x' button in the Skyrim Creation Kit (SCK) is exactly about this. "If you do something, you'll know for the future" is not always true. Many editors & tools have a problem that there are solely tool programmers involved and not designers, creating scenarios where the technical action is possible (pressing 'ok' or 'x') but the physical action of pressing them varies within a huge editor. The SCK is definitely not the only one to do this, of course. UX needs to focus more on what you are continually doing, again and again, and to make that smooth. Sure, level designers also need to deal with problems and bad tools sometimes, but if that goes too far, which it often does, then you reach that point of "Deal with it." and "A good designer/artist/developer doesn't blame their tools, and comes up with cool stuff regardless." which is incredibly detrimental both physically, mentally, and qualitatively, as I discuss in the talk. I think that reality can change. It will be slow, it will take incredible time and effort, but the end result will be worth it both for game developers and for game players. This is something I'm sad about that I did not mention it. This is the answer I would've loved to give to the question at the end concerning finding a tool for a game that has thousands and thousands of props: To find the right tool, and the right tool UX, you need to look at: Your company, the genre you're building, your publisher relations, your developer workflows, your time limit, the studio culture, the country culture, your budget, etc etc. and then make an informed decision with all of those factors in mind. I disagree, and this is where I think change needs to happen. Tools affect the end result of developers, both of experienced and inexperienced ones. If a badly placed exit button makes you lose 30 minutes of work, then your production, mood, and creative quality have just gone down. I won't say tools are everything anyone needs to make something awesome, but I also won't say tools matter less than the developer experience. If working with the editor is annoying enough to get a developer out of a good mood, it's not the fault of the developer, it's the fault of the tool. And we can fix tools. Telling developers to deal with bad UXd tools is reasonably okay, up to a point, but that point should not be 'running into the tool programmers room asking what the hell is going on', but should be 'getting annoyed over a consistently repeated action'. Again of course studio culture, time limit, budget, etc come into play, but the argument of how to do something becoming trivial and what to do becoming important is, in my opinion, not entirely accurate. It's missing a critical element. It's not just how to do something, or what to do, but in what way is it being done? If you have an awesome idea (what) and you know how to do it (how) but then you need to wrestle with a bad UXd editor to make it work (in what way) then you might not act on that awesome idea, or your creative energy will stop flowing because you will start to get annoyed, and then you might instead produce a less awesome idea in the end. Now the game is in a worse state purely due to bad editor UX. Experience might help here, but it's not a catch-all for these problems. In the end developers are only human. Bad tools can bring down amazing ideas and awesome games. You can punch through bad tools, and come out with awesome games, if you have enough willpower, force, budget, or time, but many times the sacrifices in final quality are not worth the small time it would take to fix a UI/UX issue. @Skybex's post also brought this same argument to light, and it's exactly how I feel, what I've heard, and what I've experienced in the industry. Amazing projects & ideas have been lost, just due to bad tools that human beings could not healthily deal with. Anything might be technically possible in an engine or editor, but it also has to be humanly possible. Thanks! And that's why I wanted to say in the above point: I disagree. I think it's useful to say that publicly, even though I may be talking to someone with more years of experience and a more senior position. I'm going to keep fighting for better tools & editors, not only so that developers enjoy work more, but also so I can play even better games!
  3. Exactly, it's a very neglected topic that many know about, but few talk about! I'm trying to share the talk as much as possible to try and spark a bigger conversation, and hopefully get some development-wide change to occur. If you know fellow developers who would be interested in this topic, or are working with tools that could be improved, please share the talk!
  4. I have the exact same feeling! Every editor seems to have their own ideal and non-ideal parts.
  5. Hey everyone! A few months ago at GDC I gave a talk about the user experience of level editors. I talk about Unity, Unreal, Hammer, The Creation Kit, and 3dsMax from a level designer's perspective. It just went live on the GDC vault for free: http://gdcvault.com/play/1023235/Keeping-Level-Designers-in-the edit: Though it's a bit easier to watch on youtube: I would love to hear your opinions on it! Have you had the same experiences? Or do you know of level editors that were particularly awesome, or particularly bad?
  6. I've done a huge update on the site and CV! I'd love to hear opinions on whether this is an improvement.
  7. I was wondering if there were many people going to GDC 2016 this year! Maybe it would be nice to organise some kind of meetup if there are many of us going?
  8. It worked for me as-is as well. No need to download or extract anything. Weird!
  9. Today I found out, via r/csmapmakers, that Valve also added a de_nuke_zoo.vmf to the update. It is amazing! It follows in the footsteps of the prop libraries A Boojum Snark made for TF2 So if you want to get an eye for the new content, and see what has been made available, go take a look! You can find the vmf in your common\Counter-Strike Global Offensive\sdk_content\maps directory.
  10. Thanks to the latest update it is now possible to have multiple radar images. This has now been included on de_meat! If you go down to A site you will now have a different radar image that only displays A site.
  11. This map was a lot of fun to play. The height variations were really nice, and made the angles fun to hold and take!
  12. Thanks for that info Will! If many people are having this problem then it must have existed for longer. In all that time has anyone ever tried directly contacting Matt or anyone else from Valve? Has there been any official posts about this problem, or is it currently unknown to them?
  13. That's really neat! Well visualized. Did you also test how much the power of the displacements affected the FPS? Those in the screenshots seem to be power 4, so maybe depending on how you use them you could make them power 2 to save even more FPS?
  14. It has gotten loads of flags so far, and even a DMCA, and yet it's not been taken down. I guess this is normal for the workshop? Or is there something else I should be doing?
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