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RedYager

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RedYager last won the day on November 27 2014

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About RedYager

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  1. RedYager

    WIP in WIP, post your level screenshots!

    Lemurr that looks cool as f**k, really digging the ambience. I love how the gun/tool reacts to those explosion sounds.
  2. RedYager

    The random model thread!

    I really love your work kanine, I recall seeing the first weapons/swords you posted here and you've improved so much
  3. RedYager

    Giving guest talk on Level Design

    I wish I had now! I would have asked, but I was worried it would go so poorly I'd never want to be reminded of it again! Next time
  4. RedYager

    Giving guest talk on Level Design

    Hey! Sorry for the delay in posting, I've written what I hope is a useful after action report, sorry that its a bit long. I'll start with how I prepared for the talk Most of my prep involved reading over level design articles, I spent most evenings going through them and writing down notes. Many I'd read before but I found by writing notes down I was retaining more information than I would have if I read them dozens of times. I tried to cover at least one article each evening, although I usually just kept reading/writing until I went to bed. I printed articles off and sat at an empty desk whilst reading, I got too distracted working at my PC. Aside from articles, I spoke to one of the tutors a fair a bit about what the students would find most useful, what they'd find more interesting ect. That was really handy as he'd had first hand experience with who I'd be talking to. My friends who had also done public speaking before were really helpful, it was great to hear little tips like where to look when speaking to an audience. And of course Mapcore! I'm so glad I posted here and listened to what you guys would expect to hear in a level design talk and suggestions about what areas to cover. It was also a great motivator, I felt like after all the help and support you gave me I owed it to you to do the best I could, it was a strong driving purpose. When putting together the structure of the talk and contents, I had a rough idea of the stages I would cover. I wanted to talk about things I felt most comfortable explaining, I didn't feel confident discussing aspects of level design I still either don't have a solid understanding of myself or things I didn't feel capable of articulating. The bulk of the contents of the talk would cover the process of developing a level from the initial idea/concept to the final stages of polishing. I wanted to put more emphasis on what its like creating levels as a hobbyist in their spare time as I felt its probably more relevant to the situation they are in. I broke the talk down into sections which were : Picking and developing an idea Gathering reference Creating concepts, drawing layouts Greyboxing Playtesting iteration Detailing passes Lighting (briefly) Optimisation When writing the contents, I frequently referred to the notes I'd made, and used the most informative ones to help me explain things. For each section I covered why the process was important, how it affects the rest of the development, What the process involves and what my personal approach to it is. I also included some do's and don’t s, what mistakes I've made in my experience and what kind of negative effects they had, for example, skipping steps, rushing into the editor ect. I wrote in bullet point form, I found when practising I had too many bullet points with too little in them, so I condensed them into paragraphs which felt less 'stop, start, stop, start'. To show I picked out screenshots from the development of one of my levels for Fistful of Frags which helped demonstrate the process I wanted to describe. Prior to the talk I was nervous, but I felt like I had done enough preparation. It was a fairly large group I was talking to which was somewhat intimidating. I started the talk off fairly weakly I think, but after a few minutes I began to relax. Something that helped a huge amount was our producer was in the audience and sat fairly close. We get along really well and he's known to the group I was talking to, It was comforting having brief playful chats with him. I worked my way through the sections, and found I was able to discuss them without sounding too much like I was reading from a script, a difficulty I found was then looking back at my notes and trying to work out what I'd already covered. Several of them asked questions throughout the talk which was nice, it gave me a break from constantly talking. I did totally forget toshowg pictures until half way though, they perked up a bit after that, and doing so provoked a few more questions. I closed with a few thoughts on gaining experience and how to make the most out of the time they have, following that were a few more questions, and then it was over! It lasted about an hour and a half which was longer than I expected it would. I had a few people come up to me after to ask questions, which felt quite nice as it made me feel like I had given some useful information. In conclusion, I think it was a really positive experience. I learnt so much myself, my hand writing improved and I think my confidence has a bit too, I know I can actually talk about level design now, whereas before I was worried I could never describe things coherently. I couldn't have done it without the help of others, the information you guys gave me and the people I spoke to in person was invaluable, I can't imagine how poorly it would have gone without it. Practising in-front of friends was also very helpful, I found it harder speaking to two people than I did to 40, not sure why that was but it certainly prepared me for it. Also having a cup of tea at hand whilst talking helped me relax! If I ever do something like it again, I'll make sure I show plenty of pictures (and not forget until halfway through), I'll start preparing sooner and not let it eat up all my spare time, and perhaps push myself to talk about some broader topics which I didn't feel capable of doing. Articles I found most use from : Realistic Level Design in Max Payne Level Design Primer : Starting a New Level (This is a fantastic read) Common Sense Vs Level Design Single Player Level Design Workflow by Magnar Jenssen The Iterative Level Design Process of Bethesda Game Studios WoLD : Level Design Workflow Thank you again for all the support and encouragement, if you have any questions please let me know!
  5. RedYager

    Giving guest talk on Level Design

    I DID IT!! And it actually went quite well! It lasted for about an hour and a half, followed by some Q&A, and I'm totally exhausted. I'll write a sort of 'post-mortem' within the next day, right now I need to have a rest. Thank you for the support everyone!
  6. RedYager

    Giving guest talk on Level Design

    Shiiiiiiit, its tomorrow morning, time is up. I think I'm prepared as much as I can be, I've gone over it again tonight with a friend and I'm feeling a little more confident. I'll let you know how it goes!
  7. RedYager

    Giving guest talk on Level Design

    Quickly reading through some of the content on his blog, its a little treasure-trove! Many thanks for sharing, I'll squeeze in some more article reading where I can, last few hours of working on it tomorrow. Today I practised reading through what I've written, despite people warnings I have indeed written too much!
  8. RedYager

    WIP in WIP, post your level screenshots!

    Fantastic Skacky! I really like the ambience the stained glass windows give off. Anywhere we can watch the stream?
  9. RedYager

    Giving guest talk on Level Design

    Hi Ravage, thank you so much for taking the time to to suggest those subject points and structure. Its really great seeing how others would approach it, I can see what I've been missing out, but also I'm reassured when I see you mention something I've planned to cover. I think your point about explaining where the boundary between level design and env art is really important and something I'd like to emphasise. I also like the way you separate the core areas level designers must understand from that of the creation of the level. As of now I had been planning on mixing the two whilst going through the creation process but I think the way you've suggested doing it will be far more coherent. Those lectures by Richard Feynman were also very useful Nexusdog, he seems to confident about what he's talking about, its just rolling off his tongue and he's really enthusiastic. If I were sat watching a lecturer I'd like to see the enthusiasm they have about their subject, hopefully I can at least sound somewhat confident about what I'm saying I've been structuring what I want to say this weekend, bringing all my notes together and trying to find the most relevant ones. Its quite difficult when the pressure is on and having to remove distractions, by that I pretty much mean internet heh Thanks again guys, your help and support is invaluable to me
  10. RedYager

    Giving guest talk on Level Design

    Thanks for the article HP, moved it to the top of my stack. Sentura, thank you for explaining that process in more depth, interesting what you mention about jumping back and forth between 2D and 3D forms. I'm not too informed what gets covered in the course, from what I have gathered there is at least a good mix between the technical side of things and the creative. Thank you for telling me what you'd like to know about Nexusdog, those are things I'd certainly like to talk about and its reassuring to know others might be after that information. I'm trying to imagine what questions might be or want to be asked whilst I'm covering certain areas so I can pack in the most relevant info someone new to level design might want to hear about. I also like the idea of talking about reference gathering and how that influences ideas. I'll keep you informed as much as I can, right now I've been spending my evenings going over articles, trying to find ways of articulating things I feel I have a good understanding of, but just not sure how to convey that in clear words to others.
  11. RedYager

    Giving guest talk on Level Design

    Many thanks for your input and suggestions guys, its most appreciated SolarB, what you mentioned about being listened to and not judged was quite reassuring to hear as that is something I have been worried about. I also like your idea of people being more interested in the personal workflow. I've tried to imagine what I'd find interesting if I was listening to someone talk about Level Design, and their own workflow is something I would want to hear about. I really enjoy reading interviews with level designers and artists and finding out what their personal processes are like. Sentura, I think what you mentioned about the costs of redoing things in later stages of development is really important, be it your own personal project or part of a larger development when costs are much greater. I'll try encourage them to read and follow tutorials and point them in directions, after-all I've been going over as many as I can myself this past few weeks. I also see your point about them being demotivated when seeing work from more experienced people, perhaps I should talk about the more general usage of online communities to develop their skills. Idolon, funny what you mention about needing to define what level design actually is. I've never had to really describe it to anyone, and it sounds ridiculous but I'm having trouble putting it into words! I think I will use some images of my previous projects, it will certainly help me explain myself better as well helping others understand as you say. As for the theory side of things, I'm thinking of working in little bits of that whilst talking about the more practical sides of things, little bit of this, little bit of that. Thanks again for your help!
  12. RedYager

    Giving guest talk on Level Design

    Hey guys I've been asked to do a talk on Level Design at a University for some first year Games Design students. It will take place in 9 days time, and I'm bricking it! I've been preparing, reading, revising and learning as much as I can, but I'm still unclear about how to approach it and stretch out a talk for over an hour without just rambling incoherently. I'm thinking about using one of my previous projects to help explain some things, perhaps show work in progress shots from start to finish. Some subjects and central themes I've thought about covering are: Developing a level from start to finish Covering different development phases such as initial design, greyboxing, playtesting, iteration, moving into polishing the level and optimising Do's and dont's from my own experience Good ways of gaining experience What its like working in a professional environment Benefits of modding How to Mapcore I feel somewhat out of place, most of what I know came from my amateur/hobbyist experience, I'm sure there will be a lot of things more knowledgeable people will disagree with me on. I would like to ask if anyone has some advice about how to handle this, and what you would expect from lecture on level design. If you were going to a talk about level design, what would you like to hear or learn about, what areas would you want the speaker to go in-depth to? Do you have any suggestions on key areas of level design I should focus on? Perhaps some of you have given talks or lectures yourself and have a few tips about how to approach it, or have some examples of some good presentations. literally any bit of help or insight would be great, I promise to sneak a hurg in somewhere in return! I've never done any public speaking before, so this is really nerve-wracking for me and I could really use some support. Thanks Core Red
  13. RedYager

    Backups.

    Losing my data freaks me out a little, I have 3 WD 1TB External drives and another external 0.5GB drive that I store backups on. Two are 400 miles away in-case either side of the country suddenly explodes.
  14. RedYager

    WIP in WIP, post your level screenshots!

    I haven't had much to contribute lately, for the Fistful of Frags Halloween update I dressed up one of my previous maps which was a bit of fun The update is still running if you want to give it a go
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