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RedYager

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Everything posted by RedYager

  1. Lemurr that looks cool as f**k, really digging the ambience. I love how the gun/tool reacts to those explosion sounds.
  2. I really love your work kanine, I recall seeing the first weapons/swords you posted here and you've improved so much
  3. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Fantastic Skacky! I really like the ambience the stained glass windows give off. Anywhere we can watch the stream?
  9. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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
  14. Bumping this, not sure if anything recent has been posted anywhere but I've only just stumbled upon this I love the 'Fuck this planet' moment.
  15. Bunglo I'm finding how much you've improved really inspirational, the progress made from the first page is fantastic, update this thread more!
  16. Ermegerd PenE, I scrolled from the bottom upwards and instantly knew it was your work before I saw your name, your style is really characteristic, I love it
  17. I ended up here after reading an interview with Warby on Snarkpit http://www.snarkpit.net/snarkpower/articles/game/cat/pn/tp/211/Interview_with_Soenke_Seidel Thanks Warby!
  18. Hot stuff! I really don't know how you produce so much quality content so quickly. Is there some NeoTokyo content in Season? Very fitting nonetheless
  19. What e-freak said is true. Game engines always triangulate. But it is better if you do it yourself before baking the normal maps, because normally every game engine or 3d app have it's own way of triangulate the mesh. And you don't want your normals to look different when you import a model to the game engine. Of course you can keep a clean version of the model, for further iterations. I take away from this: it's better to triangulate everything (yourself) but not before you add normalmaps? Some triangulation I do myself to avoid engines/export cutting faces up where I don't want them to. When I bake Normal/AO maps (Using Xnormal), I let the export handle most of the triangulation, I see no danger really, its (or has become for me) easy to predict what's going to happen where and I rarely see any moderate issues. In the case of my piano, I didn't do any manual triangulation aside from the curved arm things on either side. Experience and practice will quickly show you what happens when you do this or that, it can be quite daunting at first but you get into the rhythm of things, I'm still relatively new to the baking process myself. Start with something basic, I started with a door frame If you have any other questions, I'll help out where I can. I made a basic baking tutorial using Xnormal a while ago, its fairly primitive and I've probably made some silly mistakes but it might be of some use, here is a link : https://imgur.com/a/oqqH0
  20. Thanks Psychicken, you're right about the seat looking flat, I think the wood overall could be improved a fair bit. Including the stool its 1084 polys, here's the wireframe I also made the mistake of mirroring the stool leg closest to the piano, hence it looking darker
  21. haha - my goodness I have a dirty mind Ha, I felt dirty writing it Greasy finger fondled wood aside, its been a while since I contributed anything and I had a bit of free time the weekend so I made a piano
  22. The rifle looks great Kanine, I really like the greasy fingerprints you've dotted around on the wood
  23. Reading some of these life experiences has been a real eye-opener and quite heartbreaking ( I shed tears, I know I'm a little girl), its bizarre how much I can relate to some of you. I'm very grateful about how open some of you have been, knowing that people who share the same interests and goals as I do have been through these types of experiences makes me feel like I'm not alone. I feel it only right that I share my own. I had a great upbringing, I've always felt safe, lucky, and had a loving family. I have dealt depression and anxiety for most of my life but managed to get through it. Around May 2012, after dropping out of University and remaining unemployed, I began to withdraw from everything, my friends, my family. I was filled with anger and frustration about my life and decisions I had made. By October, I was spending 23 and half hours a day in my small bedroom, sat on a shit chair in-front of a computer all day. I had completely shut myself off from my family, I avoided them as much as I could, and never spoke to them, even though we all lived in the same house. I have never felt such utter misery in my life, I had destroyed everything I cared about, and I had lost my family, or rather they had lost me, I had torn the family apart. I was certain that I had lost any chance of ever rebuilding my life, and had some really negative things running through my mind. It was only when my parents called my doctor to come visit me, that I actually started talking to someone. I remained like this until around April 2013, an entire year of the same shit all day long, I have no fucking clue how I got through it. My depression turned into severe anxiety, and I couldn't stay quiet anymore. I very slowly started talking to my parents again, just a few words a day. I cannot begin to describe how difficult these first steps were. The anxiety made me restless, and I actually started leaving my room and walking around the house. I now felt guilt and shame over what i had done, not over the past year but throughout my entire life. I had realized that it was me that had put myself in this situation, because of all the stupid things I had done. I started taking medication, for both the depression and anxiety. I also started learning about Buddhism, and learnt a great deal about happiness and becoming a better, kinder person. I'm not a Buddhist, but some of the teachings are so bloody obvious and make so much sense, yet are overlooked by so many. Over the next few months, I began talking to my parents more, I started leaving the house with them, going on walks and I started visiting my doctor. All of this was extremely tiring and difficult, but I couldn't go back, I had to keep at it and gradually reconnect with them. Throughout this entire time, when each day felt meaningless, I never stopped making stuff, maps, models and I kept on learning. Days would pass doing this. In November, when I was still recovering, I was contacted out of the blue and given a job offer. It meant moving to the bottom of the country, away from my family who I felt like I had just got back, I was also due to start therapy. My parents were very encouraging, but I didn't want to leave them without making up for the lost time. However I said yes, and two weeks later I had moved to an alien place, was living on my own, and working in an office with people I barely knew. It was bizarre, and I struggled for a few weeks to keep it together and settle in, but I did it. I now have my own little flat in a lovely location, a job I enjoy, and some points in the bank. My confidence is better than it has ever been, and I feel like I've achieved more by taking this job opportunity than I would have gained through therapy. But most importantly, I have my family back. I have learnt that family is everything, its all I need, I might be a long way away from them now, but we are together again, I love them so much and I will never let anything come between us. I have Mapcore to thank for helping me get through that time. I visited here every day, had EOT to entertain me, people to communicate with, and was inspired by all the cool stuff you guys come out with. - tl;dr - I wrecked myself, recovered, learnt lessons, now I'm happy
  24. I think that looks really nice Bunglo, and I admire your attitude towards drawing. When I end up drawing something that is garbage, I feel demotivated. Having read your post, I think I've been missing the point. If I enjoy doing it, it doesn't matter if what I've come out with is shite!
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