So for starters what you're doing so far is awesome. Taking the time to teach yourself a level editor or game engine and the source engine is a great start. I want to put your mind at rest a little and try to give you some focus if level design is really what you're aiming for as opposed to full blown indie developer. I'm not saying you shouldn't try to progress your skills in each area, just don't stress about it if you're not that great at one particular thing. I'm going to try to speak broadly and not really specifically about a shooter or CS:GO maps or the source engine. The role of a Level Designer varies from company to company but it's pretty rare for a LD to master all of the skills you listed as your next steps. Unless you're working on a project by yourself or with a really small team there's little chance you'd ever be expected to design levels, create materials, create 3d assets from scratch and code. That being said, having a basic understand of all of these definitely helps, particularly knowledge of a 3d package and understanding of scripting/programming logic. No one will ever expect you to be as good at coding as a coder or as good at 3D art as an artist, though. Technical knowledge is great in mainstream game engines such as UE4, Unity, CryEngine as some studios will use these in-house and with solid technical knowledge you'll be able to really hit the ground running with minimal technical training required. A lot of the mainstream game engines have also influenced in-house engine development so it makes it easier to learn engines you've never used before, the skills can be pretty transferable. Initially when building a level the first thing you'll want to develop is the game play space, rather than try to thing too much about the aesthetic. It's a good idea to think about what spaces could be and what you want the player to be doing in the environment but how it really looks ultimately often won't be down to you, you'll have artists that create the assets and textures and do the majority of the level dressing. Again it varies from company to company on how much or little control you have during this process but it'll also be your responsibility to work alongside one or more artists to make sure everything is going in the right place and not negatively impacting game play. But you'll have to keep in mind it's a team effort, you're not their boss. As an example everywhere I've worked I've been paired up with an environment artist. A general pipeline to follow: When creating a level you'll first want to collect a ton of reference for what you're creating. This can be real places, environments from other games you've played, CG renders, concept art or anything that inspires you really. From there you can start to draw some 2D maps, usually top down, showing all of the key areas of the map and where key areas of game play will be such as quests, enemy encounters, boss battles, pickups, puzzles etc. After you've got a good 2D map start building your whitebox. You're aiming to build a game play space out of basic geometry which can be interpreted by an artist or anyone else that plays it without any textures or art. At this stage it's important to establish scale and make sure metrics are correct (areas you can jump to, gaps you can crouch/crawl under, walls you could crouch behind for cover etc). Don't worry about textures or making anything look pretty, basic colours will be fine at this point. Think purely about how it plays. Add in any game play elements or scripting that are important to the level such as AI paths, puzzle logic, pick up locations, spawn points etc. Don't worry too much about getting everything 100% right first time, this is an iterative process based on feedback from play tests and changes that the level will experience during it's development. I should also note that you'll never get it right first time and even if you think you have you'll iterate on it until you're finished, often this will be out of your control but in many cases it will make your level stronger. Playtesting is important even at an early stage so make sure you get plenty of people to play each iteration of your design like everyone does with their CS:GO maps with the Mapcore playtests. This feedback will be invaluable. When you or likely your boss is happy that the level plays well you can start to add art to it and this will be a constant process of working alongside artists and some back and forth with the level changing constantly until it is final and gets shipped. Advice for you: If you feel like you're confident with the source engine I'd suggest you have a look at some more advanced engines such as UE4 or Unity as it'll be a valuable learning experience. There are tons of tutorials out there and learning how to construct a level by trying to use the pipeline above might give you a bit more confidence. Personally I'd suggest you try to construct a level in a 3D package such as 3DS Max or Maya and then export that to the engine. As it'll give you some extra knowledge and it helps to know a 3D package. Practice drawing some 2D maps of existing levels from top down. Think of your favourite CS:GO level and dissect it. This is all based on my experience so far and talking with co-workers about their previous experiences but will vary a bit depending on company and team size. I rambled a bit so I hope that was helpful. Jord.