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Radu

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Everything posted by Radu

  1. Even when we were all back in the office, I don't think there was anybody that literally put in 8 straight hours of work. It's just not a realistic thing over long periods of time. We actually took 10-15 min breaks to go outside every hour or so and that made a whole lot of difference. If you manage to put in 4-6 solid hours of work per day that's great. But sometimes you just get worn down and are gonna be less productive.
  2. First two months were plagued by technical issues and a slow descent off course for me. After the initial lockdown, I returned to the office and worked from there the entire summer. Now that it's getting colder, I've started to work from home again. Working in bursts and taking breaks to stretch or go outside is a must for me as well. The whole situation has it's pros and cons. One of the biggest positive aspects is that you no longer waste time on the commute, but the big negative is that work and off-work can blend between sometimes. I've been trying to stick to a schedule as best as I can. Overall, studio productivity hasn't really been affected that much. Occasional issues, but definitely a huge improvement since March and April.
  3. I think a big reason for it is that, in your portfolio documentation, I didn't see any mention of how the levels evolved or if you tested them with actual players. I want to know what things worked and didn't, if you found solutions, how you moved forward. Saying that you understand something isn't the same as showing it in your actual work/documentation. Here's a cool example by someone from ND: http://www.mikebarclay.co.uk/blocktober-2020/ Taken from the blog post, stuff like this: "The key objective locations changed a lot throughout production as we iterated, made changes to narrative flow and playtested. As players found their way through the space or, as was more common early on, got lost, we would shift pieces of the level around and make adjustments often. The total number of iterations made to a level this size would be in the hundreds, if not thousands, and the end result that you see in game is drastically different to the early drafts of the space." "I moved the domed building (a synagogue) closer into view as I found it really helped the flow of exploration. It was the most commonly visited first location statistically and I used that to gently push players into discovering secondary locations such as the ruins traversal puzzle and guitar store by placing them between the start position and the synagogue." "Spacing between these points of interest was important. As we were iterating on the space we had to make sure the map was evenly populated with things to do, to reduce any sense of “dead” areas. Sometimes a specific location was a great fit for a piece of content and other times we had to shift whole buildings to maintain this spread."
  4. For a moment I thought that maybe I was too direct with my feedback To me it reads as if they are worried about your ability to take feedback and move a level in a direction that might not necessarily be what you would like. The advantage of people from a multiplayer community is that they have to test their levels with several people and be receptive to feedback. As much as we have a vision of what our levels should be and play like, others will play in ways we might not have anticipated or find exploits to some ideas we liked. The question then is how to solve those problems while also retaining some of our original ideas. And sometimes we can't. Sometimes you have to throw something you like out and think of something else. Working in a professional environment is a lot like that. Of course, they might be also thinking about your ability to work on something other than linear single player games. And I would say it's a justified concern. You want to know that your colleagues aren't going to lose motivation because the project isn't aligned to what they prefer. I commend you for aspiring to work at Naughty Dog, but it might be a bit harder than anticipated. For starters, it's a studio with notoriety. The level of competition to getting a job there is super high. I don't know if I would even dare to hope to land a job there right out of school with no prior experience. I don't mean to discourage you by saying that, but you need to get a bit dirty before you can compete with the people applying there. I would recommend to do a small open world location in Far Cry 5 Arcade. Even though the editor is a very simplified and limited version of the tools being used on the actual job, the workflow is more or less the same. I recently talked @Roald into making something similar. You can check it out in his portfolio: https://www.roaldvanderscheur.com/log As for multiplayer, Mapcore is the top dog when it comes to CSGO maps. So if you would design a 2v2 or classic 5v5 defuse map, you could test it with us and get feedback on it. Dreams is cool. I've seen a lot of awesome things being built by people, but I'm not sure how relevant the workflow is. If you can design something that could fit in some game and do an art pass on it, make it presentable, sure. Though, I would highly recommend my previous suggestions.
  5. I think it's because there's nobody to be immediately accountable to and no looming deadlines in sight. During this period, I've been most productive when sharing a task with someone because I didn't want to block them from progressing with their part of the work. Or when there was a very immediate deadline. It's just like anything else, there's gonna be some downsides, not just upsides. Sure, they can do things on their own, rely less on collaboration and have no strict deadlines, but they have to work extra harder to keep at it. Sooner or later, you get tired. If there's nobody around to help you/keep you accountable you're just gonna stray off course. Either that or people have bad setups at home, awful ISP, degradation of service that destroys their productivity. We've had some of those days, but luckly it's been sorted after the initial months.
  6. Working from home can be a slippery slope. Yes, it's more comfortable and you can avoid the commute, but at the same time it creates so many opportunities to fuck up your schedule. There's no pressure to be on time because you just have to get out of bed. And that's a bad thing because work now blends into your off time. There's no buffer or transition period. I've got a room separate than my bedroom that acts as an office, but it's not the same thing. There's been some mornings where I literally woke up 5 minutes before some meetings. Even if you're fairly independent as a person and in your tasks, you can find yourself slowly drifting off course. After the initial 2 month lockdown, I went back to the office and pretty much worked from there the entire summer. And while there were only 3-4 people on my floor, it made a huge difference. Just being able to go outside for a break and have some small talk face to face with people. That's a good opportunity for ideas to flow freely.
  7. "Blizzard employees in France are preparing to strike over the company's decision to close its office in Versailles. Less than two weeks ago, Bloomberg reported that the World of Warcraft developer would completely shut down its Versailles site, which among other things handles marketing, customer support, and localization, after plans to relocate employees to London fell through due to Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic." https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/371869/Blizzard_workers_in_France_called_to_strike_over_closure_of_Versailles_office.php
  8. Looking forward to hearing about Exodus. I wasn't that into it when I tried it, but I've been considering giving it another go sometime.
  9. Stop, there is only so much brushwork I can handle!
  10. Down with the heroes! Up with the antiheroes!
  11. Hey, welcome to Mapcore! I had a look over your portfolio. I like that it's clean and easy to read. You did a good job with that! I have to ask, to what companies have you applied over these 2 years? How far did you get in the recruitment process? Did you manage to do any tests? And what feedback did you get if any? The level blockouts are cool, but they're easy to dismiss because of that. Most of them look like the very first version with limited consideration for metrics or art. The only exception to this appears to be the Chorus and Bank level. You did a much better job at maintaining consistent metrics and working with modular assets. However, the art pass and lighting are not exactly that ideal. As much as level designing is about blocking out stuff and quickly testing ideas, you should also ask yourself how the artists are going to translate some of your elements into functional assets and also keep consistency. If you aren't targeting a specific company and are instead casting a wider net, then you have another issue. All of your levels are designed for old linear single player games. And while there are studios specifically doing that, there's far more opportunities in multiplayer and open world games. That's just the current situation in the industry. Most games have adopted some form of open world design and feature a fully fledged or limited pvp multiplayer. My number one advice to anyone applying for a junior level design position today: get a multiplayer level and some sort of open world location. And they don't have to be complicated, but at least take them through the development process, from blockout to release. Get player feedback and incorporate it. And I know that there is a lack of SDKs being released for new games, but there are a still a few that do and have a shit ton of assets. Have a look at the CSGO SDK and Far Cry 5 Arcade editor. I don't know what else to tell you. Don't be discouraged! Sooner or later you're gonna land a job, but consider what I mentioned above. I'm convinced it would increase your chances. Also, starting in QA/QC is always an option. Just keep at it and good luck!
  12. Speaking of Among Us "Among Us drives record Discord installs. Discord's daily downloads worldwide have reached around 800,000" https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2020-09-30-among-us-drives-record-discord-installs
  13. "Polish video game developer CD Projekt Red told employees on Monday that six-day work weeks will be mandatory leading up to the November release of the highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077, reneging on an earlier promise to not force overtime on the project." https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-09-29/cyberpunk-2077-publisher-orders-6-day-weeks-ahead-of-game-debut
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