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Radu

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  1. Like
    Radu got a reaction from dux in What are you playing now?   
    Just finished it! It's definitely well done, especially the other otherworldly environment. That was the highlight of the game for me. Compared to The Dark Descent, there's a better distinction/pacing between horror segments and safe exploration/puzzles areas. As much as I like TDD, it was just a constant fear fest. That's not a bad thing, but this one is more focused on the story. But don't be alarmed, there are a lot of horror moments to keep you on your toes. It's cool to put the narratives together and get a better picture of what caused the events of TDD. The entire game took me about 9 hours to get through. Aside from one bad sign posted puzzle that took me longer than necessary, I can't really fault it. It's good!
  2. Like
    Radu got a reaction from [HP] in What are you playing now?   
    Amnesia: Rebirth



  3. Like
    Radu got a reaction from Lizard in Work from Home Discussion   
    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. 
  4. Like
    Radu reacted to dux in Work from Home Discussion   
    I did feel guilty that I wasn't working non stop for my first few years. Worked myself to the point of exhaustion. My mental health and sanity are important to me, so I learned not to work myself into a hole. I'm more beneficial to the company, and myself, functional over non functional. Try being creative and focused when you're exhausted and burnt out from working non stop. Your work ends up being more trash than it was before.
  5. Like
    Radu got a reaction from Lizard in Work from Home Discussion   
    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.
  6. Like
    Radu reacted to Lizard in Work from Home Discussion   
    It's a rollercoaster for me... Some days I can wake up super early and work for 8 hours straight without getting distracted and some days its 12 hours of constant struggle to keep my hands on the editor...
    My brain is kinda hard wired to learn while at home so some days I'm constantly trying to find something interesting to watch/listen while working. Then hour later I realise I paid zero attention to it...
    It's also tiring to think in this way - "Ok If I wake up at 8am I will be done at 4pm" but then something happens and I need to leave the house for hour or so and my work time expands and I get anxious that even tho I wake up early to do my job I will be done with it late in the evening...
    Some people work in late hours and have free time in the morning. I tried that but getting messages, meetings and supporting people with information while you should have fun and rest is not really that fun for me.
    I think the entire HO situation looks a bit different if you work in smaller/ indie company where you don't necessarily need support from leads/ game designers/ producers and you can manage your schedule more freely. 
    Also having a small flat took a big toll on me. Studio apartment - you sleep in front of your pc, you wake up in front of your pc, you eat near your pc, you have fun in front of it ... Some days I would wake up, do my job for 8 hours and then... switch to my PC and work on csgo map for another 8 hours. Everything in a single room in the same place... Really killed my productivity at some point.
    I love that I don't need to spend an hour a day in traffic and in some cases just leave my apartment and do whatever but it comes with a price. 
    Overall, I still prefer to work from home but it would be cool to get back into office for some time to meet coworkers etc.
  7. Like
    Radu reacted to [HP] in Work from Home Discussion   
    This whole situation reminded me of one of my favorite quotes: "Everything in moderation... including moderation."
    More than half year into WFH, and the thought of going back to the office isn't exactly a pleasant one for me. Time is life's greatest currency, my time is more valuable to me than anything else in life, including money. Office life comes with a lot of negative things too, commute, spending money on lunch and coffee, a lot of distractions, a lot of meetings, office politics, etc. I just don't think a creative industry lends itself very well to the 9 to 5 formula. After a while it just starts to feel like a regular job and all the trappings of that formula starts to creep into your day to day life.
    I'm loving WFH, before this I would only see my own son for a couple of hours or less per day! I mean, just the thought of going back to that makes me sad, I'd see my family a little bit before leaving in the morning, then return home around 7pm, have dinner and play with him a little bit and by 8:30pm he needs to be in bed.
    At home, I can control my own hours, which requires a lot of discipline and work ethic, eating nutritious meals, going outside, exercise daily, taking breaks is just as important as working hard. It's been a rocky ride for me, I think June/July was the worst part for me, I wasn't delivery much in terms of productivity at work which made me feel guilty and really affected my well being, maybe I let the pendulum swing too much the other way and I lost momentum. Whatever happened, I found that 3/4 hours of pure focused work is often all you need before getting diminished returns, specially in long term.
    So going back to that quote, I think as life slowly returns back to normal, I think we can find a middle ground because I have to admit I really miss my colleagues, I miss brainstorming ideas in organic and natural ways. Maybe we as an industry can learn to balance home / work life a little bit better. Maybe the team meets on monday morning for a weekly sync then go back to our home offices to do work. Maybe we do Friday afternoon playtests back at the office. Maybe we end the week with a beer while discussing the outcome of the playtest. Maybe departments can schedule a get together at a park or esplanade and discuss their progress. Maybe... just fucking maybe work life doesn't need to be fucking boring anymore.
     
  8. Like
    Radu got a reaction from Minos in Work from Home Discussion   
    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.
  9. Like
    Radu got a reaction from Pampers in Work from Home Discussion   
    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.
  10. Like
    Radu reacted to Minos in Work from Home Discussion   
    It's about time we have a dedicated thread for this, since it's a reality for most of us
    How's your experience with WFH been so far? What are some the ways you found to adapt? I'm also curious to know some stats or anecdotes on the impact of WFH in productivity for game studios...
    For me personally I actually became much more productive and skilled in the past months. Because I'm able to manage my time better, I have time to do research, experiment, and learn new skills. This is something that was very challenging when I had to be in the office 8 hours a day, even in the days where my productivity was shit. I remember I tried to pick up Substance Designer at work, but it was simply impossible. Too many distractions, and an office is not an environment very conductive to learning. Working at home, I just asked my producer to take 2 weeks and really narrow down on the software and see how we can use it in our pipeline, and it was an amazing investment. I don't use it all the time, but some things that normally would take me a few hours, I can do in minutes in SD (for example, windows, garage doors, etc...). I've also been learning Polish for over a year now, my classes used to be on Saturday (kind of a bummer, since Saturdays are for fun), and now I can have then on Friday mornings. Much better.
    When we all started work from home back in march my productivity was shit. I was reading too many news, had a strange schedule and like everyone else was anxious with the situation. But with time, I learned to adapt my routine to be as efficient, working as "little" as I can. I don't mean doing as little as I can, but doing as most as I can, during my most productive hours (the afternoon), and avoid overworking. (everytime I overwork I need a few days to recharge after).
    One thing that I found that really helps my productivity and well being is to go on walks during the day. I try to work in bursts of 2 to 3 hours, then go for a walk. Walking under the sun heats up my body and makes me feel more energetic. It also removes the brain fog I usually get when looking at a screen for too long.
    Anyways, these are just some of the things that I learned! How about you?
     
  11. Awesome
    Radu reacted to Roald in Daniel McKenzie - Level Designer ( Hoping to get feedback)   
    I am just an hobbiest myself and just like you trying to find my entry as a Level Designer somewhere. For me personally its multiplayer LD what drives me and since I found Mapcore and became part of the community I learned a lot from the people and experiences. I think, being part of an community, playtest with them, talk to them and giving them feedback really helps you develop as an Level Designer and person. Because it is not just about the LD skills but also about people skills like communication, recieving and giving feedback, presentation and etc. Working with other people (like environment artists) also helps a lot on developing these skills and shows you can work together with other people (which is required in a studio). 
    I think it is good to not just do LD, but also experiment with doing some environment art and finishing a project from start to finish. Because this means you have to plan/schedule a project from start to finish. It helps you understand what a artist will be up to, so what he will recieve from you as an LD and how you would translate a greybox to a arted finished map (gathering good references, working on interesting geometry and composition). Also you will get trough topics like optimisation and polishing which is something for later, but you should already think of at the start of doing certain maps (especially in Source :P). And other than that, having finished good looking pieces on your portfolio will defenitly get their attention! even though you just did the Level Design part. And who knows, maybe you find out you like environment art more afther all or both! Maybe joining a mod team somewhere is something for you, it is a interesting way to work with other people from different disciplines.
    As Radu was saying, he convinced me on doing a map for FC5 and helped me on giving some direction like he would be my lead LD and I report back to him. This basicly helped me plan and document my project like you would do in a professional setting. I am not sure what is the best way, but I think its about showing what decision you made and why you made them during your project and what direction you plan to go with your project. Draw conclusions from your research and player feedback and show how you changed course towards the right direction because of this information and perhaps what you learned and would do better next time. I don't think recruiters go in-depth at first, but when you got their attention and got a interview planned, they will defenitly dive deeper into these kind of things. Also I had to work with a different tool and type of game which was a great new (learning) experience. I would defenitly recommand you trying out this editor, it is really easy to learn and you can build full maps really quickly. 
    I think it would be worth it doing some Multiplayer LD. Mapcore is mostly focused around CS:GO, which is quite a tough game to build maps for as this game is super competetive. BUT I think you would learn a lot from it and would probably enjoy being in contact with other Level Designers. The easiest way would be playing some CS:GO and trying to get a good understanding of how the game works and why it works (if you didnt yet). Then try out some stuff in the editor, maybe watch some tutorials and such and see if you can come up with some cool layout ideas. The wingman gamemode would defenitly be the easiest to start with as it is more casual. There are two (discord) communities who provide playtests and feedback which might interest you.
    Mapcore:  https://discord.gg/unqF28r
    Source Engine: https://discord.gg/KBT9MD
     
    Oh and there is this topic:
     
     
  12. Like
    Radu got a reaction from jdanielx in Daniel McKenzie - Level Designer ( Hoping to get feedback)   
    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."
  13. Like
    Radu got a reaction from jdanielx in Daniel McKenzie - Level Designer ( Hoping to get feedback)   
    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.
  14. Like
    Radu reacted to jdanielx in Daniel McKenzie - Level Designer ( Hoping to get feedback)   
    Hey Radu,

    Sorry for the late reply been busy with work.

    I have applied too all sort of company's in the UK, like Ubisoft, firesprite, Sony London, Cloud imperium games, splash games,  sumo digital ltd, Creative Assembly, codemasters, climax studios and many more. There were a two that I got invite to the studio and few I fail on the test which is fine helped me improve, while the rest said "unfortunately".

    The most recent job I applied was Team 6 Game studio pass the level design test and got to the interview stage but they said today unfortunately they are moving on with someone else, they also said this "We can clearly see that you're an incredibly creative person and that you have some great ideas, something we like to see in a Level Designer! At the same time, we also see this as a possible bottleneck. You've mainly worked on your own projects and therefore you haven't build up (much) experience within a professional environment". which for me is due to not having any team members to build a project upon after leaving Uni 2018,  and been trying to break into the industry I really want to be apart of.
    My target company I wanna be apart of is Naughty Dog like that my end goal, that the reason why I meanly did linear single player games, which is what I meanly play aswell. I don't mind doing multiplayer levels as love a new challenge aswell as learning new things. 
     

    So would it be worth doing a blockout level and then uses one of the SDK to make it fully playable level?
    Also been thinking of getting dreams and build a level on there aswell. 
     
    All I been doing is keep pushing forwards until one day someone will take a chance with me, not going to give up!!  
     
    Thanks Radu for reply back to me
     
      
     
  15. Like
    Radu reacted to Pampers in The Half-Life 3 thread of closure and memorium   
    depends on where you are in a project as well
  16. Like
    Radu got a reaction from blackdog in The Half-Life 3 thread of closure and memorium   
    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.
  17. Like
    Radu reacted to text_fish in The Half-Life 3 thread of closure and memorium   
    Self motivation is a lot easier if there's a smattering of fear that a colleague might walk in to your office at any moment. I would think Valve's model would be more susceptible to the common problems of WFH, because they don't have such a rigid hierarchy enforcing deadlines and guiding development.
     
    Edit: I also wonder if Valve's model only works well when there's a big exciting project on the go. Even if there is something big like L4D3 or Alyx2 in the pipeline I feel like it would be difficult to maintain excitement when it's kept secret and you know all of your fanbase are only seeing boring steam updates or something. And if you're not excited by your work, self-motivation becomes that much more difficult.
  18. Like
    Radu got a reaction from Squad in The Steam Sale Thread   
    Thing about Far Cry is that the maps are too big and it takes too long to complete. Everytime I get 20 hours in, I feel like that would be a good time to end it. The reason for it is that you can liberate so many outposts and do the same 4-5 generated side road quests before you get bored. It would be a much more memorable and digestable experience if they cut 1/3 of the map size. 
    Although, I liked what the series did with the Expendition quests in New Dawn. You'd basically load into a different map and do a sort of heist, where you have to infiltrate a location and then escape. That was a good change of pace and scenery from the main map. I hope they will expand on these by adding something that Breakpoint featured, but also FC3, explorable non-combat areas that focus on background story telling. 
  19. LOL
    Radu reacted to Minos in Post your favourite movie scenes ever!   
  20. Like
    Radu reacted to [HP] in Metro: Exodus   
    So... a few years late to the party, but I finally got around to play the first two Metro games, before playing Exodus.
    I don't know why I didn't play them back then, it's right up my alley in almost every single way. I think it could be the oppressing rundown metro tunnels theme, I remember thinking a game can't stay fresh throughout on this one claustrophobic theme, and never ended up picking it up. Now, with the Xbox Game Pass, both Metro 2033 and Last light Redux versions are there, I thought why not take them for a spin and I'm completely hooked. Finished 2033 in a few days, and I'm now nearly done with Last Light.
    2033 is a serious macho survival shooter, I loved every second of it, even the clunky mechanics add to the charm of this game. For Last Light they really upped the ante in so many ways, the art is way less busy, the lighting actually looks good and volumetric and for such an old game it still managed to impress me. The gameplay is a lot more action oriented than 2033, they lost most of that survival element in exchange for more combat, and there's waaay more ammo, health packs and filters than the original (Played both on hardcore difficulty, with a xbox controller, that's right motherfuckers) but I have to admit it's a more smoother experience for sure.
    I'm savoring my time with Last Light now, dope ass game complete with a lap dance section. I can't wait to try Exodus. So, if you're reading this and you never played 2033/Last Light, deffo give the Redux versions a try, it might still surprise you as it did surprise me.
  21. Like
    Radu reacted to dux in Let's talk VR   
    Simple, don't buy an oculus.
  22. Awesome
    Radu reacted to Ordanicu in David Oroian | Hard Surface & Weapons 3D Artist   
    Hi everyone! It's a pleasure to finally make this update!
    AK47 Type 3 is a personal project and at the same time a benchmark that I've set for myself to beat in the following works!
    Check it out on artstation: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/ba2ERv



  23. Like
    Radu reacted to blackdog in I love me some Quake!   
    Quake in 2020, WAT!
     
  24. Like
    Radu got a reaction from dux in What have you watched recently?   
  25. Awesome
    Radu reacted to [HP] in Let's talk VR   
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