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How to break in the games industry - an insiders' guide


Furyo
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When people say it is good for level designers to learn scripting is that as in Unreal kismet and the same sort of thing in the source engine etc?

Every engine have their own scripting tools. In most cases it's Lua code or own script language + GUI... You can't just learn one type of scripting method and use it anywhere...

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Every engine have their own scripting tools. In most cases it's Lua code or own script language + GUI... You can't just learn one type of scripting method and use it anywhere...

Indeed, it's more important to have touched a few of these scripting languages and develop the mindset necessary to do it, so you can learn just any other one. It's simple programming logic after all, shouldn't be too hard to grasp, but you need to have some experience beforehand. Doing scripted levels also teaches a lot about planning the player's actions and reacting in consequence: your scripting needs to take every single case of player interaction into account, and you'll acquire the mindset to do that by practicing.

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  • 1 month later...

Another Question, again :roll:

I would assume knowing 3D modelling would be a plus, but I am just wondering how important is it, I would guess it Varies from studio to studio. Tried it a good wile back and kind of struggled with it a bit but I just noticed I could get Max, Maya, Mudbox and some other stuff for just over £100 as I am a student.

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A lot of studios I applied for wanted you to know basic modelling but were willing to help teach you if you were unfamiliar with them, which is cool. On NS2 all I do is 100% mapping which I <3. So it does vary from place to place.

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Thanks for the info dux :)

Any UK people know much about the game design degree at tee side, i have it down as my place to go if i don't get a job by September. Heard its not as great as you can be lead to believe and the area is a bit of a shit hole, but it still looks like one of the better options in the UK.

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A lot of studios I applied for wanted you to know basic modelling but were willing to help teach you if you were unfamiliar with them, which is cool. On NS2 all I do is 100% mapping which I <3. So it does vary from place to place.

Edit: Just to preface these questions, it's not a "is it worth it to learn x" question, more of a "how important is x relative to y" question. :)

Just out of curiosity, is this just for slightly complex shapes needing to be included for grey/white-boxing purposes, being able to model a level/scene in 3DS/Maya for projects that don't yet have a fully functional engine/editor, to make full blown small custom assets, or all of the above? I'm focusing most of what I learn on scripting and predicting player actions since my understanding is that most studios have environment artists who do all the modeling work.

Granted, I know the situation can be vastly different depending on the size/philosophy of the company. I have a limited amount of free time, so I'm trying to focus my energy on what will give me the biggest return on time invested and be most attractive to potential employers.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A lot of studios I applied for wanted you to know basic modelling but were willing to help teach you if you were unfamiliar with them, which is cool. On NS2 all I do is 100% mapping which I <3. So it does vary from place to place.

Edit: Just to preface these questions, it's not a "is it worth it to learn x" question, more of a "how important is x relative to y" question. :)

Just out of curiosity, is this just for slightly complex shapes needing to be included for grey/white-boxing purposes, being able to model a level/scene in 3DS/Maya for projects that don't yet have a fully functional engine/editor, to make full blown small custom assets, or all of the above? I'm focusing most of what I learn on scripting and predicting player actions since my understanding is that most studios have environment artists who do all the modeling work.

Granted, I know the situation can be vastly different depending on the size/philosophy of the company. I have a limited amount of free time, so I'm trying to focus my energy on what will give me the biggest return on time invested and be most attractive to potential employers.

you will be creating rough shapes using either a "brush" based tool (think hammer, unrealed) or using a 3d program (3dsmax, maya, xsi, and most places now will use sketchup if they have any sense - because how easy it is to use for basic level creation).

a good idea (imho) would be to get into an engine you are familiar with, that has a single player campaign. use the assets, textures and "universe" of that game to create your own levels. because this is what you will be doing in a job, placing assets created by someone else, into a level built by you. heavy emphasis should be placed on the gameplay - but unfortunately you will have to make sure it looks relatively appealing as well.

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So I've been looking for level design jobs with little success, as mention before the "Level Designer" job is pretty rare these days. Most things I've come across have been Junior Designer jobs, where you plan and block out the levels.

However the true wtf bit is so far all these jobs, despite no mentioning of programming at all, have all required me to have A Level Maths. I have no idea why and A Level Computer Science (which included programming!) isn't acceptable so far.

:cry:

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So I've been looking for level design jobs with little success, as mention before the "Level Designer" job is pretty rare these days. Most things I've come across have been Junior Designer jobs, where you plan and block out the levels.

errm two things: What's the problem with applying for a junior position? Because you've got a degree? Without any industry experience you are going to have a haaaard time finding a company that gives you a full blown level-designer seat in their office. Secondly, planning and blocking out a level are two key elements of a level-designer's job! No matter if you are junior, regular or senior. Better get used to it :D

However the true wtf bit is so far all these jobs, despite no mentioning of programming at all, have all required me to have A Level Maths. I have no idea why and A Level Computer Science (which included programming!) isn't acceptable so far.

:cry:

Regarding A level maths: Indeed :wtf:

I'm getting the suspicion that you aren't looking for a level-designer position/that you want to do something else, because you bring up programming multiple times. Sorry if I don't know or forgot your history of applying, if you can sum it up quickly, maybe me or others can help.

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Oh I've been looking for Junior Level Designer positions but I havent found a single one in about 4 months of searching. Even applied to about 50 companies without any positions looking for ways in.

I don't mind doing planning/blocking out, I expect to do that without experience. It seems that that aspect though has migrated to the Junior Designers job description which now for some bogus reason needs a maths qualification. Here's one I got turned down on:

Junior Designer

Role

Produce implemented sequences of level design ensuring quality, to schedule and demonstrating understanding of the design vision.

Demonstrate flexibility in approach and style, taking on other areas of design – level design, documentation etc with enthusiasm striving for quality and originality at all times.

Essential Skills

- Knowledge of game design development process typically gained from working on at least one shipped title (preferable AAA)

- 3D experience – at least 1 year

- Demonstrates strong world editor experience for example Unreal or Hammer

- A Level standard skills in English and Maths (demonstrates numerate knowledge and literacy appropriate to tasks)

- Good English speaking skills

- Solid understanding of practical mathematics

- Strong problem solving skills

- A passion for gaming design

Have all of these except the design process in a formal studio, multiple mod work may help and when they said A-Level standard they meant A Level qualification. I didn't have the Maths, but had computer science and allegedly doing a degree trumps the English A Level...

Desirable:

- Degree in Computer Science/English/Engineering/Architecture/Design

- Scripting experience

- Maya/Max/XSI experience

- Experience of Visio

- Experience of sketch-up

Have all of these as well, possibly weaker on the scripting front

Back to hunting them. I also got turned down for one as I was too far away despite saying I could re-locate easily for the 6mo contract.

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