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poLemin

Metz [Offensive]

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Okay, after all the Christmas activities with family and stuff, I finally find some time to write about my experience of this contest.

It has been a hell of a ride to be honest. It started at a very inconvenient time for me, but my wonderful girlfriend pushed me to buy the game and participate in the contest nonetheless. That is what I did and so I started getting back into Hammer, which I hadn't used in 3-4 years. It was tough to get back into the groove of a BSP-oriented editor, but at the same time I felt quite nostalgic, so I kept going on. Soon after I had a rough design and block-out of the level, NWI announced the playtests backed by a developer streaming the process. This has been invaluable since I was not very familiar with the genre and what is needed to make a good level in a game like DoI. I feel like organizing playtests is something that is really hard for single amateur level designers, since they do not have the time or resources to gather enough people on one server to play their level while struggling with the time pressure the contest puts on one naturally. Big thumbs up to NWI for doing this for the contestants!

When the final few weeks of the contest started and I already had some kind of idea what I will be up against in terms of competition. I figured I'd need some infamous crunch time. So about 16 days before the submission I went into full crunch mode. After working 8h in my regular level design job, I spent 5-7 more hours on this contest level. I kinda got to know what a life with two jobs is like. I highly respect people who are doing this. But soon after entering crunch mode, it was stopped by the announcement of the contest extension by more than a month, ten days before the original submission date. This felt terrible. I was already in the flow of working hard to meet the deadline and finally putting this to an end, when the goal was pushed farther back by someone else. Unfortunately it was pushed back to a time I actually happy to share with my family and to run some Christmas errands. I completely lost momentum by the upset and did not work on the level for 1 1/2 weeks.

When picking up work again I started slowly but got back into the groove pretty quickly. I decided to not make major changes on the layout and spend more time on visually enhancing the level in general. Loads of architecture research, detailing in general and here and there a small experiment. I had so much fun putting all the details into my level that I kind of neglected my time management. Therefore my map is missing a few features that I want to integrate at a later stage, in case the level is received mostly positively. Getting the final build out was a lot of fun tho. I am glad to see so many good competitors while being slightly disappointed to see some great levels from the playtests not meeting the deadline.

Ultimately I am very happy I participated in this contest and got a little out of my comfort zone. It was a lot of fun, I learned so much and I do not feel I wasted my time, even if I should not be among the winners. I am not 100% content with the level, but I definitely am content with the outcome of this contest for me. I finished something. And I am proud to be one of 16 people who managed to do so. Depending on the feedback I hope to receive on my level, I will either continue working on it and improving it or start something fresh with custom content. I already have some ideas and this contest really started an itch for me.

Thanks for reading, and good luck to everyone who entered to the contest! Great to see so many great competitors!

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love your post.

i had nearly the same timeline.

Westwall was an idea i had long before but it was hard to reach the first deadline.

As i "finished" it  (really early state of alpha) i was completely frustrated what the guys said about it in the first playtest and then i got more and more frustrated by the announcement of the deadlineextension.

 

But after a week i had some new ideas got into more detailing and delete all the overdetailed things in the map.

 

Hope we will see each other once again or stay in contact.

I love your way of leveldesigning. I am no professional leveldesigner so i get always into too much detailing in an too early state.

 

Wish you good luck and a very nice new year.

Gz Martin aka Modtools

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Wut? Westwall is for me one of the strongest contestants for the competition, if not the strongest. Creation is frustrating but you don't need to be frustrated by its quality :)
But that still means Westwall made it for the entry, doesn't it?

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