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SkyCleaner34

Portfolio Building

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How's it going everyone? I'm new here and was drawn here due to my love for level design. My dilemma is that I have no way to create my own assets and want to start designing with an engine (or mod however it is defined) where there are a ton of assets built in and ready to be used. Kind of like how people create their own Counter Strike maps. I have a macbook pro and have experience with UE4. My goal is to build up a portfolio that I feel comfortable showing to people. If anyone could give some advice and examples of that too, I would really appreciate it. Thank you for your time!

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Ahoy,

I personally hold the Valve games in high regard because they come with games that has everything, a load of assets and functions that you can use :)
How long have you been making levels? Do you have any works out on the web?

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As said above, Valve's Source engine, while a little wonky, can access a ton of assets from Valve's existing games that you can use to make some cool levels. In addition to Source, Unreal also has a fantastic system that you can use, as well as a stocked marketplace where you can purchase assets other designers have made to use in your levels. There are also a few packs on their marketplace that are made by Epic Games themselves that they sell for free! Happy designing!

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I have many ideas for levels, but none of the software to implement them. I've been mostly designing levels on paper for awhile now. I really want to make levels to share, but don't want to get into 3D modeling. If anything, I'd rather learn a bit of coding. I'm more a fan of taking the assets and making something out of them. That's why I'm looking for an engine with pre-loaded assets (or mods as I've been told). 

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Most modern engines like UE4 or Unity, come with a marketplace. These generally have a lot of assets ready for download (most of the time for free). 

If you are used to ue4, check out their marketplace.

Also, TurboSquid is a really old website with a lot of free content on it. I used it the other day to download a helicopter. Lots of great resources all around. 

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I tried the UE4 marketplace, but it was too damn expensive. All the good assets were fifty dollars or more. I think I'm leaning more towards modding at this point. Does anyone know how much space a Half-Life 2 or Skyrim will take up on my computer?

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5 hours ago, SkyCleaner34 said:

I tried the UE4 marketplace, but it was too damn expensive. All the good assets were fifty dollars or more. I think I'm leaning more towards modding at this point. Does anyone know how much space a Half-Life 2 or Skyrim will take up on my computer?

You go to Steam and check the requirements section - it is listed there. I sincerely hope hd space is not what going to hold you back from getting into modding though.

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If you are thinking about going down the Level Design route I would say that the assets polycount and texturescale matter a lot less then if you would like to go down the Env Art route

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Make maps for Doom or Quake then? Some of those old games still have big communities, recent source ports compatible with modern OS, better level editors than back in the days, and levels are generally made of simple geometry, no fancy assets to import from a modeling package.

If you want to get into Level Design as a career, you'll need the basics of at least whiteboxing a space anyway, so using at least one of tools like Sketchup, 3DSMax or internal tools from your engine of choice is kinda required. 

I wouldn't recommend asset stores, I'm not super familiar with Unreal's one but at least when it comes to Unity you'll have better luck finding good tools, shaders and scripting packages than cheap modular assets. And you still wouldn't have fun game mechanics to design your level for.

If you're limited by your computer's power and money, then I don't think there's much we can help you with. Pick a game that runs well on your computer and check out its editor. It'd probably be faster to install and toy with than to wait for us to tell you what your computer can handle. Most of all, pick a game that you want to make levels for. 

Also check out indie games with level editors. I think Hammerwatch had one for instance. Don't know if you're picky in what types of games you want to map for though. Just start making stuff with editors and see what runs on your computer and what you like.

Edited by Corwin

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I'll probably just look at some older games. Know any good platform indie games I could mod?

Also, when you say whiteboxing, do you mean creating textures to apply to geometry? If so, that's not too bad. I did a little of that on UE4 before my computer stopped being able to handle it. 

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8 hours ago, SkyCleaner34 said:

I'll probably just look at some older games. Know any good platform indie games I could mod?

Also, when you say whiteboxing, do you mean creating textures to apply to geometry? If so, that's not too bad. I did a little of that on UE4 before my computer stopped being able to handle it. 

whiteboxing = using simple untextured shapes to block out a gameplay space. 

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