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PaulH

Level Design 'Side Hustles'

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Hi all

So I've moved house and moved job and found myself with some free time on my hands and an urge to do something more productive with it. I really miss the days of mapping (outside of work) so that's an option, and ideally I'm looking for a transfer my skills into something that I might profit from, just for some extra cash on the side (for my house and wedding etc). 

Has anyone been successful in transferring level design skills to profitable side projects (outside of professional work), and if so what did you end up doing? (Anyone looked into books for example?). I don't want to get into a full on mod project ideally either as I want to be my own boss in terms of time spent on something in case there are periods where i cant work on it. Maybe I'm asking for the moon on a stick eh 🙂

I think I'm out of touch with mapping in general too, so profit aside what do people even map for now? Is it still just CSGO? And maybe UT? 

Cheers!

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I remember @seir tweeting that he has begun work on a book. If you get your CSGO map in an operation, Valve is giving you a cut, I think? Not as profitable as the cocaine trade side business that @FMPONE is running, but maybe worth trying...

You could also start making videos or do a podcast about level design. I don't think you'll get rich doing that (be it through ads or a patreon) but at least you can manage your time easier doing that than when signing up for side gigs as a freelance level designer.

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Can you make and sell 3D models? With the current amount of 3D printers people are always buying cool/cleaver designs for minor stuff to print at home. Not sure if it can ever come close to an actual income (I haven't checked what models go for) though. It also seems like there is a market for freelance 3d designers for board game models etc. Not sure about how it differs from models in games but I guess it still pays.

Can do you visualizations for architecture firms? I would guess that there is tons of money in that, but also time consuming.

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On 10/15/2018 at 6:42 PM, PaulH said:

I think I'm out of touch with mapping in general too, so profit aside what do people even map for now? Is it still just CSGO? And maybe UT?

Well done at putting yourself into doing extra stuff!
I find difficult to point at many games with prosperous communities, one can be exposed to only so much... definitely CSGO still going strong, there's also still a core of passionate TF2 players and mappers, and there have been community "events" (packs), and of course some HL2.
UT seems dead, I haven't seen anyone posting stuff on here for a long time and it doesn't seem to be ever in the news... they used to do community catch-ups livestreams but on the YT channel the last video about patches is 1 year old, maybe @2d-chris knows more, but with Fortnite's success...

I can see many devs like you busy with Q1 or Doom mapping in their spare time.
Far Cry 5 has the Arcade system for custom content, and there are tools for Dying Light if you want to get ready for the next (check Will2K campaign topic)

I'm sure you can easily find freelance jobs for UE4 and Unity, there are so many teams around, but I would imagine they'd require more effort than what you probably have time for.

Something much more passive and that you can take at your pace, is producing some courses on the many platforms available. Not sure if you can find a different "angle" to it, as I have the feeling there are so many out there now, also pretty much people ask for UE4/Unity... not sure if with your previous experience with CryEngine, doing one on Lumberyard would give you more return potentially.

Working on a book would surely be cool, I would imagine being very satisfactory if you can abstract enough to talk about LD principles instead of specific tools. You can also get to publish it yourself via Amazon (I have an acquaintance that has gone from robot programmer to writer, after self-publishing his story of ditching the job and going around the world). Books can be very "2.0" as well, I've seen already quite some time ago that you can tie-in digital content with the book like Scott Robertson has done with his concept art books.

Best of luck with your hobby search and I guess let us know what you go for :)

Edited by blackdog

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On ‎10‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 6:25 PM, blackdog said:

Well done at putting yourself into doing extra stuff!
I find difficult to point at many games with prosperous communities, one can be exposed to only so much... definitely CSGO still going strong, there's also still a core of passionate TF2 players and mappers, and there have been community "events" (packs), and of course some HL2.
UT seems dead, I haven't seen anyone posting stuff on here for a long time and it doesn't seem to be ever in the news... they used to do community catch-ups livestreams but on the YT channel the last video about patches is 1 year old, maybe @2d-chris knows more, but with Fortnite's success...

I can see many devs like you busy with Q1 or Doom mapping in their spare time.
Far Cry 5 has the Arcade system for custom content, and there are tools for Dying Light if you want to get ready for the next (check Will2K campaign topic)

I'm sure you can easily find freelance jobs for UE4 and Unity, there are so many teams around, but I would imagine they'd require more effort than what you probably have time for.

Something much more passive and that you can take at your pace, is producing some courses on the many platforms available. Not sure if you can find a different "angle" to it, as I have the feeling there are so many out there now, also pretty much people ask for UE4/Unity... not sure if with your previous experience with CryEngine, doing one on Lumberyard would give you more return potentially.

Working on a book would surely be cool, I would imagine being very satisfactory if you can abstract enough to talk about LD principles instead of specific tools. You can also get to publish it yourself via Amazon (I have an acquaintance that has gone from robot programmer to writer, after self-publishing his story of ditching the job and going around the world). Books can be very "2.0" as well, I've seen already quite some time ago that you can tie-in digital content with the book like Scott Robertson has done with his concept art books.

Best of luck with your hobby search and I guess let us know what you go for :)

Great information, thanks mate. I think I've come up with a couple of ideas, I'll get the ball rolling on them and check back in should they become successful. The LD principles book is something I was thinking about previously actually as I've been digging into a lot of that at work recently and it definitely interests me, it's just a case of figuring out the right angle for it and knowing that there's enough of a market for it (level design is still relatively niche I guess). Might be fun to work on regardless though. 

Edited by PaulH

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