I'm a bit surprised at how little information there is on this.
Perhaps because it is lumped in with general modelling techniques, but I find that when it comes to modelling a "game level" there are a lot of things that are just different.
Of course a lot of tips can be found on Valves modelling reference wiki:
But when it comes to the modelling aspect of it, what are some good things to take into account?
I use Maya and Zbrush. I can create high detail models all day in zbrush, but can get in trouble if i dont provide a base mesh first. And Zbrush is getting so fancy now with panel loops and things, that i can easily, drastically change the topo of a mesh with high fidelity detail. I'm sure that i could just go back to the base mesh and move it around, but is this the "correct" way to do things?
I've heard that good environments are simple in areas that are not the focus of the player and complex in areas that are.
I've also heard that simple color palletes (maybe a little more saturated too?) help achieve a clean look.
Also, what about keeping a room a singlular hull of geometry? is this really neccessary?
Any other tips would help a great deal. I am between intermidiate and noob with Maya and Zbrush when it comes to flat out modelling stuff.
(i know how to rig and animate).