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Hi everyone....n a quick question

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Alrite everyone I've just set up this account to get back in touch with the creative side of game development and to introduce myself a little. A few years back all i ever used to do was play UT and Deus ex n i rely got into using unreal editor n ever since then i wanted to make games it was a kinda dream job for me...but i kinda lost touch with it wen i couldn't get a place in college doing games design so i did film instead...i have the chance to do games next year at my local college n i just wanted to know if anyone could recommend to me any half decent software that i could get started with for level design again and a bit of code work....any ideas?

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First piece of software? Microsoft Word. No joking man, use it to alleviate your atrocious lack of punctuation and uh, decent grammar. Not being mean or anything, but as a designer the biggest thing you need to master is effective communication.

You said you have experience in UnrealEd, so pick it back up and familiarize yourself with the latest mapping techniques. Head over the Epic or BeyondUnreal forums and swap ideas with other mappers.

You could also download XSI Mod Tool and learn a bit of modeling. There is an XSI version of ActorX for getting the content you generate into Unreal. This would get you familiar with working with an actual pipeline.

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I agree with zer0wolf on using Word for designing but if its only level designing you're going to want to be able to get good at drawing. Lots of times level designers are handed photos (or told to draw the layout) and they are required to recreate from that. Personally, I've just begun using the Unreal editor and I used to use the Doom 3 editor. The reason is, if you can make something in Unreal that is good, you should be able to look at a game developer during an interview and say, "If you can provide me with some sort of toolset that allows me to make levels such as this [Unreal map], I can make a level for you."

The basic idea is the same as programming, it's not the application you know, it's the high-level methods you can apply in any engine. Map layouts, item placement, game flow, these are all things that can be exchanged between similar games quite easily. If you specifically want to work for Epic, then I'd suggest the Unreal editor, otherwise I would say you're free to pick (I'd personally choose Unreal, Doom 3, or Half-Life for level editing).

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Adobe [macromedia's] cs3 and past versions are excellent game design tools
i reccomend fireworks and flash, they both have awesome features
they allow you to click and drag things around, to resize,rotate,etc
they (fireworks and flash) also allow you to layer things which is a huge help

the only hard part would be transitioning your layout from fla/png to actual code... which you have to do manually

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