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Paiyaku

Where do I start? What should I do?

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Hello, I'm new to Game Design, I have made levels on LBP, only a few basic ones. I have created adventures on Spore Galactic Adventures. I've also created levels on Super Smash Brothers Brawl.


I want to become a Level Designer in the Game Industry. I am going to school with a dual Major: Computer Science with an emphasis in Game Programming and the other Major is Art.

I have three books:

1. Mstering Unreal Technology Volume I: Introduction to Level Design with Unreal Engine 3

2. Interactive 3D for Artists the Blender Gamekit 2nd Edition

3. The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design

This is my issue...

I am worried, to the point of feeling a little bit tempted to give up and do something else, that I'm not learning the write design programs, or something of the sort.

What do I need to do? I'm 22 years old, I see all these fantastic levels, mods, and games that people my age are creating. I am way behind and feel really discouraged. So if anyone can help me out and tell me what I need to do, what engines, etc I should be working on then that would help so much.

3ds Max is 3000, I'm not going to spend that kind of money if I can avoid it, I already have 800 dollars saved up from work.

Call me a noob, whatever, I know I'm far behind all of you who have created thousands of levels. Just help me out...

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You mentioned 3dsMax. Are you looking for a modelling program?
http://www.blender.org/features-gallery/features/

I suppose if you want experience as a 'level designer' it could be hard to do without a game to design for.

Morrowind came with a pretty robust 'construction set' that seemed complete enough to basically re-make any element of the game, perhaps besides the main quest and cutscenes but I know the game was heavily modded.

There must be many old games that are relatively cheap or even free now that would give some examples of level creation tools. Nothing wrong with pen and paper design either.

I don't see the need for a big investment monetarily if you've already got a computer as long as you learn things and gain experience regularly.

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Thank you for the reply,


I have Oblivion construction set. I don't know programming and whenever I start to learn a design program I hit the massive wall that is scripting and cannot proceed any further. Everyone says I should self-teach myself. I have far too many questions to teach myself, I need a teacher...


So what Level Design programs should I learn? I'm afraid if I learn Blender my future employers will say, "We're not looking for someone who knows how to use Blender."

I don't want to learn a program that employers aren't looking for.

The book I'm using to learn how to use Unreal Editor uses the 30 day trial of 3ds Max for its tutorials, so learning blender's static mesh creation won't help.

Please tell me what I should be learning and doing. Also, how do I get an Internship with a Game Company? If I could intern then I could also see what Level Designers learn and need to know.

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Quote:
Original post by Paiyaku
I have far too many questions to teach myself, I need a teacher...

If you take things one question at a time you can get very far

Quote:
Original post by Paiyaku
So what Level Design programs should I learn? I'm afraid if I learn Blender my future employers will say, "We're not looking for someone who knows how to use Blender."

I don't want to learn a program that employers aren't looking for.


I have no idea. I don't even think there is generally such a thing as "Level Design programs", either they are specific level designers for 1 engine or game or else not really a 'level designer' at all.

And who knows what programs employers are going to want in the future. It's better to be a good learner and flexible than focusing on the idiosyncrasies of a program interface. Both sets of software are generally designed around the same concept: 3d rendering.

Quote:
Original post by Paiyaku

The book I'm using to learn how to use Unreal Editor uses the 30 day trial of 3ds Max for its tutorials, so learning blender's static mesh creation won't help.

Please tell me what I should be learning and doing. Also, how do I get an Internship with a Game Company? If I could intern then I could also see what Level Designers learn and need to know.


I don't know about this but good luck.

In regards to scripting, I can't say I've really done any that I can think of but it might be of help to learn an interpreted language like Python in that regard.

From graphical programming though it's obvious that when you can express something in code it drastically expands your horizons of what's possible. It takes a certain physical limitation off of what you are doing.

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okay, game engines, etc. I have Source, UDK, UnrealEd, Blender, etc on my pc. If I learn to use one as my main design program will it help me or should I make all of them my main design programs and just make different maps, etc for my portfolio?

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Also what worries me is I see all these other people on this forum wanting to be game designers and I can't help but wonder, "what chance do I have if all these guys are wanting the same thing as me? There's not an infinite number of Game Companies and even worse is there doesn't seem to be alot...

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Quote:
Original post by Paiyaku
Also what worries me is I see all these other people on this forum wanting to be game designers and I can't help but wonder, "what chance do I have if all these guys are wanting the same thing as me? There's not an infinite number of Game Companies and even worse is there doesn't seem to be alot...


So many people want to be programmers: more than the industry demands.
Same goes for engineers (I'm one), porn stars, race-car drivers, rock starts, etc.
This shouldn't stop you. Especially when you are new, so you don't have the slightest idea how talented/average/untalented you are.

Do what you want to do and like to do. Don't waste your young years by thinking only about the future. I always say, a career can wait, girls/parties/fun/whatever_you_like_to_do cannot.

How old are you?

And another thing: "all these other people on this forum wanting to be game designers" that's simply not true. I, for one, don't want to be game designer. I don't even want to make games. Sometimes I do, but it's not my life. So you have one living exception before you.

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Thanks, and I'm 22 btw. I just don't want to waste anymore time on the wrong things. I went into the USMC in 2007, got injured and discharged at boot camp. I wasted months getting ready for boot camp when I could have been in school. Now that I'm in school I don't want to waste any more time on learning the wrong programs, etc.

Thank for the advice though. I really do want to make video games. Earlier today I found I had to use this 3000 dollar program and learn UVMapping, and static mesh creation, that really intimidates me as I have no idea how to do it and the look of how textures wrap around objects really blows my mind ha ha. I still told myself it will be worth it to learn these things instead of stop when it gets hard.

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Edited my previous post.

"how textures wrap around objects really blows my mind ha ha"

There are lots of built in modifiers for that. You just add that modifier and tweak it a bit, and that's it. For example cylindrical-mapping/cube-mapping/sphere-mapping/plane-mapping. Usually one of these or a combination of these is enough. Some times, you have to do it by polygons individually. That's a simple thing. you just drag the vertices around on the texture image, in a small built in window. It's a tedious work, but simple.

The most important thing: don't stop because you are scared at the very beginning.
And: it's not a waste if time. Not having fun IS a waste of time.
Maybe you'll fail. Then start something new. Career can wait. Maybe you will have to work in the MacDonald's for a while because of that, but it is worth the risk. Maybe you will only find the best career/call when you'll be 35. No problem.

I'm 25, and I'm thinking about learning carpentry. Maybe that'll be my call, but maybe not. If not, I'll try something else. Maybe I'll love engineering, that I don't ever want to do something else. Maybe I'll get tired of it, but become interested in it again after doing something else for a short time.
Who knows?

Don't miss having fun.

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Also, like I said before, programming is a huge obstacle for me. I cannot program, I don't know any languages. Every time I get excited with using a game design program I discover I need to script to create anything detailed...


I also see other people talking about how they have spent years trying to get into the industry. What if that happens to me? ten years later I get a job? :O :(

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