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Mhyrr

Getting started with Level/Terrain-Design - what Programs?

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Hello guys,

this is my first post and I'm glad that I found this community. So far, I'm into games since I'm 10/12 yo and now, 14 years later, I feel the need to create something by my own. I simply want to give people those overwhelming feelings when you enter your particular favorite game, get dragged into it, forget the time and feel somehow "complete".

I drew very much in my childhood / teens and started a career as a (digital) media designer. But the lack of creative freedom made me quit this job right after my apprenticeship. My goal would be: Create those stunning and mystic places in games everybody experienced atleast once in his favorite game! Where you just "stood there" for minutes (in a Game!), open-mouthed, enjoying the landscape and music. For me, such game-experience are incredible precious.

I come from the countryside and feel quite familiar with nature and so I came up with the idea: It must be possible, to create those lush / moody / haunting / mystic / magic (etc) places virtually, combine them with a powerful lore and get people enthusiastic about it. For example people which live in cities, don't have access / never seen the beauty of nature (e.g in combination with lore) and somehow enlighten their minds. The possibilities are endless what good aspects this creates besides the "fun".

It would be my ~3rd attempt in ~4years to start again with Editors like UDK, Sandbox, Maya, 3dsmax and so on. I have to get over the dry interface i guess... I think it's the interface and the tough/complex handling which made me quit several times.

Maybe it would be easier to write a book - but since I never really red books and haven't discovered the magical part about it yet, I guess I stay with the virtual / computer-thing ;)


Do you guys have any tips how I could get started?


Thanks for reading and hopefully replying. Yours sincerely

PS: Noo and I don't like those too-easy "getting-started" programs with the few, huge buttons making me feel like a handycapped / old person :P and sorry for my bad English.

PPS: My rolemodels are stuff like: Lands of Lore, Ultima Ascencion, Everquest, Baldurs Gate, Icewind Dale, Gothic, but most important The Elder Scrolls.

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this is my first post and I'm glad that I found this community. So far, I'm into games since I'm 10/12 yo and now, 14 years later, I feel the need to create something by my own.
Welcome to gamedev Mhyrr. Congratulations for your resolution. You'll find out this can give you countless rewards... if you're up to the task!


Do you guys have any tips how I could get started?
By your message, it seems you always stayed on the 'content' side of things. In that case I'd say you absolutely need to get yourself in touch with at least one DCC program. UDK itself is far more than an editor (that would be UnrealED) so maybe your first stop would be to think at those past experiences and stick to a choice.
But, to be completely honest, I think you should really start small and perhaps try different genres. Ever tried Flash/ActionScript?
For point-n-click games, HTML might allow to throw together small initial prototypes. I really think you have to make up your mind!

Even broad decisions would do. 2D? 3D? What style? Do you want to deal with the logic? Do you like the artistic part only? Do you want to stay absolutely away from logic?

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