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Old 04-21-2012, 08:32 PM   #1
CrossRunner413
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Default Level Design Planning Help

I'm sure I'm going to get a lot of backlash from people saying that I'm asking a question that can be found almost anywhere, but after days spent searching over the course of a couple weeks I can't find a good response. Everyone wants to write articles about how to become a lead designer or a general 'game designer' and I was hoping for something specifically geared toward how to become a level designer. Hopefully someone can help me out; What would be the path someone in my position and who wanted to become a level designer for a large company take?

I know there's different paths, but let me explain my situation. I'm a freshman at The Ohio State University and I'm majoring in History, looking for something to minor in, possibly computer science (majored in it for my first semester and enjoyed it, but realized that I didn't want to program for a living) or some sort of graphic design if possible. I've been working with Bethesda's G.E.C.K. a little bit, but my laptop isn't directX 9 compatible so testing anything is not possible until I get a better computer this summer.

I'll write what I think a path would look like and hopefully someone with industry experience can show me what I'm missing or have wrong, or possibly just explain in detail what it would take to become a level designer, not just how to be a good one:

1. Go to college and major in whatever interests you (stressed by Tom Sloper).
2.While at college start using editing tools like Bethesda's G.E.C.K. or the Unreal Engine to build levels/create mods for games and build a portfolio.
3. After college apply for positions all over the place and keep working on number 2.

Also, what exactly is scripting for a level designer? I realize as a programmer what a scripting language is, but in what way would a level designer use a scripting language and is it necessary for level designers to know how to script. In my limited experience using the G.E.C.K. I haven't ran into any places where I'd have to script anything and as for positioning the NPC's and setting them on paths, I haven't had to script, unless I'm missing the whole idea of what scripting is.

Thanks in advance!
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