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Old 07-09-2009, 11:00 PM   #1
KodiakChaos
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Default Level Design: Demo / Portfolio possibility

I read the article “A Guide For Aspiring Level Designers” on the front page, and it brought up some interesting possibilities for level design portfolios that I hadn’t thought of before.

Heres the article: http://www.gamecareerguide.com/featu...ing_level_.php

It mentions several practical points like: Using a media format that everyone should be able watch on your portfolio DVD, creating the level with grid textures if you aren’t going to make your own custom textures, include work that you solely created whenever possible, and a few other interesting points.

Some of the information presented in this article suggests that you could even create a level in Maya, and just do an explanation in your demo reel of how the level would work as you move around to points of interest.

For those of you who don’t quite understand what I mean, I’ll explain:

Lets say I was going to apply for a Level Designer position at Blizzard. They are currently working on Starcraft 2, and as of this day, have yet to release the beta with access to the editor. So what if I created an in-depth concept of a 1v1 map in Maya, and explained the map, and how it would work in SC2 with what knowledge I have of the game now. Would this intrigue the hiring manager, or would they dismiss it?

The reason I’m asking is because “A Guide For Aspiring Level Designers” suggests that making a demo reel of concepted work for level designs that are not even playable would be acceptable.

Anyone have any feelings on this? I’m especially interested if any hiring managers could chime in on this type of situation.
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Last edited by KodiakChaos : 07-09-2009 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 07-10-2009, 12:05 AM   #2
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Personally, I much rather see a working map in another similar game such as Starcraft, C&C, Warcraft III, etc. You idea is plausible though and I don't see any harm including a custom one done in Maya.
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Old 07-10-2009, 12:08 AM   #3
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yeah.... i totally agree with you. as in if its jus the concept that needs to be showcased.. could this be done in Maya... i've used Hammer..... its simpler after a while but frankly it is simpler to design in Maya.....
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Old 07-10-2009, 01:29 AM   #4
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Thats what I'm saying. Cause I could concept out a scripted single player level for a game (or part of one) and explain different events that would happen in the demo reel using simple animations. The reason for doing this isn't that I couldn't do it in a traditional way (like making a scripted map in Unreal), but that my scripted knowledge in one editor may not (or will not) translate over to the editor being used at another company.

Using the concept can show creativeness with the event I layout in Maya. This also helps with a problem that I see with submitting playable work I've done. In most cases, you'll be lucky if the hiring manager doesn't watch your demo reel in fast forward from what Ive heard. How many of them are actually going to take the time to take the level you included with your demo reel, install it, and the game that plays it on their computer?

I've always been under the impression that if you can demonstrate creative skills, a company would be more apt to overlook your technical skills (or lack thereof). Obviously this applies mostly to artistic positions, but you get the idea.

It's easier to teach someone technical skills then it is to teach creative skills.

What do you guys think?
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Last edited by KodiakChaos : 07-10-2009 at 04:52 PM. Reason: few fixes
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Old 07-10-2009, 05:39 AM   #5
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While in theory it works and is fine you will never get the level of refinement you would if YOU were actually able to play the game. You can make the coolest level you want but until you actually play it you won't notice the glaring problems with the design.
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:09 AM   #6
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Your idea could work, but I would not use that method exclusivly in your portfolio. They need to know that you can make a real level in a real engine. As Gshonk said you will get to refine the level, by observing the flow of gameplay through it. With level design however you also need to know how to get the results you want within the restraints of the engine. If you make a level in Maya so that ever frame contains 12million polygons that need to be rendered, the video will take a while to render, but the end video will look smooth & highly detailed. On the other hand, if you imported that straight into a game engine, you would likely have a beautifully crafted slide-show.
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:12 PM   #7
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You can't playtest in Maya - that would be my biggest concern...

On the other hand! If you presented it with some rough sketches and a good explaination of the level...you have a concept - a piece of pre-production or a prototype. This might then intrigue some people because a few companies build their tools in parallel with development so an actual level development tool may not be available during pre-production.

Besides, it would at least demonstrate your Maya skills which is a good thing in my opinion. Just don't go overboard because as I mentioned...you can't playtest it so it might not actually be any fun!
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