Friday, 19 April 2013

Ashley Wood Robot Turnaround and Items

Full Mulefa Turnaround & Items

Modular Level Beauty Shots

Had a hard time with this on two different ends. The kismet didn't go at all well while the level took ages to make. So most of the level was designed and edited quickly. The kismet was actually atrocious and the level assets even though looking nice, needed to work better in both size and how they blend together.

The final outcome of the image though, I was glad it got where it did. The final result looking nice and overall happy with what i made in the time constraints of creation.

Mulefa Models Re-Done

This is my re-do of my mulefa modelling, following the guidelines of the review given to me by Ken. I think ive improved a lot since from the last model. I've added a small design to the back of the model. The texture is generally beter then the previous so overall im happy with the new mulefa model and texture design.


Just thought i'd add this pete, my loevel ive done for the last submission, i know your marking mainly the kismet. Look at the new one ive posted for ken, the graphics look a lot nicer as i figured out the issues with the last one. the kismet (as small as it is) is the same

Opacity Maps

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Modular Texture Sheet

Really happy with the rendering of these texture sheets. They suit my style of art well and focused quite a bit of my time into them. I do think I had spent too much time in these and prepared myself for anything when it came to the modular assets. So this basically reduced the amount or individual assets which overall makes my level less full. I'm an idiot. Bu, for what its worth, I do like these and in game (when the opacity maps work), it actually looks nice and beldn well with the light.

Specular and normal maps i didn't do on these due to the reason I thought they didn't have much place on my models due to my art style.

Overall Bad Ending

For the Aztec Run Game, the udk models corrupted on me so I couldn't use them any further and could only use kismet. So I left it as it was, didn't want to make it worse.

For the Flower Gathering Game: Im basically crap and didn't sort my time out at all. Was having problems with the model the week before, assets weren't properly created, so i decided that I would design a simple prototype of how the game would work. I will hopefully make the aesthetics version better for the other part of the unit as that was what I wanted from this level more

I can't see me doing well but thanks anyway :/


I hate how it takes me ages to learn programs. Seems to go through one ear and out the other, i apologise pete but my level will be terrible, but to lack of time management and i dont have the skills, at all.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Conversation of the present standard of level design other design practices

Interesting conversation on a multitude of different designs in the industry right now. How they're faring and what we can do to work of that as upcoming designers in the field.

Capcom example of a Level Designer and what they require


Over the past four years, Blue Castle has brought together 160 of the most talented minds in the industry, shipped three titles in the process (The BIGS, MLB Front Office Manager and The BIGS 2 all published by 2K Sports) and are currently working on Capcom’s Dead Rising 2. We are about to begin work on an exciting new Action project and are looking for an experienced senior Level Designer to help.

As a Lead Level Designer, you will work with our existing level design team by defining the environmental content and ensuring that the gameplay within it reflects the vision of the game and exploits its mechanics.

You will need exceptional communication skills in written, visual and verbal forms. The ability to take constructive criticism while selling your ideas is critical. If you are a team player who values the best ideas, regardless of where they come from, and can create a clear picture of how they fit in the larger vision of the game, you just may have what it takes to work on this exciting project.

- Work closely with our Level Design Director, Creative Director and Art Director to help deliver game levels that match the creative vision and product goals of the game.
- Develop the level layout, scenario creation, prototype modeling, event scripting, entity placement, pacing, balancing and gameplay tuning.
- Assist in the development and realization of tools for the level design process.
- Build relationships on the development team to facilitate idea generation and feature implementation.
- Create and update the associated game design documentation.

- 5+ years of game industry experience in a level design capacity where you have shipped at least two titles, one of which must have been open world.
- Possess the ability and desire to contribute in a highly creative environment, providing unique concepts and solutions.
- Previous interest or experience as a Lead Level Designer is beneficial, but not required.
- Demonstrate overall game design process knowledge including, but not limited to, story and character design, level design, AI design, player control, user interface, pacing, etc.
- Have strong hands-on experience with level design: writing scripts and laying out levels (greyboxing). Experience in 3D art packages is a benefit.
- Possess excellent written and verbal communication skills that allow you to communicate, evolve, and proactively push the level design; and moreover, have a passion for playing / creating creative and quality videogames.
- Be an expert on gaming trends and have your finger on the pulse of open world and FPS games like Prince of Persia, Assassins Creed, Halo, and everything in between.

Monday, 15 April 2013


A level designers blog. It also shows that you don't need to do a degree in games to become a game designer in the future. This games design degree is to build the portfolio, and learn what you want to be.

Some CV advice for myself

One of the most common questions we get is "what qualifications do I need to be a games designer?" 

Well that's a pretty tough one to answer. We've placed candidates from all kinds of academic backgrounds - English, Physics, Product Design, Scriptwriting and even Biology. The one thing they all had in common was their passion and enthusiasm for games. 

A games designer might need to find out the top speed of particular car or decide the diameter of imaginary planet. What these things, and all the things a games designer may do, have in common is the person's ability to imagine, understand and communicate information effectively both in writing and verbally. Here's the fun part (and the bit most career advisors wouldn't want us to tell you): if you want to be a games designer you should play LOTS of games, watch LOTS of films and read LOTS of books/comics/poems/jokes/cereal boxes/... 

Be committed! Are you mad about games? 

Firstly, having a passion for games is absolutely crucial. Only the best candidates succeed and these candidates are totally committed. You need to be passionate about games. If you want to succeed in games it must be games that you want to make. It may seem as though every job advertised requires industry experience, but there are a limited number of places for candidates who have not worked in the games industry before. 

Still with us? Then.. 

Make your CV scream games! 

Make sure your CV screams out your objective of getting into the games industry! Write this at the top in your Objectives, Profile or Career Aims section tograb the reader's attention. Then, in the rest of your CV, emphasize anything you've done which is relevant and/or shows your enthusiasm for and interest in games - e.g. games designs and ideas (not the details, just the fact you've done some) and/or level designs or game mods you've done in your spare time. 

Your hobbies and interests section is a great opportunity to show how keen you are. What type of games do you like? Any specific examples? Why? Here is the place to say! When you are playing think about what you like and don't like - in an interview you'll need to be prepared to talk about anything in your CV. 

Use Agencies 

Don't be frightened of using agencies. Choose an agency which has a longstanding reputation in the games industry. A good agency will know exactly which companies are looking for what type of candidate. One call to an agency can save you many hours of time contacting every games company in the country. They are also an invaluable resource. Agencies look at CVs every day so they know what CV will get an interview and what won't. Ask their advice. Openness and honesty are crucial. Your agency is working for you; they should keep you fully informed. 

At Datascope we now send our candidates a username and password for logging in to our website so they can see how their applications are progressing. Once you have registered you will be able to see the names of the companies we have sent your details to, and any interviews in the pipeline. (We will of course phone and/or email you if a company would like to see you - the web login feature is in addition to this!) We believe we are the only agency to offer this service. 

Prepare examples of your work 

Games / level designers - Advice on sample work 

Most companies would like to see some examples of your work. This often depends on the type of job you're going for so here's a run down of some of the work we've seen or been asked for by companies in the past: 

Level Designs 

This would normally be in the form of a full, single player level in one of the common level editors available (Worldcraft, UnrealEd, etc.) The things that people will be looking at are game-flow, NPC/weapon/item placement and overall gameplay of the level. Any written work done while designing the level will also be of interest. 

Design Documents 

  • Pitches / Proposals / concept work or something similar 
  • Brief game story and how this would be interpreted
  • Game Flow
  • Game Mechanics
  • AI
  • Descriptions of a particular game aspect (such as characters, weapons lists - anything really!)

Other Written Work 

This could take the form of a simple game review or a comparison between two similar (or completely different!) games. What's important is that it demonstrates the way you think about games and analyse them. 

Some companies will set candidates a design task, which would normally take the form of one of the design document elements listed above but working to a particular brief or subject matter. 

*Note on Game Designs 

Many companies are not interested in seeing your game ideas as part of your initial application. This is something they may ask for if they are interested in taking your application further. There are also some legal issues associated with original game designs that need to be addressed on an individual basis. The general rule is don't send a game idea to a games company unless you've been asked to as part of your application - they probably won't look at it - and it's even more unlikely they're going to make it their next project :) 

Riot Games Level Design Post: What they're looking for

Riot Games was established in 2006 by entrepreneurial gamers who believe that player-focused game development can result in great games. In 2009, Riot released its debut title League of Legends to critical and player acclaim. As the most played PC game in the world, over 32 million play every month. Players form the foundation of our community and it’s for them that we continue to evolve and improve the League of Legends experience.     
Me:  "I'd love to work with Riot Games. Not only is it player focused and tries to include the community with its development, it's got a lot of job roles available which i'd find interesting. Loving character design and mechanic design, their debut game of league of legends focuses on character development so much. Level Design is also very small in their present game and hopefully, if i could, i could help design them new levels for the game.
We’re looking for humble but ambitious, razor-sharp professionals who can teach us a thing or two. We promise to return the favor. Like us, you take play seriously; you’re passionate about games. We embrace those who see things differently, aren’t afraid to experiment, and who have a healthy disregard for constraints. 
That’s where you come in.

We have an exciting opportunity for a Lead Level Designer in our Los Angeles Studio. You are a well-rounded, designer with mastery of level design, and experience in multiple design sub-disciplines. As an experienced game developer, you have lead teams to solve challenging problems and/or produce AAA content. The ideal candidate will be an intelligent and critical thinker, with a deep passion for game design.
The scope and responsibilities of this position are in line with Lead Level Designer of a AAA PC/Console title. The teams you lead, and the decisions you make will impact millions of players globally. These responsibilities may include work on unannounced projects.

At Riot we value passion and results more than years of experience in our leaders. We welcome applications from up and coming leaders who want to have a huge impact on the games industry.
Me: Obviously I wont be becoming the lead level designer of the bat, but I wanted to look at my aims for the further future. I have a lo of work to get to this position and now that i've decided this, I can finally start
  • Lead teams of designers pursuing major design initiatives for League of Legends or unannounced projects
  • Be the voice for the craft of level design at Riot Games.  Must be able to articulate the core principles of good level design for multiple game types (shooters, RTS, MOBA, open world, etc.)
  • Own, drive, and communicate the vision for major design initiatives
  • Recruit and train designers for your initiatives
  • Mentor your reports in the craft of game design, and guide them in their career development
  • Lead complex, challenging, impactful projects without oversight
  • Credit as lead level designer on an AAA title or equivalent experience
  • Existing shipped levels for which you were the primary level designer that demonstrate your mastery of the craft of level design
  • 4+ years of professional game development experience as a game designer OR you are a recognized leader in a major design sub-discipline in a launched AAA-quality title
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience. We further value candidates with graduate degrees and/or top tier university pedigree
  • Widely played, especially with online games, with the ability to articulate what is strong / weak about the design of existing games
  • Expansive knowledge of League of Legends. You should have a level 20+ summoner. Exceptions may be made for exceptional candidates who have otherwise demonstrated a high level of commitment to online gaming
  • An analytical mind, strong problem solving & critical thinking skills. An ideal candidate will be of high intelligence while still possessing an intensely pragmatic streak
  • Must have excellent organization and communication (verbal & written) skills
  • A positive attitude
  • This position is in our Los Angeles, CA office
  • Must pass a background check
Me: Overall, the requirements are at a level i'm no at yet but there things i'm working on now and hope to make so much better in the future. Hopefully I can create something which shows my skill and be able to design levels, characters, mechanics in the future to a level wanted for this job position.

Overall Designer Salaries

New Game Designer: 15,000 - 19,000

Experienced Game Designer: 25,000 - 35,000

Lead Game Designer: 35,000 - 55,000

Some General averages there for the overall job of being a game designer. This splits down into different categories as Game Design is a broad spectrum of jobs.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Links - Game Salaries

Elements in being a Game Story Designer

GENRE: Iron Hearts is a linear, single-player space opera in the vein of Halo, Half-Life 2, Gears of War and others. Compare the amount of story we experience in the first 30 minutes of Iron Hearts to other alien/zombie/military shooters.
STORY: Iron Hearts is a "real time" linear story. Critics cite the forced exposition of flashbacks, narration and journal entries as trite techniques that overlay story on top of gameplay. In Iron Hearts, the story and characters develop as the game unfolds, in real time, without the use of pace-breaking plot devices.
CHARACTERS: Critics regularly deride games for use of cliche characters and stereotypical plotting. Iron Hearts, with its huge cast of compassionate characters and realistic (aka silicone free) women, strives to show that, as we know, action games can offer much more than indestructible super soldiers, spiky-haired metrosexuals and sexed-up femme fatales.
LEVELS: Iron Hearts replaces backtracking, filler and level grinding with character development as the central goal of every level. Iron Hearts hopes to show that the player's feelings about the characters aren't static, but can grow and progress while the action remains fast and furious.
DIALOGUE: Although Iron Hearts' dialogue is written in a modified screenplay format, Iron Hearts is not a screenplay (or a television show or novel). Therefore, typical lengthy speeches and expositional conversations are replaced with fast snippets to allow for player interactivity and non-stop action. Again, compare the type of dialogue in Iron Hearts to typical alien/zombie/military shooters.

Game Designer Responsibilities

Computer Game Designer should be able to:
  • be creative, imaginative and original
  • be fluent in a number of software packages
  • have a thorough understanding of the market and target audience for computer games
  • have problem-solving skills
  • have storytelling ability
  • have excellent communication and presentation skills
  • understand the capabilities and benefits of different hardware including PCs, consoles and mobile devices, as well as the relevant software technologies and techniques
  • have basic drawing and 3D design skills
  • be able to adapt quickly to change
  • work well in a team and alone
  • work well under pressure and be able to meet deadlines
  • take criticism well
  • be willing to keep up to date with new developments and trends in the computer games market.

General Information:

Computer games designers devise new computer games and define the way the game is played and the 'game experience'. They develop:
  • the rules of the game
  • the setting
  • story and characters
  • props such as weapons and vehicles
  • different ways the game may be played.
It is part of their job to convince other members of the team to develop the game. They work with programmers, artists, animators, producers and audio engineers to turn their original vision into a working game.

Games designers work around 35 hours a week, but they may need to work longer hours as deadlines approach. They work in offices and spend long periods sitting at a desk using a computer or attending meetings.
Salaries may range from around £19,000 to £55,000 a year.
A computer games designer should:
  • be creative, imaginative and original
  • be fluent in a number of software packages
  • understand the market and target audience for computer games
  • have problem-solving skills
  • enjoy IT and playing computer games.

General Stats:

Around 6,600 people in the UK work in computer games development. They are employed by games development studios, which are either independent companies or owned by games publishers. Around half of the people working in the games sector are based in London and south-east England. The games market is likely to expand.

There are no set requirements, but most games designers are graduates. Most degree subjects are acceptable. Employers look for people with previous experience in the games industry - for instance as a games tester - and strong portfolios of relevant work. It may be possible to start on an Apprenticeship in QA and Games Production. Because of the level of experience required, most people are adults when they start this job.

Most computer games designers train on the job. They may attend short courses on technological developments and new software packages. It is important to keep up to date with developments in technology and the games market throughout their careers.

There is no formal promotion route for games designers. They may be promoted from junior designer to designer, and, with experience and management skills, to lead designer. Some designers move into management and marketing roles, or become self-employed.

Level Designer Responsibilities and Requirements

Level Designer Responsibilities

• Work with our design tools to build encounters and narrative scenes. 
• Coordinate with artists and programmers to create levels that are second to none in the industry.
• Analyze and critique game designs and levels. 
• Work with the team to form a “vision” of your levels and use that vision to inform your design decisions.
• Communicating that vision clearly and concisely to the rest of the team 
• Provide a receptive ear so that other team members can provide input on the game design.
• Respond to critical feedback from Leads and Directors in a timely fashion. 
• Help us push our development tools further by identifying issues and presenting ideas for solutions.
• Seek out all available information on your area of responsibility (reference films, books, etc.) and be able to respond to spontaneous inquiries on the matter. 
• Critique all aspects of the game and offer suggestions on how to improve them.
• Be familiar with the current state of game design across a wide range of genres on both PC and console. 
• Constantly look for opportunities to improve and expand your skillset. 
• Become an expert in our toolset.
• Seize opportunities to assist others and help elevate the project.

General Requirements:


• Minimum of 1-2 shipped AAA game titles.
• 3+ years of experience creating first-person levels using Unreal, Quake, Half-Life or similar technologies for commercial titles (this must be demonstrated through actual levels created for these engines).
• Interest in and understanding of architecture, lighting, texturing and other elements that are required to create aesthetically pleasing 3D levels.
• Familiar with company's games and other products and be able to speak critically about them.
• Understanding of contemporary 3D first-person engine technologies and editing tools.
• Understanding of and desire to create first-person shooter gameplay.
• High degree of creativity, enthusiasm and passion.
• Ability to use basic programming or scripting tools.
• Ability to work and contribute effectively in a team environment.
• Ability to meet deadlines.
• Good communication skills.

Concept Art Description & Overview

Concept art is a form of illustration where the main goal is to convey a visual representation of a design, idea, and/or mood for use in movies, video games, or comic books before it is put into the final product. This is a relatively new designation popularized by artists working in the automobile and video games industries. This term has been in use since the 1930's by the traditional animation industry who was describing drawn or painted images which illustrate the look, feel, design, colors, etc...of the animated movie to be made.[citation needed] Concept art is also referred to as "visual development" in traditional animation. The term was later adopted by the games industry. These illustrations became necessary for developed visual properties.

Concept artist is an individual who generates visual reference for an object (like weapons, armor and vehicles) or being (like a character or creature) that does not yet exist. This includes, but is not limited to film production, and more recently video game production. A concept artist may be required for nothing more than preliminary artwork, or may be required to be part of the creative team till the project reaches fruition. Concept artists are an enigma in the art world.[citation needed] While it is necessary to have the flair and natural talent of a fine artist, a concept artist must also be able to work to strict deadlines in the capacity of a graphic designer. Interpretation of ideas and how they are realised is where the concept artist's individual creativity is most evident, as subject matter is often beyond their control.

Basically nowadays, Concept artist can focus in three major areas.
**Also depending on how big the company is, they might just have one guy or a few to cover all area.

Environmental Concept Artist: You have to be able to visualizing the richly detailed, beautifully imaginative environments of any given genre. You have to be able to work quickly from sketch to finished concept. You will be brainstorming with level designers and architects with the Art Director and Lead Artist, to help form a believable and awe-inspiring world.
You have to want to work on a project that is going to dipping into the depths of your imagination. You will be painting, sketching and solving visual challenges for a living on a project that will stretch your visual muscles all day.

Other requirements include:
- Second to none concept skills.
- Create accurate, visually interesting, functional, stylistically accurate asset sheets for all levels.
- Create colour moods that capture the feel of the locations.
- Paint master concepts that not only show a general feel of a location, but also describe enough detail to inform an asset list. To be able to paint these master concepts quickly.
- Able to work with level teams to help illustrate any areas that require development.
- Work closely with the Art Director and Lead Artist to maintain aesthetic continuity across the levels.
- Masterly color awareness.
- Excellent spatial awareness.
- Wild imagination capable of visualizing the fantastic to the everyday, giving equal importance, flair and aesthetics to either.
- Fluent with either Photoshop or Painter.
- Passion for the craft, able to revisit work without being too precious.
- Solid understanding of all the different surface treatments one would expect to see in a detailed world and the ability to depict them accurately.
- Passion for conceptual tasks.
*Sometimes You will also be required to do props and object in details (Houses, Ships, Guns, Weapons)

Character Concept Artist: You simply draw and paint all kind of different characters (mostly human form or humanoid) all day. You'll be responsible for creating concept images from multiple viewpoints that are accurate and clear to understand, assembling reference images and instructional documentation which supports the concept designs, working with the Outsource Manager and Lead Artist in creating designs that are consistent with the art vision and assisting in the successful launch of the title.

Other requirements include:
- Strong traditional art skills and good knowledge of human anatomy.
- Excellent technical drawing and vector art work skills
- Flexible with art style and can work in multiple genres.
- Ability to take direction well
- Motivated and driven to face challenges.
- Ability to hit tight schedules as required
- Ability to create detailed and believable visuals based on real world settings.
- Produce art ranging from rough thumbnails to print quality images.
- Strong focus on character concepts.
- Ability to communicate effectively with member of all teams (design, programming, and art).

Creature Concept Artist: You simply draw and paint all kind of different animals and creature (mostly non-human like) all day. You'll be responsible for creating concept images from multiple viewpoints that are accurate and clear to understand, assembling reference images and instructional documentation which supports the concept designs, working with the Outsource Manager and Lead Artist in creating designs that are consistent with the art vision and assisting in the successful launch of the title.

Other requirements include:
- Strong traditional art skills and knowledge of different type of animal anatomy.
- Excellent technical drawing and vector art work skills
- Flexible with art style and can work in multiple genres.
- Ability to take direction well
- Motivated and driven to face challenges.
- Ability to hit tight schedules as required
- Ability to create detailed and believable visuals based on real world settings.
- Produce art ranging from rough thumbnails to print quality images.
- Strong focus on creature concepts.
- Ability to communicate effectively with member of all teams (design, programming, and art).

Art Director - He will give a visual direction of the overall look and is a person who can do all this and on top of everything. Plus sense of humor.

There are more description of professional artists in Video Game world to come. These are just pre-production artist for movies and video games in general.

idrawgirls. (2008, August 15). Concept Artist in Video Game, Artist Job Descriptions in general, tips on how to. Retrieved from