Need a few starting tips please
Hi guys, since september i've been doing a Games Design course at Uni. I've done a bit of 3dsmax, programming (by far the thing i'm worse at, already forgot it), writing, more writing and finally for my last project i did a basic map in UDK.
For my level that i created for the project i basically had a 3 level monastery with an outside courtyard, it was a two man project and we basically set the level so that there was a main door with a teleporter behind it leading to the end goal. But in order to unlock the door the player had to find three keys to do this. Each key also unlocked another door which had ammo etc in it. Overall it was a very basic level and we didn't have much time to work on it. I also implemented a small elevator, the key system and a few tiny things.
Either way, i'm currently in the holidays and i'll be starting again come September, in the second year i'll be making a level/game using UDK to be put into my portfolio. So i want to start now, or at least start learning more about UDK, i'm just confused on where to go. I've spent an hour or two looking through the forums here and youtube videos about different ideas people have come up with, some of them are amazing. The only problem with this is, because i'm so new i'm pretty sure i couldn't do any of them.
Where would you recommend i begin? I've been following 3dbuzz tutorials which helped a lot, should i carry on with those until i'm at a decent level where i understand the basics?
Thanks in advance!
What exactly are you wanting to do? Sounds like your more into level design, but making a game in UDK is very broad. That involves doing modeling and texturing in something like 3ds Max, then placing all those meshes in UDK. And potentially some unrealscript. So there's many things you might need to do but not all projects need certain things. And if you're wanting it for a portfolio then you should focus on making stuff specifically for the job position you want. So if you want to do environment modeling you'd focus on modeling assets and then putting them together in UDK. If you're a level designer you'd take assets and build a level out of them complete with lighting and event scripting. Unrealscript would probably be necessary for advanced gameplay elements.
Well i'm quite interested in being a level designer as it stands. Yeah for programming next year i will be doing Unrealscript, as programming seeems to be my worst area i'd like to gain a bit of knowledge on this beforehand. But yeah a level designer is something i've been quite interested in.
If you are into level design, I recommend a couple things to read / study.
The first book is, The Hows and Whys of Level Design by Sjoerd ôHourencesö De Jong. You can check that out on his site: http://www.hourences.com/the-hows-an...-design-about/
The second book would be, Half-Life 2, Raising the Bar by David Hodgson : A quick Google search will point you into a direction of where to get this.
-- Amazon also has a bunch of other things to research. I recommend reading the reviews before making any purchases through Amazon though, as some of the literature there is outdated or simply bad advice.
I would also recommend studying level design by playing games; such hard work! This has helped me a ton, being able to see the work of other people and taking their example. I found that looking at multi-player maps was the best place to begin because, generally, multi-player spaces need to cater to many types of classes; depending on the game of course. Team Fortress 2 level design is something to look into, as they do a good job with all of their game types. -- If you have any resource to talk to somebody working as a level designer, see if you can contact them. Much of what I learned in this past year of working with UDK came from professionals, working in the industry at a AAA level. (The information I learned, I would be glad to share, if you happen to need it.)
One thing that frustrated me is how overwhelming all of UDK can be. Try and take things one at a time; as in not trying to learn Kismet, envrionmental design, 3D modeling, lighting, etc... all at once. Try and focus on things at a pace because, if you rush, you are going to feel incredibly frustrated and overwhelmed. UDK is a fantastic tool, that has many different things. Game design is not easy and is not a practice that develops overnight.
Last edited by Vawx; 06-29-2012 at 07:45 PM.
Thanks a lot for the tips, yeah there is so much to learn i think i'll listen to what you said and try not to learn everything at once. I'll have a look into those books aswell, thanks! That's a good point too, usually when playing games i don't tend to think about the layout, but now with that in mind i'll check it out and hopefully it might inspire me.
Single player and multiplayer design can be two very different things but there is overlap between them as far as what can be learned and used for both. Depending on your interests you might choose one to focus on first. A level designer might also be the level artist depending on the company you work with but more than likely the two are separate disciplines where as a level designer you would lay out placeholder assets and focus on gameplay, although you may choose to be a generalist and have no real interest in gaining work in an established game development company. As an Unreal Engine level designer I would suggest you learn kismet as this is where it's at for an LD. Get a hold of Gears for PC and study the level layouts and the kismet gameplay scripting. UT3 for a multiplayer focus.