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Level design process

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    Level design process

    Hello guys,
    I´ve been looking for a while and haven´t found any info related to this.
    My question is, when I make a map to be playable and nice looking (and by nice looking I mean only simple shapes and some textures), what shall I do next? I mean I´m not an artist to make an epic looking environment this engine is cabable of (detail-wise). Do I actually need to have artist kind of skills in order to make a map which makes it into the game? Or an artist team?

    I built some maps in other games like cs 1.6 (I know, very old stuff), but in cs, my artist skills went in hand with that old engine capability so I made all graphics by myself and I was done with the map. But now I dont know what would I do at that point.

    Can anybody please point me into the right direction and tell how do things work in this regard?

    Really 3D modelling and texture creation are necessary to 'finish' a map. They're definitely skills you need if you want to be a level designer today.

    I very much recommend learning! If you can make a level in BSP then you are able to make 3D models. It's not exactly the same process by any means but you may find it quite intuitive if you're already used to building 3D levels. It just has extra things to learn like high-poly modelling, baking, unwrapping, using quads etc.

    If you're not prepared to learn these things you could try to find an artist to work with, but you may find they're already making their own maps and don't have time.


      Okay guys, I definitely want to at least try it now, thank you.


        Maybe im wrong but I always assumed it went something like this

        Artist concept work

        Block out BSP work
        Fine Tune BSP around game play

        3D Models / Textures done both a group of other people

        Mesh/Textures worked into BSP at a minimal impact to game play by original map maker based around concept art

        I don't know how one person would have the time to solo all of that work to the standard people are looking for today with out getting anything in return for the time spent (People wont pay for maps). Most user maps in every game iv played have used in game mesh/textures. (outpost23 for the moment)
        As more and more official maps get released with mesh the less need there will be on user created mesh.
        Ciaran "Venguard" O Kelly
        Maps U2K4 : AS-Protocore ///AS-Krystalis Station ------ Maps TF2 : CTF-Daylight /// CP-2Shack
        Maps UT4 : DM-FractalCore /// DM-Q3DM17


          Great points from all users here, do exactly what they have said, but not in that order.

          As you fine tune the skills you have take breaks by working on new skills. Come back to your work at a later date and re-iterate!
          By this time the community and content would have grown. Grab feedback where you can, even if you have to beat negative feedback out of people, it is still feedback you can turn into a positive.

          Oh and take time out for real life. "A while" sounds like a month or 2, in reality a "while" is like 8 months on 1 map for some of us, you time for life aswel, maybe now is that time to take a break.

          Epic have a team, a team of highly qualified professionals who can help each other in the same building, don't expect to compete with them without help and appropriate/ intuitive guidance.

          If you can't make a 3D model and you do not want to learn 3D modelling, then focus on making detailed 2D art to represent 3D models, call them Performance optimised content.
          iOS/ Android devices demand these types of textures, Parallax occlusion is a great example of how the industry have recognized it is increasingly demanding to produce high quality assets and 3D models, both on hardware and wetware and how 2D artist can shine without 3D skills.

          HOLP mappers and Duel gamers will eat up your 3D model free environments

          There will be 100's maybe 1000's of unfinished BSP maps this time next year, do your best, maybe someone will help you with the rest
          Last edited by TKBS; 05-11-2015, 12:20 PM.
          Download_AllMyStuff | videos_ofmystuff


            Thanks again for replies and advices guys.

            Originally posted by TKBS View Post
            If you can't make a 3D model and you do not want to learn 3D modelling, then focus on making detailed 2D art to represent 3D models, call them Performance optimised content.
            Making detailed 2D art sounds more artistic to me than 3D modelling. In fact, I´m already little familiar with it (did some Blender at school and AutoCad ), but I didn´t have to draw anything or work too much with textures/materials.So I would rather learn something related to the modelling.
            Anyways, I haven´t even built a single UT map yet so I´m not too familiar with gameplay aspects like placements of game elements and movement through the map. So making a playable prototype map will be enough challenge for me to start with


              Originally posted by RoadrunnerKZSK View Post
              Making detailed 2D art sounds more artistic to me than 3D modelling.

              You think a 2D drawing of that piece in the video would be more artistic?
              ON-GOING PROJECTS: DM-BloodCovenant, DM-Campgrounds (Absolute)
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                Originally posted by Tidal Blast
                A multiplayer map with good art and average level design is more likely to be more popular than a well designed map with average art. It's a sad reality.
                I think this is debatable. Or at least, it depends. I think the current crowd of UT2004 players care far more about the playability of a map than the art/aesthetics of the map. But they clearly don't represent the casual gaming community - still playing a game that's so old, etc.

                I'm not discounting the general point you're making though. I find myself in a spot where I spent quite a bit of time creating the first presentable version of my map, and my DM map, and I have zero skills in 3D modeling. So I may bit SOL in doing anything meaningful with this game. Which sucks.


                  I agree with Tidal in as far as the importance of quality meshes and custom textures in a level, because the benchmark for making a map these days is high.

                  I tend to agree with cSnuggles a little in the way of playability. My opinion is a map with awesome art static meshes and textures is not all that is needed for it to be long lastingly popular. The first few times you play a map, you do pay a bit of attention to the textures and meshes.
                  The maps that were popular in 24k were popular because of the idea or concept the artist had before he/she started. So my #1 tip is Concept! One should have a good idea about the map they are going to make before they start building it on the ed.
                  The (24k) maps you play more than a hundred times and still enjoy, will have more to do with playability and concept over quality in textures and sm's. These day's, I think you need to tick all the boxes to compete.