Greetings all, and welcome to our very first official 'Community Feature'. At Next Level Design, we have 4 primary pillars that guide us, with these 4 pillars essentially being 2 pairs of pillars. 'Learn/Grow' would be the first pair of pillars, and then second is 'Share/Connect'. All 'Community Features' will focus on these pillars. Our inaugural Feature offers an opportunity to Connect with one of our most highly recommended resources - Level Design Lobby. We've previously featured content from the Level Design Lobby Podcast and Youtube. Today we want to share with you the final piece of the puzzle - Level Design Lobby Patreon.
Level Design Lobby
But first, let's back up for a moment, for those that are unfamiliar with Level Design Lobby. Exactly what is the Level Design Lobby?
One of our earliest articles (Level Design Lobby - An Interview with Max Pears) provides some background on the Level Design Lobby, and it's founder Max Pears. Max has been working as a level designer in the gaming industry for 6.5 years on a range of titles (check his portfolio out on his site: (http://www.maxpears.com/), and has great passion for learning and teaching about level design. Through Level Design Lobby, he has published well over 100 Level Design YouTube videos over the last 2 years. He has also published numerous articles, several of which have been published here on Next Level Design (including articles on Shape Theory, Introducing Game Mechanics, and the NLD Original series Level Design for Combat). There's a plethora of content out there from Max which demonstrates his base of knowledge, his eagerness to learn, and his talent for teaching. In preparation for this Feature, we've done a wee interview:
NLD: What made you want to start the podcast?
Max: It feels so long ago since I started the podcast, despite it only being two years. For me, I was writing a lot of articles at the time but I always felt that I had not found my voice in the way that I wrote, as well as the fact each article took time to piece together so my production rate was quite low. Why I mention the production rate is because of the fact that for a long time Game Design yet alone Level Design, had very limited resources being shared, you could see online that people were still getting confused between level design and environment art.
One weekend I was on the phone to my best friend talking about these thoughts, he mentioned that there was a mic on sale and I should try podcasting, so I decided to buy it and give it ago, now 100+ failed recordings and hating the sound of my own voice I create the Level Design Lobby. The one thing that makes me happy with the podcast is that back when I was studying Level Design I would have loved this as a resource, so if I can make a student or aspiring level design feel like their work is improving and help them avoid some of the pitfalls that I made them I know that my podcast has done its job.
NLD: What is your favorite Episode?
Max: Wow, that is a tough one....hhhmmm..it is hard to say, I have been fortunate enough to have guests on the show who I admire as well have those who I look up to as big brothers of the industry on my show is incredible. If I had to pick a favorite episode I would go with .... Episode 52 Level Design Replay-ability
Level Design Lobby Patreon
For those of you that may not be familiar with Patreon, it's a membership platform that provides tools for creators to run a subscription content service, with ways for them to build relationships and provide exclusive content and experiences to their subscribers, or "patrons". Max was kind enough to answer a question about the Level Design Lobby Patreon as well.
NLD: Why did you create a Patreon?
Max: As obvious as it is to say it helps to cover the cost, as well as build up the quality with better equipment, provide animations for the youtube, etc it also helps me build up a better relationship with those who listen to the show. They can share their voices not only with me but others in the community, by creating this patreon I am able to build a fantastic community from professionals to students from all over the globe. With this as well, I mentioned that I wish I had this resource back when I was learning, but now thanks to the patreon I can push those resources even further! By tasking the supporters with bi-weekly tasks to awesome Level Design Weekends I can help prepare those who want a better portfolio and help them understand what goes into a good portfolio.
Having a space in which others and myself can discuss level design and share amazing resources is my goal with the patreon, and seeing some of the member's graduate from their education to get a job and now helping those who are still in education or building a portfolio is to me what makes my community special.
What, you ask, will I get from the Patreon that I won't get from the other content Max has shared? The answer is simple - In addition to getting his best content, you'll get his time and attention, and the opportunity to learn from his experience.
Here are some comments from community members that have invested:
"Level Design Lobby is a collection of excellent resources and tips to improve your work and yourself, bolstered by an amazing community that goes above and beyond to help everyone succeed." - Snow Lvl 5 Supporter
"The challenges have really helped me grow in my level design process. I'm really enjoying being subscribed at the level design weekend tier!" - Ali Lvl 10 Supporter
"I have learned a lot from Max! How to reveal a level slowly, putting focus bit by bit. Techniques on how to make the player lookup. I can see there are good challenges and that they are really helpful in becoming a better level designer." - MarcoT Lvl 50 Supporter
There are multiple levels at which you can invest in the Level Design Lobby Patreon. Here's an info-graphic showing some of what's included at each level:
And a bit of a closer look at the $5 and $10 levels:
Check out the Level Design Lobby Patreon Page for much more detail about what goes along with each level.
Level Design Lobby is listed as one of our Recommended Resources for a reason - it offers some of the best level design information available online, and comes from an extremely knowledgeable and dedicated level designer, with a proven track record. This is a great opportunity for you to upgrade your level design skills.
Level Design Lobby Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/leveldesignlobby
Those that sign up at the $5 level will get the additional reward of a 20 minute 1 on 1 consultation with Max. This offer is available for the next 30 days, so take advantage of it while you can. This consultation is typically only available to those who sign up at the $25 level. It can be used for whatever you feel best suits you, but here are a few examples of what this type of consultation is best suited for:
- Reviewing work/CV (Resume)
- Answering questions about how to stand out in the games industry
- Assigning a task to help create a portfolio piece
To activate this reward, join the LDL discord server (You will be automatically invited once joining the Patreon). Once you've joined, message Promo Code NLD20 to user 'Max Pears' in a private message. From there you will arrange a time for the call.
And with that we conclude our first Community Feature. We look forward to sharing many more valuable resources and interesting content in the future. Now head over to the Level Design Lobby Patreon, get signed up, and take advantage of this great opportunity to Connect with Max, Share your work, Learn from his experience, and Grow as a result of the interaction.
Follow Max/Level Design Lobby
If you want more Level Design tips then please follow me on twitter. If you want more quality LD content and want to imagine how my silky voice sounds, then please come check out my podcast.
Follow Next Level Design
Join the Forum: http://www.nextleveldesign.org/index.php?/register/
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NextLevelDesig2
Discuss on Discord: https://t.co/hkxwVml0Dp