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One of the really neat things about my job is that I get a lot of time to dissect things that I know intuitively. When I go to help other developers, my job is generally to try to explain why the changes I’m suggesting will make a game better. It’s one thing to intuitively know how something is done, but it’s completely another to explain why. It’s kind of like knowing what a word means and then being asked “why does it mean that?” In the process of teaching myself how to explain the “why” of something, I often learn a whole bunch of new things about it. Most recently, I’ve been thinking
In 2010 I started at Crystal Dynamics to work on the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot. Within my first two weeks, I was entered into a “Thunderdome” exercise in which I had two days to revamp a traversal level, competing against a senior level designer who had worked on Assassin’s Creed 2. A winner would be chosen after the time expired and that level used in the game.Prior, I had never designed a level for a game using more than a simple jump mechanic where the player could only land on their feet. You can probably guess that I lost, but what started was my education into the intricacies of laying