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    NLD Update: Week 48

    The weeks are flying by, and here we've arrived at the end of November. Join us as we give thanks for all that was shared during the previous week on NLD. *Note: Clicking an image below will bring you directly to the content. Articles: In the 3rd chapter of Reaching Perfection - Path Manipulation, Ray Benefield looks at determining where you want players to go, and how you encourage them to do so. In the 4th part of his Trinity series, Mike Stout addresses 'Spectra' (a plurality of spectrums). He walks us through an example, demonstrating how various 'Spectra' relate within a 'Choice Field', tying together concepts of earlier articles. The Competitive Design Guide from Joel 'wviper' McDonald is a must read. It covers basics like connectivity, scale, and verticality. Also gets into layout types, items placement, and more. Miriam Bellard shares her insight into creating cinematic experiences when you don't have control of the camera. She suggests using 3 tools: 2D screens, Movement, and Time. This GDC presentation goes into each of these in detail. Forums: We have had several teasers from @S0UL FLAME in recent months. This week he shared download links for the 3 of his 2v2 maps Resulting from a discussion on the World Building for a book versus a game, and the amount of time required for each, a video was shared: "No Time, No Budget, No Problem: Finishing The First Tree" Lots and lots of great Twitter content this week. Check it out in our Twitter Thread Contests: The conclusion of our November Challenge is near. Get your last second submissions in! New Members: To our newest members, we say - Welcome! We're glad you found us. @CANADIAN ECHO @Feornic Interested in joining Next Level Design? Use the links below. 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
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    NLD Update: Week 47

    We had a lot of juicy content for you to sink your teeth into this week. Momma always said 'say it, don't spray it', so let's get right to the review of the week that was. *Note: Clicking an image below will bring you directly to the content. Contests: Our November Challenge remains open right through the end of the month. We're eager to see what you fantastically creative people have in store for us. Check out the announcement thread: Articles: Where are the key locations on this map? Where do I find my favorite weapon? The subject of this chapter is teaching players how to play your levels, and why this is important. Mike Stout considers a game mechanic "the meeting point of two design ideas: a Question the designer asks the player, and the Tools the player has for answering that question." This article explores how they interrelate with Choice Fields. Kenneth Hullet aims to scientifically present a set of level design patterns for FPS games, and be "a resource for designers to help them understand how they are creating gameplay through their art." Christopher Dionne, veteran designer of the Call of Duty series and Apex Legends, explains how 'Action Blocks' were used to create the single player experience of Titanfall 2. Learn how you can use them to improve your design process. Forums: @Ii sega usa ii shares a 2 part series on the making of GoldenEye 007 in his Vault @JeremDem is doing 2 hour exercises to improve BSP & composition skill. He shared this recent one in WAYWO. Also in WAYWO, @Westin lets us see an old sketch of 'With Love', one of his current WIP's. Continuing to roll out content from The Architectural Imagination, this week we've posted the video materials from Module 3: Hegel and Architectural History Catch up on level design tweets from the last week in our Twitter Thread New Members: Greetings to our fellow designers, and newest members! @drigax @yy83126 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
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    NLD Update: Week 46

    Another week has flown by. Now's your chance to check out the Next Level Design content you may have missed. *Note: Clicking an image below will bring you directly to the content. Articles: Reaching Perfection is a series of short articles on Level Design, written by Ray Benefield over the course of several years, covering everything from Threat Zones, to Peer Review, to Cohesion. Chapter 1 digs into the subject of First Impressions. Part 2 of this series on Playtesting from Pascal Luban has him diving deeper into the subject. The final part of the series gets into the logistics and organization of them, along with how to collect and communicate the resulting feedback. Super Mario Bros is widely recognized for its levels, masterfully designed to teach players about the rules of the universe they've jumped into. In today's featured article, Abhishek Iyer effectively uses level 1-1 to demonstrate how this is done. Choice Fields - "a collection of spectrums, all of which describe a single game mechanic." Mike Stout lays out multiple types of choice fields, providing examples of each, along with thoughts on how to implement them into your game. Backtracking in a game is boring - there's just no denying this fact. In this video, Extra Credits addresses this issue, pointing out pitfalls to avoid, and providing numerous methods of designing levels so that backtracking isn't a necessity. Forums: @S0UL FLAME dropped a couple of teaser images in WAYWO We've shared Module 2 of The Architectural Imagination. Much to be learned from this series for level designers, so we strongly recommend checking it out. Take a look at the Twitter Thread to see some of the level design and game design content share in the last week Contests: Our November Challenge is where card lovers and game designers collide. Your mission is to design a card game. Read more in the announcement article. New Members: Hello, Hello, and welcome to our newest Next Level Design members: @Brad @tigerssj @Will Le Beouf For those of you who are reading this that haven't yet joined Next Level Design, now is a great time to become a member. Follow the link below to get signed up. We've also recently updated the Next Level Design Discord Server. It's now more fully integrated with the website, and when new content is shared on the website, you'll have visibility to it from Discord. It's definitely worth joining if you spend any time on Discord. Check out the links below to join the website and Discord. 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
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    NLD Update: Week 45

    Some things change. Others stay the same. As we move into a new month, Next Level Design content continues to roll on. Let's take a look at what was shared during the last week. *Note: Clicking an image below will bring you directly to the content. Articles: The importance of playtesting cannot be overstated. Pascal Luban, veteran designer of games such as Splinter Cell and Alone in the Dark, shares his insights into how to select playtesters, and how to employ protocols to get the most out of them. Josh Ge, designer of Cogmind, details each stage of his level design process from conception to implementation. It covers everything from high level layout, to items, NPC's, and more. Mike Stout believes that “a game is fundamentally a conversation between a game’s designer and the game’s players.” He sets out to share his design methodology, which he calls 'Trinity' through a series of articles, of which this is the first. DOOM helped define what the FPS genre would become. John Romero was one of the driving forces behind the game, and the genre. The man that first used the term 'deathmatch' shares his 8 rules for making his levels both look and play well. Forums: El Bronco is a design from @Box_Hoes, which is being given an art pass by @Buddy Jumps. An early Teaser image was shared in WAYWO. The Unreal Free Marketplace Content for November was released earlier this week and is now available for download. Also in WAYWO, some discussion on a Next Level Design logo started last week, and have continued into this week. With Blocktober coming to an end, The Twitter Thread is open for business again. Check out Twitter's latest level design and game design content. Contests: Quasimodo is a WIP from @icyhotspartin. Built for the ForgeHub 2v2 contest, this project is currently in the polishing stage - undergoing optimization and art refinement. Many more images can be seen in the thread. New Members: Hello to our newest members! @JamesStringer @Callum Aldric V @TanAF05 @kszulewa @Towser We're happy to have you, and look forward to engaging in discussion on level design and game design with you in the years to come. For those of you who are reading this that haven't yet joined Next Level Design, now is a great time to become a member. Follow the link below to get signed up. 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
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    NLD Update: Week 44

    The month of October has ended, which also means the end of #Blocktober, our chilling October Challenge, and the Quake Halloween Map Jam. We take a look at this, and much more. So without further adieu... *Note: Clicking an image below will bring you directly to the content Projects: Quasidmodo is a WIP from @icyhotspartin, being built for the Halo 5 2v2 contest (contest link). Articles: In the second part of his series on Beginning Level Design, Tim Ryan proposes a 20 rules for level design. Among them are 'Maintain the vision' and 'A level will only ever be as good as you imagine it'. Our second article of the week is part of "The Dos and Don'ts of CS:GO Level Design", a massive guide written by Exodus. The full guide includes 23 sections. Some of the topics covered here are: Cover, Flow, Sightlines, Routing, and Optimization. Next up, Josh Bycer illustrates the differences between Environmental Design and Level Design, contending that one is about aesthetics, architecture, and sometime lore, while the other involves creating content to test players. Forums: In WAYWO, some interesting discussion on cinematic intro's and their impact on immersion was initiated by @Buddy Jumps Also in WAYWO, a look at the progression of a level from @purely fat Don't forget to keep an eye on our Galleries. @JamesStringer recently started one up to show his Unreal Tournament Maps. We've reached the end of #Blocktober. Check out our Blocktober thread for a look at the blockouts from designers around the world. Contests: Our October Challenge, The Thrills of Horror, concluded on October 28th with a submission from @Asperche. He has players fleeing terrorist through an Opera and a Church after a murder occurs during a concert. Gongji is the work of 3 fine lads for the Exotic Places CS:GO Competition. Set in "a Chinese night market and its immediate surrounding areas (obviously taking place during night)", the team working on it has been quick to improve the level based upon feedback from testers. The Quake Halloween Jam, hosted by @yoder reached it's conclusion. Take a look at the end result. Finally, we've announce our Next Level Design Challenge for November - Building a Gathering. Your Objective is to design a card game: tabletop or digital, simple or complex, you decide. Full details can be found in the announcement. New Members: The staff here at Next Level Design wish to extend our thanks to our newest members. We're here to make your experience enjoyable, so please don't hesitate to Contact Us should you need assistance with anything at all. @Rokirito @ProfChops @XabierAdrados @O-Ren @Fremulon @zatoran If you're reading this but haven't joined Next Level Design yet, now is a great time to do so. Follow the link below to get signed up (it's quick and easy). 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
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    NLD Update: Week 43

    Roses are red. Violets are blue. Sorry, I have no idea where I was going with that. Let's forego the poetry and just take a look at what has happened in the last week on NLD. *Note: Clicking an image below will bring you directly to the content. Projects: the bloodsoaked releases his first official level, built for Far Cry 5. In Prison Escape, 'The Cult' has taken over a decommissioned prison on an island off mainland USA and you have managed to break out of the prison complex unaware. Can you make it out alive? Articles: In the first of a 2-part series called 'Beginning Level Design', Tim Ryan offers pointers for those who are beginning a journey towards becoming a level designer. He reviews a wide range of subjects including: simplicity, challenging players, entertainment, and Verisimilitude. Inspired by a question about a specific element of the original Halo (Quick Camo), Hardy LeBel wrote a series of articles which demonstrate in detail his approach to game design and balance - Universal Truth Number Three. NLD Flashback: Max Pears asks a really important question... “Where is the Toilet?” Now you may be thinking “What the F*** does this have to with Level Design?" The answers are in the article, so read it and find out! Chris, of Purposeless Rabbitholes, swears a Fu**ing lot. You've been warned. Listen in, if your ears aren't too tender, as he breaks down the fantastic level design of Dishonored 2, and what he believes makes it special. Forums: The last week has brought an abundance of activity in WAYWO. First, another preview from @icyhotspartin Next up, we get a teaser video from @Westin @JeremDem offers up some floor plans for his Splinter Cell based level & a mission document. A hotly debated discussion on 'rewarding players proportionate to the amount of skill it takes to perform an action'. The Architectural Imagination class on edX began this week. If you missed the registration, all is not lost. Follow the thread in the Design Discussion Forum to access some of the content from the course. We will be updating it with new content weekly. The stream of #Blocktober content on Twitter continues to flow. Check our Blocktober thread for a curated look at some of the shared blockouts from the past week. Contests: Get your NLD October Challenge submissions in! Monday, October 28th is the deadline. Also wrapping up is the Quake Halloween Jam, hosted by @yoder. Today is the deadline, with submissions being due by 11PM Easter Time. New Members: Greetings and salutations new members! We're happy to have you, and here to help if you need us - NLD Staff @Mr.Yeah! @no god anywhere @WyvernZu @Scott_Hamilton For those of you reading this that haven't joined yet, we would love to have you on board. Use the links below to become part of the Next Level Design Community. 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
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    NLD Update: Week 42

    The month of October rolls on, and so does the content on Next Level Design. Let's take a look at some of what what shared during the last week. *Note: Clicking an image below will bring you directly to the content. Projects: @franktha debuted his linear Dying Light project. Check the thread for pictures and a video of the current state, and to follow the progress. Sacral is a level from and , built in Halo 5. As you may be able to tell from the screenshots, it's heavily inspired by Dark Souls. Articles: The first article of the week captures Jon Michael Hickenbottom's experience of the Level Design for Games course offered by CG Master Academy. Some of the topics reviewed include 'Painting with Shapes', and 'Crafting Districts & Nodes'. Our next article comes from David Eliasson's Thesis on 'What design elements determine flow?" It's a detailed breakdown of how Overwatch uses elements such as color, lighting, and architecture to guide players. In an NLD Flashback, Benjamin Bauer explores the use of color and contrast, sharing his thoughts on how these tools can be used to create an emotional response. We wrapped up the week with a 2015 GDC Presentation from Shawn Snelling (FMPONE) & Salvatore Garozzo (Volcano). Focusing primarily on their level Cache for their examples, they share their insights into the fundamental aspects of designing levels for CS:GO. Contests: We're on the stretch run of the Halloween Jam being hosted by @yoder, with final submissions being due by October 26th. Our October Challenge is still underway. Don't be scared to jump in and give it a shot. Forums: One of our newest members, @JeremDem, is polishing his framing skills on a Splinter Cell based map. An early look at it was posted in WAYWO (What Are You Working On?). Also in WAYWO, @icyhotspartin shares some concept art. Blocktober shows no signs of slowing down, as level designers from around the world share the beginnings of their projects. New Members: Greetings to our newest members! @JeremDem @Behemoth Interested in joining Next Level Design? There's a link directly below. 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
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    NLD Update: Week 41

    We have a plethora of content for you this week, my friends, so let's get right to it. *Note: Clicking an image below will bring you directly to the content. Articles: Simon Lund Larsen introduces 6 primary "Level Design Patterns" - Tools to create a more intuitive experience: Multiple paths, Local Fights, Collision Points, Reference Points, Defense Areas, and Risk Incentive. This interview with Gabe Betancourt reveals some of tricks of the trade that lighting artists use. Learn about lighting game environments, Lightmaps, Indoor and Outdoor Lighting, making light work with gameplay, and get Gabe's advice. Game Maker's Toolkit, along with designers Jakob Mikkelsen & Eskil Mohl, breaks down 'The Finish Line' from Hitman 2. Learn about their overall approach to developing levels, along with discussion on the idiosyncrasies of this specific level. Contests: Our October Challenge "The Thrills of October" continues. Check out the Announcement Thread for all the details, and the Submission Thread when you're ready to share your work with the world. The Quake Halloween Jam, hosted by @yoder is still underway, with a submission deadline of October 26th. Mapcore's Exotic Places CS:GO Contest continues. Check out our thread, which includes links to all of the relevant information, along with showcasing some of the projects that are being worked on for it. Forums: @DrOctavia completed 2 more Blocktober Challenges and posted them in the dedicated thread. @Z_SweLL is also celebrating Blocktober on Next Level Design, starting up a Gallery that will house all of his submissions. @Box_Hoes is working on a project for the Forgehub 2v2 Contest, and has given us a look at how it's coming along. We get another look at the current WIP from @icyhotspartin. #Blocktober rages on on Twitter. Our dedicated thread is full to the brim with blockouts to get your creative juices flowing. New Members: Greeting to our newest members. Thank you very much for joining Next Level Design. Our staff is here to support you, so feel free to message if we can be of assistance. @Box_Hoes @PeCHe @Vadim @vertexpolyfort @Hollabaloo @Z_SweLL @Zaorisz Interested in joining Next Level Design? There's a link to do so below. 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
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    NLD Update: 40

    Hello friends, and welcome once again to our weekly site recap. *Note: Clicking an image below will bring you directly to the content. News NLD October Challenge: We celebrate the month of Halloween with a Horror themed Challenge - design a scenario and level that enforces any chosen feeling of horror. Be creative with how you torture your player! The Architectural Imagination: The Architectural Imagination is available from edX as a FREE online course. Level Design and architecture are inseparable. This course offers tremendous value to anyone who's looking to upgrade their design skills. Articles: The Fundamentals of Game Design: Raph Koster of Ultima Online & Star Wars Galaxies provides what he considers to be the Fundamentals of Game Design. Using Tetris as an example, he walks through fundamentals such as 'Design One Game at a Time' and 'watch others play your game'. Architecture in Video Games - Designing for Impact: Architect Deanna Van Buren (The Witness) covers 9 essential areas. Amongst them are 'Developing architectural narratives', 'Scaling, proportion, and style', and 'Transitions'. NLD Review - Modern Warfare Open Beta: Cornelius Robbins (@icyhotspartin) offers "An in-depth review of the recent Modern Warfare Open Beta. It's a long one, with some screenshots and graphics, so sit down with a nice cup of coffee and enjoy!" NLD Flashback: Practical Guide on First-Person Level Design: Looking for a comprehensive guide to level design for first person games? You're in the right place! This article encompasses planning, focal points, cover, coherence, flow, contrast, color theory, and mental mapping, oh my! And that's not all... Forums: In celebration of Blocktober, @DrOctavia has started up a challenge of his own - create a rough version of a level within 1 day, based upon a guideline for that day. Check the descriptive words for each day HERE, and then share your interpretation in the form of a blockout. Also in honor of Blocktober, we've put the Twitter thread on hold and will be dedicating our Twitter coverage for the month to Blocktober content. Check the thread for a curated offering. In WAYWO (What Are You Working On?), lot's of discussion on 'Flow', and other level design terms, Dark Souls, and Seinfeld. Sprinkled among the wide ranging discussion was a teaser from @Westin. And a birds-eye view from @purely fat. New Members: Hello! Hello! And a hearty 'Thank You' to our newest members for joining Next Level Design. @omnijxs @Nathan_LD @Xzamplez @Ambulaar @JacquiW @Manoloon For those of you reading this that haven't joined up yet, use the link below and join the team. 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
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    NLD Update: Week 39

    Well looky here...another week has passed, and if you haven't been paying attention you've missed a lot. Never fear though, there's still time to catch up, and here's your chance. We take a look back at the week that was on NLD... *Note: Clicking an image below will bring you directly to the content. NLD September Challenge - The Duel: @Cameron posted his submission to the September Challenge, which is a city set far in the future, after humans have left Earth. Cameron says "The map was made for Call of Duty style gameplay, particularly leaning towards long ranged/sniping thanks to some long sightlines." Check out his submission for a full descriptions, and several more pictures of his level. Also participating in the September Challenge was @Ree, who designed a parkour race duel. "It is build around four parts; the first part is inside an abandoned house at the bottom of the mountain (blue part), then an ascension on the flank of the mountain (purple part), on an ancient destroyed pathway, the players then arrives inside a cave (brown part) where it was an acient temple, and at the end, the player does a final rush to the top, using all mechanics of the level. It is here he sees the other player for the first time (the green part)." Once again, a more in depth description and more images can be seen in Ree's submission post. Thank You to both for participating! Stay tuned for the announcement of our next NLD Challenge. 😉 Articles: Legend has it that it's possible to build a level for the Source Engine within 3ds Max. We've had no concrete evidence of this alleged possibility...until now! Shawn Olson provides video proof, along with a fantastic demonstration. Seeing is believing, my friends. I am now a believer, and this video will turn you into believer as well. 😉 In Part 2 of his series on Level Design for Combat, Max Pears aims his sights at pre-production - research and planning for your levels. He lays out an approach that any level designer can use to assure their projects get off to a solid start. 'Map Design Theory' by Mick Raider and @Insane54 comes from the heyday of Halo 3's Forge Mode. This one holds a special place in my heart because it's one of the first articles that got me thinking seriously about level design. It covers all of the essentials of level design, and use examples to support the discussion points. This article was written exclusively with Halo 3 in mind, but is most definitely applicable to Level Design in other FPS games as well. Forums: @franktha previews a dying light map @Chronmeister posted up a first look at his current 2v2 project. @icyhotspartin teases us with a plethora of pictures, along with a map sketch in 'What Are You Working On?', over the course of several posts. Also in 'What Are You Working On?', @Soldat Du Christ shares a small portion of a script he's working on, which initiates some interesting discussion on pace, balance, and various other level design terms. As always, the Twitter thread showcases tweets about game design and level design from the last week. New Members: We're very happy to welcome our newest members. Thank you for joining, and we look forward to seeing you around the forums! @jakeburton00 @Mishail @Mell0w_ @LucidJay 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
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    NLD Update: Week 38

    Weekly roundup time! I know you didn't come here to hear me babble on incessantly, so let's just get right to the content. *Note: Clicking an image below will bring you directly to the content. Projects: We would love to have you stop in and check out the recently upgraded 'Projects' section of our site. We've added a thumbnail option, which allows members to attach their favorite image from their project, and have it be visible from the main forum page. Posting projects is easy and intuitive. We're eager to see what you're working on - anything from WIP's to Completed Projects, to Concepts can be freely shared here. We've also added 2 sub-forums - Competitions (for ongoing competitions, obviously), and Portfolio's (where you can share yours, and view others). Drop in, take a gander around, and share your work with us. Link: http://www.nextleveldesign.org/index.php?/forums/forum/7-projects/ Articles: Mike Stout offers an overview of his design process which was developed while designing for Ratchet & Clank, Skylanders, and Resistance. He covers Constraints, Brainstorming and Structure, Bubble Diagrams, Rough Map, and Finishing Maps. JIm Brown espouses the benefits of utilizing Heat Maps as a tool for improving levels. He also touches on level design psychology through visual cues, field of view, scale, and more. The Interactive Evolution of Levels for a Competitive Multiplayer FPS explores Procedural Content Generation as a method of providing new content that is simultaneously fresh and familiar. You can also view the full thesis this piece is based upon. Forums: @Max Extra shared what he's working on - testing out a natural enclosure for his current project. In the 'Feedback' thread, we're talkin' 'bout Feedback - Giving feedback, receiving feedback - anything else related to the subject. Come on by and share your thoughts, experiences, suggestions. @Ii sega usa ii posted a preview walkthrough of a project he's working on for the Forgehub 2v2 contest. Check out the level design and game design updates from the Twitter world over the last week. New Members: Welcome to our highly valued new members this week. Thank you for joining. We're happy to have you. @Jake Stegmeier | MartianMallCop @Chronmeister 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 .galleria, .galleria-container { height:480px !important }
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    NLD Update: Week 37

    Welcome once again to our weekly recap of the goings on at Next Level Design. *Note: Clicking an image below will bring you directly to the content. September Challenge: The Duel Our September Challenge continues. The goal of this challenge is to construct a space for a head to head duel. Read the details in the Announcement Thread: Share your submission here: http://www.nextleveldesign.org/index.php?/forums/topic/177-september-challenge-the-duel-submission-thread/ The Deadline is September 23rd, so you have 9 days remaining to complete this challenge! Articles: 'Level Design to Keep Players Engaged' proposes methods for level designers to keep players engaged by preplanning levels, leading and rewarding players, and varying your scenery. Andrew Price of Blender Guru guides us from the basics of lighting, into more advanced concepts, covering direction, size, color, readability, and emphasis. Jenova Chen, designer of Journey, shares his insight into getting players into a 'Flow State'. Read about how to gauge and expand a players flow zone, create dynamic flow, and adjusting gameplay over time to maintain a state of flow. This 2018 GDC talk from Jesse Schell demonstrates how gaming can benefit from the knowledge of other disciplines. Inspired by the work of Christopher Alexander, Schell suggests that the wisest way to look at space is with our hearts. Forums: @Soldat Du Christ dumped a slew of images in the Inspiration! thread In 'What Are You Working On?', we get our first glimpse of a 2v2 WIP from @Sethiroth And also a sketch of something new from @Fatkid Forger As usual, we have plenty of level design and game design tweets from the just completed week in The Twitter Thread. A huge Thank You! to all of our members and followers. Stay tuned to Next Level Design to see all of this content as it gets released. Use the links below to stay connected. 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 .galleria, .galleria-container { height:480px !important }
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    NLD Update: Week 36

    The last week at Next Level Design featured the announcement of our September Challenge, multiple Articles, and plenty of forum content. *Note: Clicking an image below will bring you directly to the content September Challenge: Next Level Design Challenges are back! The goal this time around is simple: Design a level around a head-to-head duel. Any on-on-one conflict is fair game, whether it's Old West outlaws, a hot pursuit, or a civilized game of chess! Articles: "In a very real way, a game is a series of questions that the game’s designer is asking you (as the player)." In this article, Mike Stout addressed the issue of enemy encounter design from this perspective. This video by 3kliksphilip efficiently demonstrates the process of publishing your project to the Steam Workshop. Where am I? What am I? What can I do? Philosophy and Level Design: Rebooted, from Cornelius Robbins (@icyhotspartin) discusses how a level designer can approach providing answers to these questions. In this video from Craig Perko the focus is on level design, as he provides examples of how to design for varying gameplay approaches and player preferences. @yoder hosts another Quake Map Jam. The theme this time - Halloween Forums: @icyhotspartin teases a detailed breakdown of the Halo Outpost event he attended recently In WAYWO (What Are You Working On?) @purely fat promised us a terrible birds eye view of the WIP he shared last week. He lived up to his word and posted this beauty of a screenshot. Brief gameplay previews of 2 projects were shared by @Westin A great video on Subtractive Design shared by @Ii sega usa ii in his Vault In accordance with tradition, Free Unreal Marketplace Content was released to usher in the beginning of a new month. Do you like Twitter? Do you like level design? Do you like game design? If you answered 'Yes!' to any of this, you'll probably enjoy the Twitter Thread New Members: @Asperche @the_Bloodsoaked @Hanqing @Vicentamen @aru1310 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 .galleria, .galleria-container { height:480px !important }
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    NLD Update: Week 35

    As August comes to end, so does week 35. Let's take a gander at the activity on the site over the last week. *Note: Clicking any of the images below will bring you directly to the content. Articles: MAPS: Episode 1 Westin Koessel (@Westin) introduces a new level design series by delving into the subject of predeterministic vs passive design - how much creativity should a designer allow a player? Multiplayer Level Design: A Visual Guide This work of art from Bobby Ross is one of the definitive guides to Level Design, exemplifying the goal of the level designer through the successful synthesis of content and visuals. Multiplayer Level Design Guide Patrick Williams breaks down some of the core concepts (flow and item placement), while also touching on less common subjects (gameplay habits and camera angle). Overcoming the Digital Blank Page In this 2014 talk, Seth Marinello presents a framework for designing levels or games from square one, from idea generation to blockout. Projects: @MultiLockOn has posted up 3 of his completed projects, which are all top notch. Follow the links to check them out. Legion: http://www.nextleveldesign.org/index.php?/forums/topic/172-legion-welcome-back-darkness-halo-5-map/ Oblivion: http://www.nextleveldesign.org/index.php?/forums/topic/173-oblivion-fight-like-hell-halo-5-map/ Arcanum: http://www.nextleveldesign.org/index.php?/forums/topic/174-arcanum-fear-the-dark-below-halo-5-map/ Minor progress has been made on my potential submission to the Forgehub 2v2 Contest Forums: In WAYWO, @purely fat showed off one of his WIP's shares one of his sources of inspiration in his Vault The Twitter world continues to be a source of a ton of level design and game design content. Take a look at some of what what shared over the last week. New Members: Greetings and Salutations to our newest members! @Alexhunter @Mr High Hopes 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 .galleria, .galleria-container { height:480px !important }
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    NLD Update: Week 34

    Let's take a look back at some of what was shared on Next Level Design in the last week. *Note: Clicking on any of the images below will bring you to the content. Articles: In this final article on Color theory, we learn all about how to create our own color schemes. This article is an invaluable tool, packed with example color schemes. Andrew Yoder uses 2 multiplayer Halo matches as a case study to demonstrate some of the problems with player versus player games. Alex Galuzin provides an in-depth look at 6 principles of choke point level design, covering placement, timing, and play styles. Tim Ruswick talks about his level design lessons learned from designing over 100 levels in a month during the making of Philophobia. Forums: Sega's Vault (@Ii sega usa ii) featured a video from Polygon Academy on Environment Art and Level Design @Max Extra continues refining one of his projects. Next step - Add Gameplay Objects and Final Boundaries in preparation for playtesting. We've created a Color Theory Thread with links to all of our related articles, sites with numerous color scheme examples, and many tools to help you create your own color schemes. Tweet, Tweet! Catch up on level design and game design content from Twitter from the last week New Members: Greetings and Salutations to our newest members! @Linxi @GabrielaAraujo @HotPaper 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 .galleria, .galleria-container { height:480px !important }
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    NLD Update: Week 33

    Week 33 on NLD has brought us the following content. *Note: Clicking on any of the images below will bring you directly to the content. Articles: In the second part of her series on Color Theory for Designers, Cameron Chapman teaches us about Hue, Chroma, Saturation, Value, Tones, Shades, and Tints. Steve Gaynor breaks down the use of Hubs and Spokes in BioShock as a method of help players understand the spaces they're in and orient themselves within the world. Michael Barclay of Naughty Dog offers a deep dive into his Level Design Guidelines, covering themes, Pacing, Signposting, Vistas, Visual Language, Compulsion Loops, and more. Jim Brown discusses techniques for increasing the likelihood of players developing emotional ties to the games they play. He believes that these ties are beneficial to both players and developers. Competitions: Forgehub, the home of Halo's Forge mode, announced a 2v2 Mapping Contest.  Read some of the details in the thread. Anubis is a work in progress for Mapcore's Exotic Places Contest.  It's set in ancient Egypt, and made by Roald and Momoderator. Forums @Ii sega usa ii has started a thread where he can share interesting design related content.  His first selection is an excellent video of part of the Unreal Tournament 4 team talking about Scaling, and best practices in level design. I, (@a Chunk) started up a Project Thread for a 2v2 map that's in the planning stages for the Forgehub Contest. And the Tweets roll on... We look at more level/game design twitter content from the last week. New Members: Welcome to the following new Next Level Design members! @Hosein @Preacher001 @Zenith @mega-gomorrah @Asuro @ch3p3 @Rza884 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
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    NLD Update: Week 32

    Let's take a look at the goings' on at Next Level Design over the last week. *Note: Clicking on any of the images below will bring you directly to the content Articles: The first of this 3-part series on Color Theory from Cameron Chapman is on of the best references we've seen on the subject for level/game designers. This installment consists of an analysis of each color. Michael Barclay walks us through his level design process step by step - from concept to final detailing. Follow the link to read the full article. Alex Galuzin of World of Level Design shows how to transfer a top-down layout into a BSP Block-In, providing a detailed explanation of his process for making this transition when creating CS:GO levels. In this 10-part series addresses the essential aspects of making video games: Concept Art, Sound Design, Game Design, and more. Forums: We have another update from @Max Extra, sharing more background information and screenshots of his current project We launched a site upgrade, with many small improvements, and some larger improvements as well. Among them are a Preview Button to more easily preview posts, Discord Login integration, and a Topic Thumbnail option that has allowed us to make a major improvement in how topics are displayed in the Projects forum. Read the entire breakdown of changes by clicking this text, or the image below. Our move to the new site meant we had to delay some other projects that were in the works. Now that things are somewhat settled, we're looking to kick-off new Challenges, akin to the 1-Hour Challenge of a few months ago. We're really eager to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Feel free to share them in the thread Check out some level design Tweets you may have missed over the past week New Members: Greetings to our new members this week! @Gale @JeremyO @Falconeyi @purely fat @SaltyKoalaBear @BananaXY 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
  18. Hello, and welcome to the site! With the advent of Next Level Design, it seems appropriate to provide a bit of an introduction. I'm going to talk about why Next Level Design came into existence. But before I get to that, I need to offer some background information about myself. My name is Jeff. My online moniker is a Chunk, because I always liked the movie The Goonies, and I had a laugh at the thought of people seeing "you were killed by a chunk" when I killed them. Most people just refer to me as Chunk. I'm no longer young (just turned 44), but still a kid at heart. I grew up on console gaming, logging endless hours on Atari, Intellivision, Nintendo Entertainment System, and many others. My love of First Person Shooters was born with the release of Goldeneye. From there, I became increasingly obsessed with the genre. A natural part of this obsession, for me, was a great curiosity about why I loved some maps, and hated others. I began to study them, trying to understand the attributes that made a great map. My first foray into actually building a map took place within the game Timesplitters. I had no idea at all what I was doing. I made sure I used every color available, with no rhyme or reason, and made a secret hiding spot that only I knew about. When Halo: Combat Evolved was released as a launch title for the new Microsoft Console called the XBOX, it was a no-brainer for me to get it. I was hooked instantly. If I was obsessed with First Person Shooters prior to this, afterward it became all-consuming. From 2001 through 2007 I played virtually nothing but Halo. During this time, I continued in my search to understand level design, but didn't apply what I was learning, because I spent so much of my time playing that there was none left for designing. Like nearly every franchise, Halo has evolved over time. It's evolved into something that I don't particularly enjoy playing anymore. Yet, somehow my love for the game rages on. When Halo: Reach released in 2010, I played it extensively for about 6 months, and then realized I wasn't having much fun. At this point, I turned to Forge, Halo's level design tool. This is when my level design education really began. Nearly all of my 'video game time' from that point forward has been spent designing levels. I began devouring everything I could find on level design, and info at that time was relatively scarce. I also became involved in the Forge community, participating on forums, sharing my thoughts, and learning from others. I became part of the staff at Forgehub, which to this day is still the primary home of the Forge community, spending several years as an Admin. I eventually stepped away from my position on staff as my life priorities changed, but have remained an active member, and continue to have great interest in level design. Now that I've shared who I am and where I've come from, I want to talk a bit about why Next Level Design exists, and what the vision for it is. During my years of learning about level design, one of the things that bothered me most was the lack of information from people that were educated on the subject. I wanted to learn, but struggled to find sources that could educate me. Frustrated at what I saw as a lack of level design content, I set out to share what I had learned, hoping to be of assistance to those who were new to it. I offered detailed feedback on maps regularly, and generally just tried to be helpful. As I realized that most designers didn't fully understand even basic concepts, I set out to write a series of guides on the fundamentals. I eventually released a series of articles called Forge Fundamentals, covering the basics of Preplanning, Spawning, Cover, Flow, Weapons, and Aesthetics, along with a final article about how to put it all together in a functioning package. As I was writing and then releasing these articles, I realized that they were simultaneously important and insignificant. They were useful in helping very new designers, or those that simply hadn't thought about the art of level design in much depth, but mostly useless in helping designers get to the next level, beyond a beginners stage. I felt that what was needed was a more holistic approach. The fundamentals are important, but advanced material is equally important. I also began to recognized the value of learning from people with different perspectives. I began reading and watching videos of levels built in other games. This alone helped to evolve my thinking. It opened my mind to new ideas about design, which ranged from how to build unique structures to how to approach the developmental process of designing a level. As I kept going back to the small community I was part of, I became more and more cognizant of just how isolated we were. We were in an echo chamber, and I felt like some outside influence could help us make a quantum leap forward. Next Level Design is meant to be a vehicle which sends level designers leaping forward to advanced levels of ability and understanding. It's meant to be a home for the entire level design community, a place where we can share and learn from each others experience and point of view. It's my intent to regularly post content which discusses various aspects of level design. I plan to cover it in more breadth and depth than has been done before by anyone anywhere. We'll cover the fundamentals. We'll cover the advanced. We'll cover everything in between. There will be tutorials to help designers learn to utilize new tools. Next Level Design will be a place where designers come to share their work, and receive feedback that helps them get better. Collectively, we'll push each other forward. We'll feature articles from anyone who offers valuable information, whether it be from Next Level Design members, or professionals in the industry. We'll feature interesting maps from anywhere on the World Wide Web. We'll listen to your feedback. Wherever there's a gap of knowledge recognized, we will try to fill it. Distilled down to it's most basic purpose, Next Level Design is here to facilitate every designers growth to the next level. We look forward to learning and growing together with you. Welcome to Next Level Design!
  19. Hello, and welcome to the site! With the advent of Next Level Design, it seems appropriate to provide a bit of an introduction. I'm going to talk about why Next Level Design came into existence. But before I get to that, I need to offer some background information about myself. My name is Jeff. My online moniker is a Chunk, because I always liked the movie The Goonies, and I had a laugh at the thought of people seeing "you were killed by a chunk" when I killed them. Most people just refer to me as Chunk. I'm no longer young (just turned 44), but still a kid at heart. I grew up on console gaming, logging endless hours on Atari, Intellivision, Nintendo Entertainment System, and many others. My love of First Person Shooters was born with the release of Goldeneye. From there, I became increasingly obsessed with the genre. A natural part of this obsession, for me, was a great curiosity about why I loved some maps, and hated others. I began to study them, trying to understand the attributes that made a great map. My first foray into actually building a map took place within the game Timesplitters. I had no idea at all what I was doing. I made sure I used every color available, with no rhyme or reason, and made a secret hiding spot that only I knew about. When Halo: Combat Evolved was released as a launch title for the new Microsoft Console called the XBOX, it was a no-brainer for me to get it. I was hooked instantly. If I was obsessed with First Person Shooters prior to this, afterward it became all-consuming. From 2001 through 2007 I played virtually nothing but Halo. During this time, I continued in my search to understand level design, but didn't apply what I was learning, because I spent so much of my time playing that there was none left for designing. Like nearly every franchise, Halo has evolved over time. It's evolved into something that I don't particularly enjoy playing anymore. Yet, somehow my love for the game rages on. When Halo: Reach released in 2010, I played it extensively for about 6 months, and then realized I wasn't having much fun. At this point, I turned to Forge, Halo's level design tool. This is when my level design education really began. Nearly all of my 'video game time' from that point forward has been spent designing levels. I began devouring everything I could find on level design, and info at that time was relatively scarce. I also became involved in the Forge community, participating on forums, sharing my thoughts, and learning from others. I became part of the staff at Forgehub, which to this day is still the primary home of the Forge community, spending several years as an Admin. I eventually stepped away from my position on staff as my life priorities changed, but have remained an active member, and continue to have great interest in level design. Now that I've shared who I am and where I've come from, I want to talk a bit about why Next Level Design exists, and what the vision for it is. During my years of learning about level design, one of the things that bothered me most was the lack of information from people that were educated on the subject. I wanted to learn, but struggled to find sources that could educate me. Frustrated at what I saw as a lack of level design content, I set out to share what I had learned, hoping to be of assistance to those who were new to it. I offered detailed feedback on maps regularly, and generally just tried to be helpful. As I realized that most designers didn't fully understand even basic concepts, I set out to write a series of guides on the fundamentals. I eventually released a series of articles called Forge Fundamentals, covering the basics of Preplanning, Spawning, Cover, Flow, Weapons, and Aesthetics, along with a final article about how to put it all together in a functioning package. As I was writing and then releasing these articles, I realized that they were simultaneously important and insignificant. They were useful in helping very new designers, or those that simply hadn't thought about the art of level design in much depth, but mostly useless in helping designers get to the next level, beyond a beginners stage. I felt that what was needed was a more holistic approach. The fundamentals are important, but advanced material is equally important. I also began to recognized the value of learning from people with different perspectives. I began reading and watching videos of levels built in other games. This alone helped to evolve my thinking. It opened my mind to new ideas about design, which ranged from how to build unique structures to how to approach the developmental process of designing a level. As I kept going back to the small community I was part of, I became more and more cognizant of just how isolated we were. We were in an echo chamber, and I felt like some outside influence could help us make a quantum leap forward. Next Level Design is meant to be a vehicle which sends level designers leaping forward to advanced levels of ability and understanding. It's meant to be a home for the entire level design community, a place where we can share and learn from each others experience and point of view. It's my intent to regularly post content which discusses various aspects of level design. I plan to cover it in more breadth and depth than has been done before by anyone anywhere. We'll cover the fundamentals. We'll cover the advanced. We'll cover everything in between. There will be tutorials to help designers learn to utilize new tools. Next Level Design will be a place where designers come to share their work, and receive feedback that helps them get better. Collectively, we'll push each other forward. We'll feature articles from anyone who offers valuable information, whether it be from Next Level Design members, or professionals in the industry. We'll feature interesting maps from anywhere on the World Wide Web. We'll listen to your feedback. Wherever there's a gap of knowledge recognized, we will try to fill it. Distilled down to it's most basic purpose, Next Level Design is here to facilitate every designers growth to the next level. We look forward to learning and growing together with you. Welcome to Next Level Design!
  20. a Chunk

    NLD Update: Week 31

    Here's what was shared on Next Level Design over the last week. *Note: Clicking on any of the images below will take you directly to the content. Articles: Pascal Luban guides us through his process for balancing levels - looking at Playtests, technical constraints, event synchronization, and designing games to be accessible to all players. Max Pears asked himself "What makes a good combat level?" This article is the first part of his answer, covering super sexy concepts like Metrics, Cover, and Weapon Ranges. Rob Howard analyzes 'the layers that compose modern level design'. Using real life games to demonstrate his points, he covers Navigational Geometry, Active Content, and World Design. Daniel Cook covers a subject that too often goes unconsidered by game makers and game players alike - how to use games as a means for creating and nurturing meaningful relationships. Forums: In 'What Are You Working On?', Max showed off progress on his current project. Check out this very cool and unique level concept for the CS:GO Exotic Spaces competition Twitter stops for nothing and nobody.  The same is true of the Twitter Thread.  See level and game design content you may have missed over the last week. New Members: Our thanks to our newest members. We're here to serve you, so let us know if there's anything we can do to make your experience at Next Level Design better. @agon92 @mWoody02 @yoder @JChinGames @Marvin Heemeyer 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
  21. a Chunk

    NLD Update: Week 30

    Here's what was shared on Next Level Design over the last week. *Note: Clicking on any of the images below will take you directly to the content. Articles: In part 2 of his multiplayer level design series, Pascal Luban focuses 3 challenges that must be met when creating a multiplayer map - durability, accessibility, and entertainment. Alex Galuzin lays out 3 different methods for drawing top-down layouts. You'll learn the methods, and the scenario's in which one may be superior to another. What's that smell? It's just the Quake Sewer Map Jam - Follow the link to read the details, and talk about the Jam. In an NLD Original Article, Courtney Raine shares her insights into translating real life landmarks into games, making them distinctive, and placing them appropriately. Forums: @Max Extra gives us an overhead view of a new 4v4 level he's working on in Halo 5 @Soldat Du Christ is making his first ever attempt at building a CS:GO level, with the intent of submitting it to the Exotic Spaces Competition. Take a look at his starting point. On the subject of the Exotic Spaces competition, we'll be sharing projects from the contest forum on a fairly regular basis. Check out this overview of de_bucha from Interfearance. In an effort to familiarize you with some of the features of our new site, we're sharing a basic walkthrough of how to share images to our Image Gallery. Open the spoiler below to learn more. How to use the Next Level Design Forums: Image Gallery Tweets Galore can be found on our Twitter Thread - all related to level/game design New Members: Here are our newest members. Thank you all for joining the Next Level Design community! @Max Extra @Nitro @Fernoir @Coniak @bforlivas 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
  22. a Chunk

    NLD Update: Week 29

    Welcome back friends. You're probably not here to read an introduction, so let's get right to it! *Note: Click on any of the images below to be taken to the content. Projects: Delos is a 1v1 level from @icyhotspartin that's been in the works for a while now. Rather than describe it myself, read his fantastic writeup on the map here - https://imgur.com/LRnY6hx Articles: We started off the week with Pascal Luban taking an in-depth look into Level Design. This first of the 3 part series takes a look at the unique challenges of Level Design for Multiplayer. Next up, Max Pears shares a look into the good and not so good ways of introducing new mechanics to players. Game Makers Toolkit recently published this fantastic video to help teach you how to build exceptional levels in Mario Maker 2. It's worth watching for ALL level designers. We rounded out the week with Jeremy Price of Arkham Origins guiding us through a look at the fundamentals of design, and how to utilize them to create environments. Forums: Stop by the 'What Are You Playing?' thread and...uh...tell us what you're playing. This week we found out that @Soldat Du Christ is playing CS:GO in preparation for building his first CS:GO map for the Exotic Places Mapping Contest. Some little birdy's tweeted about level/game design, and we've captured it in a thread. New Members: Welcome to our newest members. We thank you for joining, and look forward to interacting with you around the forums. @rcull @OHA27 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
  23. a Chunk

    NLD Update: Week 28

    No fancy introduction this week. We're just going to jump directly into the content. So here's some of what was share on Next Level Design within the last week. Use the links at the end of this article to join and follow the site so that you can see all of the content as it's posted. *Note: Click any image below to access the content. Projects: @icyhotspartin has done a preliminary posting of the map he started building in conjunction with out 1 Hour Mapping Challenge back in May. The official release, along with a download link, will happen sometime this weekend, so keep an eye out for that. Articles: Mike Stout's says that if people asked him where his ideas come from, this is what he would say Westin Koessel shares his thoughts on the true impact of games, and the accompanying responsibility designers have to make games built upon a foundation of integrity. Super Mario Maker 2 producer Takashi Tezuka offers up five helpful tips for course creation This in depth guide from Alex Galuzin (World of Level Design) teaches how to design competitive CS:GO levels This is a collection of Tips from Tom Pugh's Twitter are meant to help level designers learn to move players, encourage progression and create areas of immersive gameplay. Forums: This time @icyhotspartin is giving us a first look at one of his projects. No details yet. Just a series of teaser images. @Soldat Du Christ initiated a discussion on the recent video from Extra Credits regarding socially conscious game design. Watch and comment on this controversial subject. Stop into our thread on the Mapcore Exotic Places CS:GO Mapping Contest.  Discuss your own project for the contest, or anything else of interest that's related to the contest. The Twitter thread rages on. Lots of portfolio's highlighted this week, as is expected on Portfolio Day. New Members: Welcome to our New Members this week: @Ree @Ii sega usa ii We're happy to have you on board, and look forward to seeing around the forum. 😉 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
  24. a Chunk

    NLD Update: Week 27

    As we settle into our comfy new home, business is starting to pick up. We saw a full week on content which ranged from the usual series of article, a new series of tutorials, and several projects shared in the forums. Here's a recap covering the highlights. *Note: Click on any image below to be taken to the content. Projects: @Buddy Jumps joined the fray here at NLD and posted the results of a project which had him making a visual upgrade to a level design from 'Purely Fat' Articles: Wesley Rockholz talks about how the fundamental of art and design can be used to improve you level designs If you've ever had the itch to build a level for Quake, now's the time to scratch it. Check out our ever growing list of TrenchBroom Tutorials Extra Credits analyzes the use of Assymetric level design in Overwatch Learn some of the do's and don'ts of level design in Mario Maker with this video from Snoman Gaming Forums: @Soldat Du Christ shared 2 very cool video's of his map 'Tribunal'.  One is a preview video. The other, a full gameplay video. Also shared in the 'What Are You Working On?' thread was this preview from @icyhotspartin We also got a preview of a potential 1v1 level from @Kantalope Looking to find or share inspiration? @JackKnife has a thread in the forums dedicated to inspirational architecture, while there's also an Inspirations album in the Galleries section of the site. The Twitter Thread continues to be updated regularly. Check it to see level design related Tweets that you may have missed On the subject of twiiter, we want to give a shoutout to Chris Totten. If you're into level design and you don't follow him, make it happen by clicking this link: https://twitter.com/Totter87 Earlier this week, he shared this massive and insightful series of posts on designing levels for Mario Maker 2: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1145648595175182336.html New Members: We wish a warm welcome to our newest members, all of whom have joined within the last week: @makeshiftGnome @Mr_Deliciousman @Mags @JackWagon59 @Fatkid Forger @DrOctavia We hope you enjoy your stay with us! 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
  25. a Chunk

    NLD Update: Week 26

    The 26th week of the year marks the midpoint of the year, and for NLD it marks a new beginning in the form of the first week at our new home at nextleveldesign.org. We're off to great start, and very grateful for all who have already joined the site. More on that below, but first lets look at the member projects and featured articles from the past week. Click any image below to be taken to the content. Projects: Contagion, from @Kantalope is a Halo 5 Forge WIP that features a door system which players can utilize with the round targets. Dastardly Dirty Dan's Stolen Treasure is a project shared by @JackKnife, which served as his final submission for the CG Master Academy's Level Design for Games course. We highly recommend you check out the threads for these 2 projects, as they share a lot of great detail, and many more images. Articles: On the article front, we kicked off the week by kicking off a new website.  If you haven't already, you can read about that here. On Monday, we posted up an article from Yan 'Method' Ostretsov, which provides an overview of his process for creating levels. Next up we featured a video from Jonas Tykesson that does a great job of breaking down positive and negative space in level design. In The Science of Multiplayer Mapping, we get some insight into some of the most legendary games and levels ever made right from the mouths of those who made them. In An Approach to Holistic Level Design, Steve Lee shares his insights into how to take seemingly separate aspects of level design and meld them into one cohesive whole. Forums: Now let's take a look at the first week in the forums at our new home. The activity level was quite high for a new forum. Here are the raw numbers: Total Topics = 46 Total Posts = 222 Here's a small sampling of the content: @Soldat Du Christ started up a thread on Game Design Critiques, with the first piece being a very in-depth analysis of the Mass Effect series. Inspiration! from @JackKnife is meant to create exactly what the thread is named. The focus is on the sharing of inspirational architecture. Stop in and share your personal favorites. The Twitter Thread starts anew, sharing a variety of level design and game design tweets. New Members: Being at a brand new forum means that all of our members this week are new members. Our member total after 1 week is at 24. Not bad. Not bad at all. Here's a list of our fast acting friends - our early adopters. @Soldat Du Christ @Cameron @MultiLockOn @Samch1k @JackKnife @MGW @DeatheDis @S0UL FLAME @siriusbard @Water Malone @Sgt Slaphead @Fritzster @Buddy Jumps @HersheyRuns @Insane54 @KeepItSecret @Jeronim On behalf of the NLD Staff which consists of myself (@a Chunk), @icyhotspartin, @Kantalope, @Sethiroth, and @Westin, thank you all for your interest and participation. We look forward to continuing and/or developing relationships with you all. Get Involved: For those of you who may be coming across Next Level Design for the first time, here's how you can connect with us and become part of our close-knit and growing community of level and game designers: Register on NLD: http://www.nextleveldesign.org/index.php?/register/ Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NextLevelDesig2 Join the Discussion on Discord: https://t.co/hkxwVml0Dp We look forward to sharing, learning, and growing together with you.