I am currently a graduate from the University of Advancing Technology with a Bachelors in Game Design. My main focus is to learn level design in particular, and in the process, learn how to script and 3D model. I am a level designer on the game The Afflicted in Autonomous Games, so check out the page on this site and tell us what you think!
I am writing this blog post as two identical cats are sitting on my bed with me back home in Levittown, Long Island. I have about 18 days back home to relax and spend time with family and friends, but I will also be doing some work on a level that I will be designing for a new project outside of The Afflicted. One of the biggest lessons that I have learned about level design from The Afflicted is the importance of pre-production and planning. For my level on The Afflicted, the only pre-production that I had done was doing a top-down layout of the map and create a setting concept for the environment. On my break so far, I have been reading a lot of articles about level design, and the proper procedures on how to ensure the level gets completed. I will be following the lessons that I learned while reading the articles, and continue to read more articles in order to find the perfect pipeline of the level design production. I will be creating a large document about the level I want to design and in this document there will be many sub-sections that I want to create in order to flesh the idea out as much as possible. In conjunction with that, I will be working the top-down layout of the map and begin defining landmarks and play-spaces. I will also be looking at images online that I feel represent the art style of the game, as well as the overall aesthetic that I want for the level. Lastly, I will be white-boxing the level in a 3D editor, cannot say which, and begin testing. There are a lot of steps to complete before testing begins and I am eager to begin this process. Happy Holidays everyone!
My name is Devin Sherry and I am a senior level designer at Autonomous Games. I am currently working on an indie game called The Afflicted, and if you haven't seen it yet, go check it out on the top 100 indie games under the third person category in the upcoming games section. This is my first major project in my professional career as a level designer, and I have to say, it is one of the most difficult game to design levels for, but it has taught me many lessons about level design principles.
A level for The Afflicted consists of making sure that the levels emphasize parkour movement, resources are placed in careful spots that allow for each team to obtain a certain amount of upgrades in a certain amount of time, the level has three phases that open up as the game progresses, choosing a setting that makes sense with the back story of the game, making sure that barricades are placed in areas that are most strategic for creating that needed cover, fun elevation shifts for the player, and making sure that the level is balanced for three teams. Over the course of the development, which has been close to a year now!. I have learned how to make fun game levels with this type of game play. This game has taught me how to make a level with numerous amounts of variables, so when I am on a game project that has limited variables, I can make it faster, more fun, more balanced, and it will promote exciting game play.
I still have a lot of learning to do when it comes to designing levels for different types of games, but The Afflicted has given me a strong foot to stand on. My next step as a level designer is to learn how to script events, as well as learning how to 3D model. As of right now, I have strong scripting skills in Kismet and I am learning how to program in Python and C#. My next semester at school, I will be taking a 3D modeling course using 3ds Max, so I am very excited.
I will continue to post as I progress!