Good at Level Design - Suck at Detailing

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Re: Good at Level Design - Suck at Detailing

Postby Jeeves on Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:53 am

Makes me appreciate the 16 bit era more. When all you needed was an idea, and you could be the next id Software.
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Re: Good at Level Design - Suck at Detailing

Postby Black_Stormy on Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:25 pm

I am on the exact other side of the fence from you, Aazell. I lack level design skills but I really enjoy dressing sets. As a result I spend far more time planning out maps than anyone else would, and I often end up with worse results. The main problem is I don't enjoy that stage, but I digress.

I think an ideal process is to have two people who are well versed in level and environment design, but each person excelling in their own area. I have recently been detailing some maps in my spare time for Double Action Boogaloo and I find myself wondering how people ever came up with certain design ideas, they just don't click with me. On the other hand, the mappers say they never thought of detailing their map in the way I did so I guess it's a lot of push/pull of ideas. In this way, I think it is also important that if you are going to send your map off to an artist for detailing, you have to let go of it to a degree. If the detail pass comes back not as something you expected you have to be willing to review it on face value, and not get upset that it isn't what you thought it would be.

I guess I am trying to say that you should consider all aspects of team work before you dive into it.

I think the two processes (design and detail) are too intertwined to just pass a map to a detail guy and hope for the best though. Detail can definitely change the way a map plays. The process would have to be a very communicative back-and-forth between the team members. Also some features blur the line between design and detail, lighting being a major one. The designer needs to use lighting to direct the player, or invoke emotions, whereas the detailer uses it to add interest and... detail.

I dunno man, it's fucking complicated. It would be easier if you were a god at both but that's not going to happen. Get yourself a detailer and see if you work well together. The team dynamic is probably more important than the raw talent.
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Re: Good at Level Design - Suck at Detailing

Postby Aazell on Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:46 am

Some really interesting opinions. I think my best bet, as suggested above, is to find someone I can work really well with.
I'll always have a textured themed map in place before the art pass begins so the environement artist would have free reign within a certain parameter. e.g. this is a tool shed. Make it look wonderfully toolsheddy!!

I included the vmf's with Deep Down so that others could mess with it / improve it if they wanted to.

One friend of mine has already dived into improving map 3 (the road tunnel map) as he felt it was too simplistic. Can't wait to see what he's done with the place. Should be interesting...
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Re: Good at Level Design - Suck at Detailing

Postby zombie@computer on Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:26 pm

Being good at mapping but bad at detailing sounds to me like being good at drawing because you can draw stick figures. Like Stormy says, one cannot go without the other.

Detailing isn't hard though, its usually a matter of inspiration. And that's where Google comes in.
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Re: Good at Level Design - Suck at Detailing

Postby Aazell on Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:28 pm

Image
I didn't say I couldn't do it.

Just that I find it dull and it's not what I'm best at. I think I'd get better results if someone who was more interested took the reigns at that point.
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