Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Book Selection

I've been asked to select a textbook for the next semester of the Level Design Concepts course. The current book is Level Design for Games by Phil Co. I requested a review copy of Mastering Unreal Technology: The Art of Level Design by Jason Busby, Zak Parrish, and Joel Van Eenwyk. It is pretty good but comes with an older version of the Unreal Engine 2 Editor and Runtime than the current book. It also has Maya 5 Personal Learning Edition. Unfortunately Maya 5 PLE requires an activation code which I'm not sure you can even get any more.

Mastering Unreal Technology has now been updated in a 2010 edition (published July 2009) as a three volume set (the third volume to come out in 2010) by Jason Busby, Zak Parrish, and Jeff Wilson. I requested review copies of the first two volumes (Mastering Unreal Technology Volume I: Introduction to Level Design with Unreal Engine 3 and Mastering Unreal Technology Volume II: Advanced Level Design with Unreal Engine 3). Each of these volumes comes with a Steam Code for Unreal Tournament 3. This should work out well providing the SourceU subscription I asked for gets installed.

At this point I think I'm going to ask for the first of the two new volumes and let the lead instructor know that those Steam accounts will be required to use the software. I'm currently waiting for Steam to finish downloading to verify that the Unreal Tournament 3 software works.

The current students turned in their first crack at level templates this week. I had them each give a tour of their level. Next week they will need to include movers and triggers.

- Gadget Man

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Level Design diagramming

Between the start of the semester, a trip to DC, my full-time job, teaching four classes, and whatnot, it appears I missed the month of September.

So far in Level Design we have done some diagramming and made lists of various things. Soon we will be making a template or rough draft of our levels. We will be using a demo version of the UnrealEngine2 editor. I'll let you know how that turns out.

The Department head has asked me what I want to change for the Level Design Concepts course for next semester. I suggested a couple of books I'd like to evaluate. I also reminded her that I want to use the SourceU, Valve's Academic Licensing Program.

There are also Level Design resources on the Valve Developer Community Wiki that I will try to use.

- Gadget Man