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Winter 2011: Level Design/Game Env Challenge - Winner and Runner Ups Announced

Category: Level Design/Game Environment Challenges
February 11, 2011

Thank you to everyone who participated. We hope you enjoy and learn a lot from these challenges.

Winter 2011 Level Design Challenge has come to an end. After a week worth of playing, dissecting and discussing me, Keith, Smog, Nexusdog and Oilcake has come to a decision on the top three.

Winner and 2 runner ups.

We also couldn't leave it at choosing just three. We all had honorable mentions that we thought should get recognition as well.

So without further ado, here is the winner, 2-runner ups and honorable mentions.

Note: Please note that these maps are not in their final release state.

Notes below include compilation from all of the judges on what the designer did well and where the map needs improvement.

Winner: hhmoore

Runner-ups: Qmaster and Shrioihusky

WINNER: hhmoore (UDK)

Work-in-Progress Thread

  • Great idea execution of time travel. 2 maps in one. Alternate versions of the world, jumping backwards and forwards through time.
  • Great recreation of the reference. Very good job with the exterior of the theater
  • Map needs optimization, runs slow
  • Needs work on detail and lighting
  • Scale issues with many objects being too big for the size of the player and the world
  • Interactive, shootable doors and windows are great addition but blocks flow as player gets stuck on geometry.
  • Original and unique idea and with a bit of work can become a great map.

RUNNER UPS: Qmaster (HL2:EP2)

Work-in-Progress Thread

Download Map (.zip file 20 megs)

  • Snow theme. A lot of attention was paid to laying out the area to match the reference shot.
  • Recreated the reference image brilliantly and stuck to the theme.
  • Made good use of blend textures.
  • Good detailing of the level exterior and interior.
  • Gameplay needs work. Unclear what to do. No clear direction of where to go. No pointers or guiding the player of what to do. Partial gameplay breaks immersion.
  • Missing textures on the front-end loader, tractor, pick-up and rear gate in the fence.
  • Random crashes.
  • Lighting is very bright and needs work. Although it is consistent.
  • Overlapping brushes in many places.
  • Visually can be improved with addition of fog, falling snow, 3d skybox.
  • Good theme execution, as well as following the reference. With a bit of work this could be a great map. Focus needed on gameplay and fixing tecnical issues.

RUNNER UPS: Shrioihusky (L4D2)

Work-in-Progress Thread

Download Map (L4Dmaps.com mirror)

  • Recreation of the reference image quite well and sticks to the winter/snow theme.
  • Large layout has a lot of potential for interesting gameplay. Scavenge mode fits the setting perfectly.
  • Snow clumped together in random areas while there is falling snow in breaks visual immersion. Snow displacement all around would work better.
  • The area in and around the cinema feels a bit too open and is lacking in detail.
  • Interior is sparse and needs attention to populating the area with life.
  • Issues with scale, in specific to bathroom doors.
  • Work needs to be done on detailing interiors and surrounding areas around the movie theater.
  • Lighting needs work. Way too dark, difficult to see and navigate around the map.
  • Easy to get caught on broken walls going in and out of main theatre building - need clips!
  • Cable hanging from nothing by the tent out front
  • The area outside the playable zone needs a lot of help. If you climb on the cars in the parking lot, you feel as if you should be able to step right out into it. You can jump from the main roof down to the lower one (on the side opposite the ladder). Clipping these areas off will help with this.
  • Needs a lot of work on detail.
  • Slow and needs optimization.
  • Good start here, but map needs a lot of work, that said, it is a good progress in the right direction

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

BenGough (wip thread)

  • Well rounded and most finished map of them all.
  • The level plays well and there are a lot of areas to explore.
  • There was no New Years or winter/snow theme to the level.
  • Far z clip much too close in. Props begin to fade out way to close.
  • Minor issues with scale on theatre building and interior.
  • Some dead ends and becomes ease to defend from in the screen room
  • Overall, great job with the map and how much was done.

Wookash_b (wip thread)

  • Fun map. Good flow, good gameplay, runs good.
  • Needs some visual quality and better lighting. Interior detailing as well.
  • Exterior is blocked off with buildings, and it feels unrealistic. No streets, no sense of a larger world where the theater exists
  • Overall it is a fun little map, with no bugs or errors but it also feels normal and doesn't stand out.
  • The interior of the theater is lacking. Inconsistent between exterior of the movie theater and interior. Interior doesn't feel like a theater, feels like industrial warehouse and doesn't match with outside
  • Great addition to UT3. There are many routes to choose from. The theater and winter theme were done well.

Updated & Revised - Preproduction Blueprint: How to Plan Your Game Environments and Level Designs

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