1. Happy Holidays!

      written by Ray Benefield
      So it has been weeks since I've posted something. I have been busy and distracted with several things, but I'm working back into things don't you worry. This post will cover some of the things I've been busy with and what's to come in the near future of RP. Read on folks and let's get this ball rolling for the new year.


      Inactivity Excuses


      So what started this lack of posting? Well I'm going to blame it on the anxiousness of finding out the forgetacular results. As soon as they told us that they winners would be notified in January, I kinda lost a lot of motivation. Also since Bungie is on a Holiday break and won't be adding stuff to the comm chatter I didn't see the harm in pushing back the forge lessons as well since I don't really want to play catchup when the comm chatter starts back up. Also my closer friends heard, but others haven't. My wife and I just found out that she is pregnant and I am going to be a father. So that fact has also slightly distracted me. I am more than excited to be a father and I look forward to pushing my career forward as well to support my family. Reaching Perfection is part of my career and building a name for myself so don't worry... you guys won't be left in the dust. ;)


      Things to check out


      So as a game/level design enthusiast I read a lot of different things and am always hunting for new sources of information out there. The world wide web is a vast library of information. I want to share some of the stuff that I have found out there with you guys. For those who enjoy reading various random game design articles/blog posts out there one of the best resources for design is Gamasutra.com. There you will find TONS of blog posts by hundreds of people involved with the game industry. It is probably THE best site for those looking to get into the game industry. They think just like we do. For those who just kinda want to stick with the forging scene then take the time to check out Forgineers.com. I haven't really been active there myself lately, but they are a nice cozy group of people if you want a place to post some of your map content. Another place is The Custom Experience. This place is run by sir Debo, a pretty well known forger of the H3 era. Back to game/level design, the best archive I have found so far of extremely useful articles is at a place called csyvertsen.net. He has a collection of valuable articles on level design, game design, game news sites, etc. The forge lessons are actually under the level design section as well as Carney's Map Design 101 Crash Course. Take the time to read some of the stuff there. Also I read the blog of Red Faction: Armageddon's Lead Level Designer, Jameson Durall. He posts some interesting things on Game Design and is also doing a weight loss experiment with the kinect which is rather interesting.


      The future of RP


      So what's coming up on the RP front? Well the forums are going to start to pick back up so if you haven't joined the forums yet then come join us as we are a very tight knit community of design focused characters. And I am also going through and upgrading several people to active members so that they can have their own portfolio to show off their work so come join us and get active and get your own portfolio. Also I will resume the Forge Lessons this coming weekend on January 1st with Lesson 40. Haven't exactly picked a topic yet, but I have added several new topics to discuss over this month that I have learned from working on some recent maps. Zephyr, the RP community map on Tempest, is taking a seat on the back burner for a bit we ran into some top control issues and we just needed a breather we will be returning to it soon and getting it out to you guys to play. In the meantime myself and Jonzorz have been working on a new infantry focused BTB map, Basilica, that will blow your mind. It has a cumulative of about 12 hours of work put into it surprisingly and it acted as an experiment for a new design style for me... a style more focused on rapid prototyping. I'll cover that in the future. I will also be exploring new venues for us level designers to express ourselves and show off our skills. Part of the reason why I have been distracted is because I am exploring the Unreal Development Kit. It is a very powerful tool for not only game designers, but level designers as well and a lot of games are made with the unreal engine so learning it is great for anyone wanting to get into the field. In the future once I have a better grasp of it I will start getting you guys in on it as well and help you transition from forge to more professional software like the UDK.


      Happy Holidays Indeed


      Basically expect things to pick back up starting now folks. I'm back and I've got a lot more to share in the new year. I'm expanding my skillset and I will help expand yours as well. Stick by me and we will go far folks. ;) See you guys tomorrow. I'm going to get into the groove of posting everyday again. I hope you guys had a wonderful and Merry Christmas. Enjoy the rest of your holidays folks. It is a time of great relaxation and enjoyment. Don't take that for granted. Laterz peepz.

      9 comments:

      Schnitzel said...

      Congratulations to you and your family!

      Been a bit slow on my design readings lately. Real world issues been bogging me down a bit, but I think when University picks up again I'll be back in full swing of reading more. Thanks for posting the links, will be sure to check them out.

      Funny you say you're getting into UDK at the moment. One of my mates at the pub last night is trying to talk me into getting it as well. I'm definitely enticed as something more powerful and professional than forge does sound extremely interesting.

      Enjoy the holidays.

      dzebra said...

      Yeah, UDK is good. It's about 400 times more complicated that Forge, but it's also more powerful. I've done a decent amount of modding in UnrealScript. I at one time had some tutorials that I was watching to learn the level building side of Unreal. Maybe I can find those and post links for anyone interested.

      Congrats on the pregnancy.

      And I know how you feel about waiting for the Forgetacular results.

      Matt27gd said...

      Congrats Godly! Your son is going to be the next great map desgner for Bungie isn't he?

      GodlyPerfection said...

      @Matt

      You mean after me right? ;)

      @Zebra

      Yeah I have explored the UDK a little bit here and there, but not as much as I am now. Forge is a better place to focus on gameplay because of its boundaries and now I can take what I learned gameplay wise and start beautifying it using tools like the UDK, Hammer Source, and other professional level editors.

      I'm also looking at the UDK because I am looking into starting my own indie game project for my portfolio. I've explored XNA quite a bit, now I want to try my hands at the UDK.

      @Schnitzel

      For design readings your best link is definitely the Cysversten link. It has the best archive I have seen so far that is nicely organized into different categories. Good luck with catching up on your readings. And maybe we can dive into the UDK as a group fairly soon once I have gotten a better grasp of things.

      Spaztar_Sorrena said...

      I said it before, but I'll say it again anyways. Congratulations on the good news, Godly! Are you like, totally stoked to be a dad? =P

      I'm rather on the fence about personally using the UDK. I've barely become adequate at using Forge effectively, and considering how UDK is exponentially more complex, I don't quite think I'm ready to move onto something so beyond my grasp. At least not yet. Perhaps once I get Forge down pat and I have a few maps under my belt, I'll be ready to move on.

      GodlyPerfection said...

      Definitely Spaz. Don't feel rushed into the UDK. Take your time with forge and get that grasp on level design first and then move up. I've spent 3 years with Forge and am still learning new things about level design. Forge is definitely a better environment to play in for level design because then you have a huge community to playtest with and learn about design and you don't have to fully focus on aesthetics as much as you would in the UDK. Get some maps under your belt. I want to see what you can do bro. ;)

      And I'm totally "stoked" lol...

      dzebra said...

      GodlyPerfection, I see (in your profile) that you have experience with programming. I have not used XNA, but I have used UnrealScript (and ActionScript, and C++ and some other stuff). If we get a group of people who want to make maps and the visual stuff, and combine that with people who are interested and capable of doing some work in UnrealScript, then we can get a full project going. I tend to fall more on the side of systems design and scripting, and that is complimentary to level design, which a lot of people here do, so I think things could work out pretty well.

      But yes, the biggest benefit to using Forge is that you don't have to worry about anything besides how the map plays. You don't have to import textures or compress things to reduce file size, or worry about polygon count or stuff. There aren't any game crashing bugs in Forge, lighting is automatic, you can play the map while you're editing, etc.

      Kirov 099 said...

      Congrats on being a father!

      And I'm interested in this UDK. I'll have to check it out. The only other software I use besides forge is sketchup, and it would be nice to have something more advanced. I meant to install HEK when I got Halo CE, but I never got around to it.

      Noklu said...

      Congratulations Godly on the very happy news. And this may be a bit late, and I don't know whether you celebrate Christmas, but Merry Christmas to you and all of the RP community!

      As a sidenote, my xbox has decided to conk out and I won't be on much until I go buy a new one.