Hi Elliott, This is a great breakdown and very generous in sharing your process and insights, you came a long way from the vending machine days!
Are you planning on releasing the UE4 project to the public? Or only builds? I'd love to play around with it in the editor if possible!
GDC always holds some amazing workshops for game artists and designers. GDC 2017 is no exception. This year, there’s going to be some great lectures and workshops for 3d character artists and a whole workshop for game level designers.
Historically, LD Workshop presentations run the gamut from sharing specific techniques to the in-depth analysis of shipped games, to introspective explorations of “big” concepts that affect level designers/teams, as well as providing guides for processing and workflow.
For 2017, we’ve again curated a diverse mix of established and emerging voices from all corners of the level design world to present an entertaining and enlightening agenda of talks for our attendees.
There’s going to be a number of various sessions from various developers, who work on big and small games. We highly advise to visit the following sessions:
Narrative Approach to Level Design by Jolie Menzel (Ubisoft).
Attendees will get a look inside game levels created to tell a story, and how this focus affected their development. They’ll learn about the importance of having a complete script early in production, and how a narrative is used as a guide for content as the game is created.
Approach to Holistic Level Design by Steve Lee (Arkane)
This talk aims to highlight many concepts that are important to the ways in which seminal first-person games like ‘Half Life 2′, ‘Bioshock’ and ‘Dishonored’ all excel, and encourage developers of all disciplines to collaborate more, with a clearer set of shared goals, methods and vocabulary.
We guess partly this talk is connected with the design principles of Arcane.
Rewarding Exploration in ‘Deus Ex: Mankind Divided’ by Clémence Maurer (Eidos)
Layout creation and gameplay balancing for exploration in a semi-open environment, and how to spread these setups so they give player opportunities to use their toolset (augmentations!) in multiple, creative ways. Creating compelling, wide-ranging mini-stories while still keeping the players hooked but free to fill in the blanks with their imagination.
Plus, there’s going to be some talks about multiplayer level design, level flow and using 3d design skills in 2d level design. Lots of exciting sessions to see, so if you’re interested, be sure to check them out and plan everything ahead of time.