Mark Fry

[ Level Design ]







I worked for seven years as a level designer in the video games industry. In my experience "level design" for online multiplayer video games is the planning and creation of real-time 3D game worlds and environments using technology created by id Software and the 3D package, Autodesk Maya.

In these types of multiplayer games, players connect online to battle each other over certain objectives in a level like destroying the enemies' fuel supply or engaging in firefights where the player with the most frags wins.

As an idTech level designer I was responsible for all aspects of creation for the game world, taking a level from concept to fully finished environment and doing all the technical & artistic tasks in between.

A typical level design production pipeline might include:

  • Research the style & theme for the environment
  • Draw a plan of the layout/topology for the intended gameplay
  • Build a low-poly prototype of the environment
  • Set up the gameplay entities/actions and scripting
  • Play test the level as much as possible, using player feedback to refine the gameplay and strategies
  • Begin lighting & atmospherics, adding details and creating a great level of polish in the environment
  • Optimise the scenes and assets for good performance on computers and game consoles
  • Work through the publisher's database of bugs and issues
  • Ship it!






idTech4 Video Game Reel
07 December 2009

This short video is a sample of my work as a Lead Level Designer in the video game industry using idTech4 and Maya.

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Lead Level Designer (multiplayer)
Endrant Studios
, 2009 - PC, Xbox 360, PS3

With much of the various tasks being shared amongst the design team, I've chosen to focus here on presenting screenshots that showcase my lighting work in the levels.

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Lead Level Designer
Splash Damage
, 2007 - PC

I was involved in all aspects of level design including initial design, terrain & architecture blockouts, environment art, lighting, detailing, scene performance optimisations, multiplayer AI scripting, and bug fixing.

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Senior Level Designer (multiplayer)
Splash Damage
, 2004 - PC

My role on the project saw me creating layouts, detailing, lighting, scene performance optimisations, and bug fixing.

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Level Designer
Splash Damage
, 2003 - PC

I began my professional level design career in the early part of 2002, joining Splash Damage as a level designer on Wolf: ET.

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my personal projects

My first taste of custom level design was with id Software's Quake III Arena, a BSP brush-based engine. I created most of my levels using the third-party tool, GTKRadiant.

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Unreal Engine 3

I have spent a brief amount of time exploring the Unreal Tournament 3 Editor. So far I've enjoyed the terrain creation, ease of static mesh usage, lighting, and am getting into the BSP creation ... it straddles the line between a familiar brush-creation toolset and a modelling package.

Epic has released the free Unreal Development Kit, a full-featured version of the Unreal Engine 3.



[ click for full-size ^]




Copyright Mark Fry. All rights reserved.

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