Posted on September 18, 2013 by Scott

The guys at LEVEL-DESIGN.org just issued some huge updates to their already impressive level design image reference database.

So whether you care about level design, video games, architecture, 3D spaces, or just like to look at pretty colors, head over there post haste and prepare to invest some time.

Posted in Highbrow Discourse | Comments (0)

Posted on August 21, 2013 by Scott

Ryan at Video Game History posted a new review of Burden of 80 Proof, check it out here.

Posted in Highbrow Discourse | Comments (0)

Posted on July 25, 2013 by Scott

Shadowrun (1994)

Shadowrun Returns (2013)

I loved playing Shadowrun for Sega Genesis when it was first released in 1994. With both top-down action and turn-based RPG combat, an extensive upgrade system, and Neuromancer-style slang and aesthetics, the game made a huge impact on me at the time.

It was my first exposure to the Shadowrun world, and to this day it’s still one of my all-time favorite games.

Since then my life has gotten steadily more Shadowrun-like:

  • I built a career in IT, which exposed me to cutting edge technology and shady characters with questionable hygiene.
  • I moved to Seattle, where the game world was invented and where many of the core stories take place. Specifically I’m in Capitol Hill which, if we’re being honest, is the closest real-life version of actual Shadowrun neighborhood.
  • I entered the games industry, which exposed me to cutting edge technology and shady characters with questionable hygiene.

Today a new chapter in the saga has been released, Shadowrun Returns. It’s built by a number of original/old-school Shadowrun creators, and has really captured the fantastic atmosphere of those great earlier games. And it comes with a content editor, so hopefully the stage has been set for a resurgence of great Shadowrun content.

So in honor of all this, I present to you my notes from my first playthrough of Shadowrun, written in 1994. Enjoy, chip-heads!

Posted in Highbrow Discourse | Comments (0)

Posted on March 23, 2013 by Scott

Gears of War: Whiskey Squad, my single player level for Gears of War is now available!

Video, image gallery, walkthrough and design challenge, and post mortem are all online.

Check it out, and let me know what you think!

Posted in Highbrow Discourse | Comments (0)

Posted on August 15, 2012 by Scott

As we know, the levels that shipped with Gears of War were highly linear. So I’ve been experimenting with area re-use. (Fine, backtracking. Happy?)

Personally, I like to change an environment in some way when sending a player through it more than once, so I decided to have the Locust move a Troika into position to attack my player character. Fortunately this proved fairly easy to do, via a standard Kismet Teleport.

1) Add a Troika to your level (Open Generic Browser, select Actor Classes tab, select Pawn > Vehicle > Turret > WarTurret > Turret_TroikaCabal).

Initially, you want to hide the Troika in a place where the player can’t see it or get to it. It still has to be on a flat surface though.

2) Select the Troika in the editor and press the Kismet button to enter Kismet.

3) Right click in the Kismet workspace and select “New Object Var Using Turret_TroikaCabal_n”.

4) Return to the editor, and add a PathNode to your level. Place the PathNode where you want the Troika to spawn.

5) Select the PathNode in the editor and press the Kismet button to enter Kismet.

6) Right click in the Kismet workspace and select “New Object Var Using PathNode_n”.

7) Create a new Teleport actor (New Action > Actor > Teleport).

8) Connect the Teleport Target to the Turret_TroikaCabal_n. Next, connect the Teleport Destination to the PathNode_n object. This will teleport

9) All that’s left is to create the trigger to teleport the Troika from its hiding place to its destination. In the diagram below I used a Touch trigger as an example, but any trigger will work.

Your Kismet should look like this:

And, scene!

Posted in Level Design Tutorials | Comments (0)