CTF Despos Update 2 WIP

Hey all!

Here is a quick update!

I flew to Greece this morning and I am currently sitting on a veranda overlooking the Agean Sea! Unfortunately these screenshots represent the last work I will be able to do on Despos until august, so more updates relating to that for a while. However, seeing as I am in a beautiful foreign country, I will take advantage of the beautiful and inspiring scenery and structures, uploading pictures, and describing how I draw inspiration from the real world. I will also go into texture making and photo’s for modelling reference.

But more on that in a weeks time, meanwhile, I’m just going to enjoy my holiday!

Oh, and here is a picture of Despos’ current layout, for your delight.

George, Signing out!

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CTF Despos Update 1 WIP

Hey y’all!

Seeing as so many people seem interested, I thought that I would try to keep everybody up to date with the progress I have been making on CTF Despos (formerly known as Despot).

I spent the majority of this morning working on the visuals in the level. And seeing as pictures speak a thousand words, here’s 16 of them!

A Small disclaimer here: The following screenshots are of an extremely early work in progress, and in no way represent the quality of the final build.

For those of you that are interested. Once I am working within the unreal engine, my workflow goes as follows:

Development Stage

  • Conduct first Layout pass (This is where I rough out the entire level using BSP) 
  • Layout Iteration Phase (This is where I iterate on the origional layout until I am happy with it)
  • Functional Lighting Pass (This is where I add basic lighting to the map to make it playable)
  • First Gameplay Pass (This is where I do basic bot pathing and item placement)
  • Gameplay Iteration Phase (Same as the layout iteration phase, but for item placement and pathing)
  • Create Proof of concept visual area (This is where I work on one area of the map until I feel that I have reached a high enough level of visual polish to regard that area as a good template to base the rest of the map off)
  • Conduct first visual pass (This is where I work as quickly as possible to bring the entire level up to a state that vaguely resembles Visual Concept Area)
  • Conduct second visual pass (This is where I polish the visuals until the quality across the entire map is consistent)
  • Conduct first optimization pass (This is where I do the bulk of optimization work, such as using cull-distances, level streaming volumes and removing unnecessary BSP shapes and faces)

Polish Stage

  • Final Layout Iteration Phase (Now that the map looks decent)
  • Final Gameplay Iteration Phase
  • Final Visual Pass
  • Final Optimization Pass

Beta

  • General Iteration and Polish Phase

Final

The above bullet-points pretty accurately gauge my workflow, however, I tend to work on optimization, game play and layout pretty much all of the way through production, right up until the level goes final.  

At the moment I am currently in the “Create Proof of concept visual area” stage, and I have a very long way to go.

Major changes and additions include but are not limited to:

  • More consistent use of large meshes across the level (such as the apartment windows).
  • Changing many of the materials used on BSP
  • Generally adding more meshes to level (such as trim meshes, and doors and windows)
  • Created some viewable, but non-playable spaces to level to make it feel more like a real place.
  • Carried out many optimizations on BSP and Meshes

I hope you enjoy reading and viewing the images! Let me know what you think!

CTF Despot WIP Announcement

Hey all! Time to unveil my latest project! Like any Level Designer, I have many started projects, but not very many have ever made it all the way to completion.

Anyway, I was browsing through all of my old UT3 Level files, when  I came upon one little gem of a layout; all of the basic brush-work was done, and most of the surfaces already had materials applied. It did not take much imagination to see where I could take it visually, and a few rounds with bots allowed me to discern that the layout was already quite fun.

This gave me the idea, of revisiting old concepts and layouts that I never had the time to finish. I would only work on the most promising ones, and after an evening of comparing various BSP shells, I have settled on 2 or 3 that I think will provide the greatest reward for the least amount of time.

In the interests of getting these levels finished in a timely manner, the rules are as follows:

  • No Custom Meshes
  • No Custom Materials
  • No Major Changes To Existing Layouts

What you see below, is the product of a mornings work on one of the most promising layouts that I found.

I am calling the map Despot, which is short for “Despotism”. As you may already be able to tell, the map takes place in the slums area of a futuristic city. A futuristic city in which the gleaming homes of the privileged exist atop great skyscrapers, and look down upon those less fortunate than themselves with disgust.

There are a set of contrasts that comprise the main visual themes of the map, which are:

  • The contrast between Light and Dark
  • The contrast between the shining spires up above, and the grotty slums below
  • The contrast between warm natural light, which struggles to reach so far down, and cold, artificial lanterns that light up the alleyways.

I also plan on having many dynamic elements, such as spaceships that fly between the skyscrapers, fans, hanging cables and wires, sparks, fog and smoke. These dynamic elements are what I believe will set this level apart from other Designs.

I will try to keep everyone updated, Feedback is very welcome.

Site Updates

Hey all! Cannot believe how many people have been checking this site out 😀 Don’t be afraid to leave a comment or get in contact if you have any queries or advice!

Anyway, the site has been undergoing some pretty major overhauls, the most important of which is the creation of these pretty buttons! Just click on them and they will take you to different parts of my portfolio.

The Good Ol' Days

Oh yeah, and I’ve also revised the way that I will display my content, and which content deserves to be a part of my portfolio.

Anyway, happy browsing!

July 2013 Portfolio Unveiling!

Click on this, or on any of the images below to jump straight to my portfolio

Debris

Above is the first map that I ever made! It seems only fitting that it should also mark the birth of this website, the first kind of formal online portfolio that I have ever had. Below you can see a small array of screenshots taken from various levels that I have created, and hopefully they highlight the diversity and consistent level of quality that I aim for in all my efforts.

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I hope that you enjoy looking around, and if you have any queries, do not hesitate to ask. Download links will be made available to anybody on this site, as will videos, including tutorials and a Showreel that I have planned. For lessons, do not hesitate to get in contact with me.

Great exciting things are to come,

George

About Me

Hello, My Name Is George Hulm.

Since the age of 13 I have been crafting Levels and Game Worlds within the various versions of the Unreal Engine. I started out developing maps for the Game Unreal Tournament 3, before moving on to Epic’s Unreal Development Kit. I have worked independently on the majority of my projects but over the last 2 or 3 years I have also been involved in several larger teams. Including with the highly professional Independent Game Developer; Dark Synergy Studios, who are responsible for  Wake Up Call.

I have a large amount of experience within the Unreal Engine, and have a firm grasp of its Material Editor, Unreal Cascade, Kismet, lightmass, level streaming and optimisationas well as all of the other necessary technical skills required to bring an idea to life. I also have an exceptional understanding of Level Design, Game Design and Visual Design theory; colour, lighting and composition. Alongside Unreal, I use Photoshop to create textures, as well as Crazybumpwhich really is a must have for all aspiring 3d artists out there. I am also just starting to get to grips with 3DS Max and asset production.

Essentially, what this all means is that I am able to take an entire level from my head, put it down on paper, and then bring it all the way to completion, and to a professional level of quality and polish.

I will work for commissions, and if you have a full or part time job you need filled, be sure to get in contact. I will also work for free or for royalties if a project interests me enough, or if I think I stand to learn a lot.

I can also offer 1-2 hour Lessons over skype on various aspects of Game and Level Design, they cost £10-£20 respectively, but if you or I feel that I did not do a good enough job, you will either not have to pay, or the lesson will be extended.

I think that is all you need to know apart from that fact that this site will also be used to showcase both digital and more traditional art alongside the level design.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy looking around!

George Hulm