Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Zdenda1990

Ever thought about working for a gaming company?

Recommended Posts

As I'm playing through various WADs, I'm really impressed by the level design of lot of them. It brought a question into my mind, which I would like to ask specificaly mappers and specificaly the most well known ones like Skillsaw, Esselfortium, Kim Bach, Erik Alm, Jimmy Paddock, AD_79, Joshy etc. etc. (although other people can answer it too). Have you guys ever thought about what if you would get an offer from a gaming company like id Software or Raven Software or any other big known company to work for them as a level designer? Would you accept it or would you rather stay in the Doom community and keep making WADs? I can for example imagine Skillsaw working for id making the next Doom game it would probably have insane level design. I'm wondering if these companies have ever seen your work. As far as I know the only Doom mappers that ever started to work for these companies were Dario and Milo Casali. Dario for Valve and Milo for Barking Dog Studio (later known as Rockstar Games Vancouver ULC).

Share this post


Link to post

I would really like to start my own gaming company, actually

 

oh, and welcome to DW!

 

edit: just saw that you were asking this to expert mappers, oops

Edited by CzechMate29200

Share this post


Link to post

Some of those guys already have fancy jobs, and some of them dont want their hobby to become work. Some of them, however, would accept. I know that cause I spammed like 30 Doomers with my own offer.

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, CzechMate29200 said:

I would really like to start my own gaming company, actually

 

oh, and welcome to DW!

 

edit: just saw that you were asking this to expert mappers, oops

That's fine. Like I said in the bracket "(although other people can answer it too)".

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, Zdenda1990 said:

As far as I know the only Doom mappers that ever started to work for these companies were Dario and Milo Casali. Dario for Valve and Milo for Barking Dog Studio (later known as Rockstar Games Vancouver ULC).

 

Didn't a couple of the contributors to the Master Levels turn pro? Christen Klie went on to work with LucasArts but seems to have fallen off the radar in the last decade or so. Sverre Kvernmo joined Ion Storm and then seems to have gone off to do a BA in animation, judging by his website. Tom Mustaine founded his own studio. It's odd that Jim Flynn never turned pro - his maps were really elaborate.

 

My hunch is that Doom level designers from 1994, 1995 or so had a handicap - the Doom engine is idiosyncratic and the level design tools had lots of quirks, so all their knowledge of self-referencing sectors and fake water wouldn't have been much use in the age of Quake and Unreal. The important things would be creative design ideas and the ability to transition to a new platform really quickly, so I imagine that most destined-for-professional Doom level designers left a few levels in the Doomgames archive before moving on, never to return.

Share this post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, Ashley_Pomeroy said:

 

Didn't a couple of the contributors to the Master Levels turn pro? Christen Klie went on to work with LucasArts but seems to have fallen off the radar in the last decade or so. Sverre Kvernmo joined Ion Storm and then seems to have gone off to do a BA in animation, judging by his website. Tom Mustaine founded his own studio. It's odd that Jim Flynn never turned pro - his maps were really elaborate.

 

My hunch is that Doom level designers from 1994, 1995 or so had a handicap - the Doom engine is idiosyncratic and the level design tools had lots of quirks, so all their knowledge of self-referencing sectors and fake water wouldn't have been much use in the age of Quake and Unreal. The important things would be creative design ideas and the ability to transition to a new platform really quickly, so I imagine that most destined-for-professional Doom level designers left a few levels in the Doomgames archive before moving on, never to return.

Oh, I forgot about those. Also Tim Willits became a member of id Software.

Share this post


Link to post

I wish I was born in the 70s or 80s so I could have discovered Doom as a late teenager/adult and made maps then with the earliest tools, and then got a job at Valve. You probably know who I am talking about. These days if you make Doom maps, nobody gives a shit. But back then, if you made a whole megawad yourself you get noticed. How times change.

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, Zdenda1990 said:

As far as I know the only Doom mappers that ever started to work for these companies were Dario and Milo Casali. Dario for Valve and Milo for Barking Dog Studio (later known as Rockstar Games Vancouver ULC).

Iikka Keranen (Requiem, GothicDM and others) also ended up hired by Valve and I remember seeing his name in the credits for Half Life 2. A lot of the best Doom mappers back in the '90s ended up being hired by games companies, though I doubt there are many people in the games industry paying serious attention to the Doom modding community nowadays. A shame because they probably ought to.

Share this post


Link to post

I used to think a lot about designing levels; specifically that, too; for companies. However the dual realisation that (a) I'm not a very good 3D modeler at all and (b) I don't generally work well with others both kinda put a stick in the spokes of that particular ride.

And now I just make my own games (relatively) independently.

Share this post


Link to post

Currently I do not have time - but I can do a few side gigs here and there if asked if the projects interest me and I have time. I do not like to work under stress so a game company is probably not for me. My level design inspirations, days where I can sit down and produce something - tend to come and go in chunks, so I would be not reliable in profession game design setting.

Share this post


Link to post

I've been wanting to work on games all my life, and while I have little experience making levels, I've ended up drawing the design plan for the Catacombs level in Serious Sam HD Extended, so i am pretty sure I'd do well. My expertise lies more in the design of the core gameplay loop as well as music. (I composed music for Serious Sam HD Extended as well.)

Share this post


Link to post

No, but actually I've been thinking a lot about forming a team. Me and a couple of my gaming friends are all interested (to some extents) to game design. So maybe in the future the three or four of us would create something of our own.

Share this post


Link to post

There isn't that much use of a "level designer" job these days. If you can code and create 3D models, that's basically what you need to become a "level designer". Take a look at what Zenimax is looking for. Everytime I go to this page and look at the jobs the company is looking for, I become more confident about the future for some reason :P

As for me, I know I haven't released a map publicly before, but that shouldn't exclude me from joining a professional company. Although my situation is more like nxGangGirl, where a few of my friends are interested to create a team and all that. I'm more into the technical stuff though.

Share this post


Link to post

I've had a video game and computer interest since I was seven years old.  Back during most of my high school years, I had no clear idea of what sort of career to get myself into despite those interests.  Other students with similar interests often mentioned studying to become a computer programmer, animation specialist, computer systems engineer, etc. but none of these really grabbed my attention.  Plus, I had one parent telling me how bad and unproductive video games are and wish they were wiped off the face of the planet while the other was practically the opposite and thought they were great.

 

During college, I have taken various Computer Science courses to try and get my foot in the door and learn more about what it takes.  It started off exciting, especially near the beginning when I got exposed to the basics of computer animation and coding by the use of Alice.  I created a nifty two minute scene of an alien that lands on an uncharted planet, scouts the area for colonization purposes, and gives the OK to their base.  But they find out afterwards they are not alone... the hard way.  I wish I still had that clip today.  But later, my experience started falling apart when I got more exposed into the actual coding and dealing with algorithms and data structures.  I just could not wrap my mind around these theoretic concepts, and I ended up switching to IT.  Despite all that, the interests are still there today, and I often wonder other means of how I could explore my options without the need of a Computer Science degree and/or extensive coding experience under my belt.

 

I have also heard of stories of how the general environment can be quite grueling and demanding especially these days when the video game industry is growing exponentially.  But as I emphasized, it's just stories.  If you have the passion, don't let that stop you.

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, MrGlide said:

@silentzorah Tell us about what happened if that's ok?

It was very impersonal.  Sent in a few applications, got fewer Dear John letters.  No phone calls or anything.

 

Nothing spectacular.  Basically your everyday job hunting story.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm not sure, as I'm personally not in a position where I could move if offered a job currently. I'm currently practicing my ass of with unity and using My megawad as practice for workflow though, can't wait to release it.

Share this post


Link to post

Purely hypothetical question...how much money would you mappers accept/demand to make high-quality maps for a Doom Engine game intended to be sold commercially? 

Share this post


Link to post

I would work at a game company, sure, but realistically as I currently help manage a ~30 person crew in a different career, I would seek to be an actual game lead. The creative side is great, but I have much more peace of mind doing some of the less fun and stressful areas knowing I'm doing it myself.

I do make stuff on my free time and currently have one released game on Steam and am working on another right now, so I would love to just make my own indie studio and make small games.

Although I remember reading about the level designers for Doom 64 and an interview they gave and thinking that would be awesome to just be making nothing but Doom maps all day for months/year and get paid for it.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm still not 100% sure that game design is the career path I want to go down, but if I decide to commit to it I would definitely have the goal of working for a gaming company, most likely one that specializes in making FPS games since that's the type of design I'm most familiar with and best with. I have a lot of fun making Doom maps and it'd be an interesting career to pursue.

Share this post


Link to post

Oh, have I thought about it. Alas, the likelihood of that is infinitesimal for me (unless I start my own indie game company, which is a thought I've been toying around with for the better part of a year, funnily enough).

Share this post


Link to post

Every damn day, I wake up wishing I was in New Zealand working for Grinding Gear Games. They sound like such an awesome company to work for, and working on one of my favorite games would feel so great. Even if it's just QA, tech support, or even moderating the cancer global chat and muting people spamming copypasta, I'd still enjoy every second.

 

Shit, it's better than working at an old gym software company hoping soon I could make it to development and get out of tech support. 

Share this post


Link to post

Thought about it yes, on many occasions when I was younger and more motivated and more into games. Nowdays not anymore, guess it comes with the age or something. Also working on games these days is probably way too difficult for me. Anything can be learned if you put your blood sweat and tears into it, but not for me. I'm not super smart, I know my limits. To making it in the games industry, gaming should be in your blood or something, it should have been your dream since childhood. I'll just stick to enjoying games others create.

Share this post


Link to post

When I started level designing for Doom it was my goal to get hired as a level designer for one of the game companies that were around back then; but after meeting and listening to horror stories from a couple of Doom level designers who went on to Quake level design then were hired professionally, I slowly lost interest in working for a game company.   I still wanted to make a game, but I didn't want to deal with chairs being thrown, 18 hour days, screaming lunatics with god complexes, and being let go at the end of the project's cycle.   I had moved around enough in my life, and had just gotten engaged; so my boring but steady job in the music industry was exciting enough.   Besides, I would make the kind of levels that I wanted to play, when I got home from work.   

 

What I did end up doing in the game industry was do playtesting for those level designers when they created Digital-Eel and I did get paid for a deathmatch level in Dark Arena on the Game Boy Advanced.   I did this after work for fun.   I also ended up getting an old D & D module published in Footprints' online magazine.   In the end, I choose to keep my hobby separate from my work as the best way to make me happy. 

 

Having said all that, there are days when I desire nothing less than to work in the game industry; Tester, writer, level designer even...just a foot in the door until I learned a new skill and could do an in-house promotion and work my way up.   

Share this post


Link to post

I've done a lot of levels and mods over the years. Mostly for Morrowind with some staggeringly large mods. I've made levels for Kickstarter projects who have taken the money and ran.

 

I've also made a lot of games and I know a lot of larger and tiny game developers. I have a lot of horror stories.

 

I'd work for a game company. To my knowledge I think I have, but only as a freelancer. Pixel art seems to be in high demand.

Share this post


Link to post

I sometimes dream to do level design for some videogame. But the only levels I can make are for Doom-engine games, so I fear there is not enough market for it.

 

I just have enough satisfaction in doing maps for Freedoom, Blasphemer or Rekkr, which can be considered as stand alone games.

 

Share this post


Link to post

Worked as a contract artist/testing/stuff for a few games. If it were a contract position I'd say no at this point.  Permanent hire, though - yeah.

Share this post


Link to post

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×