Mapping is one of my hobbies...
BTW, is maping (as a job) is lucrative ? what are the salary for such position ?
Yes. Mapping for Quake is what got me noticed enough to get mapping in UnrealEd and then on to actual jobs.
I rarely map now though, although it's what I'm best at.
Showing something you've made yourself helps, but having qualifications and determination will help a lot more.
Being able to show (modern engine) screenshots of your maps is good because producers like shiny things - put your Q1 masterpiece into DP or Tenebrae.
Yes I 'map' for a living (my official title is "Level One Level Designer.) My portfolio consisted of largely Quake 1 maps and projects mixed with Doom3, TF2 and Prey unfinished works.
Oddly enough, I think the selling point for me that my portfolio had a daily-updated map WIP that my employers could look at and see the changes I made. They could see how I worked, and I kept previous versions up for comparison. So the finished works were good, but the 'map in progress' let them see how I worked as well.
If you don't mind my asking ... regarding "Level One Level Designer" - how many levels are there? And where do you work?
That level one level designer thing ... basically means I'm a grunt. I'm level one out of three. Dunno when I'll get a title change to Level 2, considering I've been here for a little over a year. The industry norm I think is Junior Level Designer? I work at Human Head.
Ahh OK, I figured it was something like that.
I rarely map now because we only do DLC.
Where do you work ijed? I'm realizing now that I have no idea where anyone works. Heh.
So no Steam DLC :P
I technically am not doing game dev at the moment (grrr.) but in general, yes, i do level design and game design professionally.
I got into the industry with a portfolio of quake and quake 2 maps (and some screenshots of a WIP quake3 map.) But it helped that I knew Yogi online, as he was already at the company that first hired me.
Yep. A few (relatively crappy) Q2 maps got me my first position, and a lot of Q3 maps + some industry experience helped me to move on.
Interesting note: My first design job was 3 hours from my house, so I'd drive down Monday morning, sleep under my desk (literally) M-Th night, and drove home on Friday. w00t.
Currently working at Raven on Wolfenstein.
is george costanza?
"My first design job was 3 hours from my house, so I'd drive down Monday morning, sleep under my desk (literally) M-Th night, and drove home on Friday. w00t. "
WTF? That sounds absolutely horrible.
I don't map at my current job, just do modeling, for props and characters.
Switching jobs to work at Ubisoft next month though, and might be doing a bit more level design there despite the job title being "environment artist", as they seemed quite interested in my level design work during the interview.
So yeah anyways amateur mapping definitely helped me get into the industry, it shows you have passion for the work and products.
Nobody Answered The Question:
Is it well payed ?
From my experience in france, in euros, rough salary, you can start out at around 1800-2000 as a junior in a proper company, hit up to around 3000 max as a senior, any more and you're in a "lead level designer" position or something.
It depends on where you work. At Epic, we are very well paid but we're not the industry average.
We're Pretty Good
For the country we're in.
I was just curious...
WTF? That sounds absolutely horrible.
Well...yeah, it did kinda suck goat balls. And my wife is a saint. On the other hand, it was an opportunity to get in the industry, and I managed to get a hell of a lot of Q3 mapping done for about two years there.
I'd shut down whatever I was getting paid to work on at the end of the day, fire up Radiant, and work on the latest Q3 map until 1 or 2 in the morning. Rinse, repeat. Weekends were bliss.
At least they had showers on site?
Been working as a gameplay/level designer for nearly four years now.
I managed to get the job on the basis of my Quake levels, and some unreleased Doom3 work, but my professional experience as a programmer was also a plus.
I've been Assistant Lead Designer on my team for about a year now, but my role also spills over into project management.
I'd say the salary is fairly decent, but for me it's more about doing professionally what I would otherwise have been doing anyway as a hobby.
No, mapping is not my job but iy can be real intresting for me entering in game development maybe like level designer :)
i'd like to look into it some day. i just don't really have enough of a portfolio at the moment, and two massive quake projects to finish up before i try any other game out...
Link to the thread on inside3d, please?
only after i posted it and other people replied did i realize the title was too misleading as it did not get right down to business (lit-tral'y)
Not for long... anyone hiring? Yeah... I know the answer to that these days.
Mr Fribbles, I dunno if you get the Gamasutra news letter but it seems a lot more people are hiring than you might think. Kind of interesting to peruse all those jobs.
"Not for long... anyone hiring? Yeah... I know the answer to that these days."
We are. Always. Seriously.
If I win Euromilions I will hire you all to make a huge project of Quake during summer in Portugal near the beach :)
Thanks for the encouragement guys. I guess I just have an overly cynical outlook since the local industry is going down the toilet.
My real job sucks and leaves very little time for anything else.
Having a non self-satisfying job is a nightmare for me.... If I start back-pedaling when I go to the office in the morning, then I am starting considering to change of job... but nowadays it is quite difficult to find a job, and I nonethemess hav to fill my fridge... so... let's wait for the economic crisis end... :P
i suppose that it sounds ridiculous, but anyone of you tried to make your own business at least in making just art-house games? or does it sound too unreal for your countries?
it's something i've considered doing for a long time...
I think one of the issue is that if you want to make money as an indie dev, you have to cater to the same mainstream gamer tastes that big-budget games cater to, which means you're not as creatively unfettered as you could be if you were doing it as a hobby, with no profit motive.
I Think The Main Issue Is That
it takes time to make a great game and to become a start-up indie dev you have to invest that time unpaid.
There was a gamasutra article I believe that showed that indies working in groups (even very small ones) made more money that those working alone.
And Borsato Is One
that has gone from our Quake puddle to working in the industry for years and then gone indie.
those indie games are very popular and saw a lot of media exposition already. I think it's quite hard to get there.
"http://www.wolfire.com/humble proves you very wrong."
How does that prove him wrong? I know a bunch of guys who bought that bundle simply to support the charity - they either already had the games or weren't interested in them.
You CAN make a good living as an indie making off-beat games but it's tough. It's equal parts time, effort and luck. You will need to invest some serious time into the business and be very patient at first - success is unlikely to come quickly, so you'll need to have the resources to weather at least a year of obscurity before you get noticed. And that's assuming that you're creating games that people want to buy - many indies are mistaken in thinking that the problem is something other than their game sucks. :)
It proves that non-mainstream gameplay ideas can very well make money. If it is through making people feel good about sending you money, it is still money. Yeah, you have to be able to think and stuff to make a successful commercial game, duh.
If there's one thing I've learnt from amateur coding/mapping is that I couldn't (talent wise) do it for a living. Still love it and am (slightly) jealous of those who do.
Willem: have you worked on Gears?
Yeah, I've worked on all the Gears games.
then I am very much a 'fan of your work', love the aesthetics of those games.
I appreciate that but it wouldn't be honest to just accept that without stating that, hey, I worked on some levels. I didn't create the meshes and every level really is a team effort. Nobody takes anything from start to finish alone. :) But glad you like the games!