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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Take a universe into your hands. Then shape it, twist it, to your heart's content. In other words, build your own game levels. Introduction to Level Design for PC Games will show you how.
Andy Clayton covers level design from planning and architecture through exporting to game engines and editors. Most important -- and right up front -- he offers practical guidance on creating hugely playable levels. (Which is, of course, the whole point.) Clayton helps you think about design metaphors, “backstory” and player challenges, and each of the “classic” elements of design -- form, space, light, shadow, texture, color, and so forth.
Along the way, you'll master gmax, the free tool that lets you create new assets and levels for many of the world's leading games. (Gmax 1.2 is on the CD-ROM, along with all the tutorial files and sample levels for Unreal Tournament and Quake III Arena.)
After introducing the gmax interface, Clayton shows how to use it to create terrain and buildings, design and change objects with gmax’s powerful Editable Mesh tools, and use it to create textures and mapping. (If, like many game designers, you prefer to create your textures with Photoshop, that’s covered too, with sample projects walking you through creating rust, forest growth, dirt, and “mechanical” panels and bolts.)
Clayton wraps up with a full chapter case study on creating a Quake III Arena level with Tempest, a gmax variant that gives you virtually unlimited control over how the latest Quake looks and plays. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.