News

23rd April 2011

Well how on earth did it get to April 2011?? I haven't updated my site for nearly twelve months!

On the mapping front I have 3 updates:

Hit the MAP button on the left menu to navigate to my map depository and check out all my new stuff :))

3rd May 2010

..So I finally got down to updating my site..I produced a new map for the 1st NoGhost mapping contest:

After the contest finished I updated the level a little, fixing a few textures I wasn't happy with, adding some ambient sounds and tweaking a few other things I didn't really have time to do during the contest time period.

Check it out here!

I have something interesting in mined for the NoGhost contest 2 in June....watch this space!


19th July 2009

Damn time flies....
My family and I have been in Singapore for a few months now and I guess things are pretty settled. Finally got my self a new rig and set everything up to do some more level designing. As I don't have any new games at the moment I thought I may as well finally finish off  'Unfinished Map'. We have a wedding to attend back in good old England and my wife and children have gone back to a couple of weeks before me; I am missing them already! With the spare time I have I thought I better get my gaming life up to date. So...here's a screen shot taken from Quake Live:


Read more about the level here or click on the MAPS link on the left.
I'll try not to leave seven month before more news next time!!!

30th December 2008

Been a little while since I have updated my site. We have just over two weeks left before moving from the UK to Singapore and to say I'm somewhat excited is something of an understatement!

Anyway, I've had time to do a little level design here and there so here's a little map that's ready for a run out as a beta test:

This is a straight forward FFA and Tourney level for Quake 3, with a little twist. I thought it might be quite fun to build a level that looked like an incomplete level inside the editor, so that's exactly what I did :)

Click HERE to download and have a look!

 

4th July 2008

Make something real....

A new multiplayer level for Q4 from me. This all began as a texture test and grew in to something far far grander...

Click here to find out more :)

The level made Planet Quake pic of the day for me again, so I'm happy all round :)

 

28th April 2008

I made another level for Q3!!! Said I wouldn't, but just couldn't help myself! Check out 'Shut Up When I'm Talking To You'

23rd February 2008

Well....after some thought I've more or less decided to go back to idtech. I can't help it....I love id! Here's a shot of a test render for some stuff I've been working on using idtech4:

Hopefully a full map will come out of this at some point. Apart from the trees, everything else is custom made.

In other news...my level Ripper's Play Ground was level of the week on Planet Quake. Many thanks to all those that support my stuff :)

 

26th January 2008

A new year and a new game engine! After a lot of thought I decided to experiment with the Unreal 3 engine. There is a lot of good information around, but articles relating specifically to model making in blender and exporting into Unreal 3 are some what thin on the ground. To remedy this I have written a new article that covers this process.

Click here!

26th December 2007

Added an article on creating custom MegaTextures to my Tutorial section. Some what work in progress at the moment but it all works :)

27th November 2007

I have added an article on several aspects of level design for Enemy Territory:Quake Wars. The discussion covers setting up material template files, getting correctly textured ASE models into the editor and achieving texture blending (non-megatexture style) on models. Check it out HERE!

29th October 2007

Thought I'd just post a little screen shot of another street scene model map I've been developing for the Q3 engine. The inspiration for the map is 'The Shambles' in the City of York.

15th October 2007

Goodness, another update! Visit my latest tutorial for some reflections on level designing for Q3 using custom made models

8th October 2007

A new map for Quake 3! I didn't think I would make another map for Q3, but in the quiet time after the release of QW:ET and before the release of the tools for that game, I decided to make one more level for good ol' Quake 3. Go HERE for more details. Enjoy!

7th August 2007

An update, sorry folks! I thought I was finished, but I wasn't. After a little feedback and a few suggestions I decided to alter the finished level just a little. That's it now. I am NOT opening that map file or editing THAT mesh any more. The level can still be seen and downloaded HERE!

3rd August 2007

'Amiens'

It's done!!!

Quake 4 FFA 1v1 demonstration piece.

For more information and download go HERE!

The best looking Quake 4 level ever? :) Maybe :)

 

28th July 2007

Updated to Q4 1.4.2 and discovered my map dk_q4dm4, 5, 6 and ctf1 no longer loaded correctly. I have updated their respective map pages with the new downloads.

25th July 2007

Finished up the interior of my Cathedral:

Just the exterior to go ;) I was thinking that if I manage to make the outer building fairly low poly I might well use this as part of a QW:ET level I have in the works.

16th July 2007

This is something I've been meaning to do for a long time:

I've begun this project several times in the past and been plagued by hard drive failures every time. Fingers crossed I'll get it done this time.

25th June 2007

Completed the CTF level that I have been working on for the last couple of months. I have to say I am pretty happy with the way it turned out. I have updated the download link below in my 16th June post, or take a look at this page for more information. Have fun :)

19th June 2007

Updated my new CTF level to a third an most likely final build. A few visual tweaks and a couple of bugs squashed. I have updated the link below.

16th June 2007

A new map for Q4, and a whole bunch of new assets to boot :)

This is a small (1v1, 2v2, or at a push 3v3)CTF level for Q4. The theme comes very much from spending too much time surfing around sites like 'abandoned places'. My original idea was to build a level set in decaying industrial setting.
The broken ceiling and light panels are Lunaran's work from Stombine, but all the other assets, both textures and models, are my own(except for a couple of id decals).
Models were created from scratch using Blender3D, and textures based on photosourced images or made from the ground up in photoshop. Normalmaps were rendered with Crazybump, handmade in photoshop/gimp or from models using Quake 4.
Some screen shots:



And download (about 35mb):
HERE

The map was compiled using Q4 1.3 and most probably will not run on older versions.

I have not yet added an addon file to the pak because custom CTF levels refuse to load in version 1.3. I understand that this issue is fixed in Q4Max, but I wanted the level to load normally in Q4.

The map plays well enough with the SABot mod I tested it with. I am assuming that eventually bots will be available and fully functioning in Q4Max, so spending time making the level bot friendly seemed sensible. A .botaas32 file is included.


All and any thoughts and ideas most welcome :)


 

9th May 2007

A final build of my latest map 'Pugin's Heir' (dk_q4dm6). Follow this link for further information or go straight here to download. Have fun:)

 

1st May 2007

UPDATE: The link below is now to the final build of the map (dk_q4dm6) see above for details.

Finally got to a beta stage with my gothic map. My focus has been to produce a clean uncomplicated map that is fun, yet competitive to play. I think I might just have hit the nail on the head. Click this link to download the 1st public outing of this level. I have updated the image in my 19th April post to reflect alterations to textures and geometry that have been made. Have fun and drop me a line!

Had a family day out on Sunday. We went up to Whitby on the Yorkshire coast. The old abbey standing up on the cliff tops is always a  fabulous source of inspiration, even more so this time as the town was holding a Gothic Festival. The atmosphere was very cool, the abbey viewed on a misty afternoon, with people dressed in full vampire like costumes, complete with white make up, capes and top hats. It was like something straight off the pages of a gothic novel.

Collected some good texture shots too ;)

 

19th April 2007

Having got a bunch of gothic themed assets left lying around after an abortive attempt to produce a gothic themed level for Quake 4, I decided to do something productive. The image below is a work in progress shot of a new Q4 map aimed at the competitive player. That's right folks, a dk map designed with the player in mind! I haven't abandoned my principles, but rather wanted to prove a point: I can produce any style of map, with an artistic integrity and top notch build quality. Watch this space for beta releases.

(Updated image, see 1st May post above)

 

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4 April 2007

I heard the best mapping and modding news I've had for a long time today. Quake Wars: ET is going to have bots! My inside information source had rumoured that this was going to be the case, and now it's confirmed. Thank goodness Splash Damage have some sense. To my mind this ensures the longevity of the game, and furthermore I hope it will reinvigorate the rather quiet artistic elements of the Quake based community.

Those that know me will be aware of my agitation over the debate on the term 'quality' or 'good' in regards to game levels. The minority, yet vociferous elements in the online gaming community  make the assumption that these words refer only to game play.
More so with Q4, than ever was the case for Q3, there is a growing divide between the creative community and the playing community. That said, it is not a certain designer's fault his work is applauded, whilst others are ignored. Player's forums such as ESReality voted in the recent idsoftware CMP contest, yet the people who hang out on the 'creative' based forums, did not bother. I don't want to be accused of having an axe to grind because I don't believe it to be the case, but from a creative design point of view what I consider as a good or quality map is one that is technically well made and shows thought and imagination. When judged against these criteria many of the popular Q4 designers do not measure up.
However, if only the 'player' side of the community is active, there really can be no complaints or surprises when the only mapper working for their mainstream tastes, how much much I or anybody else might not like the outcome, becomes the most acclaimed designer.
Certain level builders work with the players and pander to what they want. I don't think their work is quality in the sense of technical skill or artistry, but it is popular, I can appreciate why.
Many of the creative side of the community have rather taken the attitude that if the players want to demand levels from us they can pay. It is all a little sad.

It is my fervent hope that QW:ET and looking further ahead the new Wolf, will see a return of the visionary and artistic designers. The news about bots gives me much comfort.

I, like many of my closest mapping and modding colleagues have already begun work on assets for QW:ET. I look to the future of level design and what I see is 3D modelling. If nothing else, the 'brush based bodgers' that so concern me at the moment might well be left far, far behind.

30 March 2007

Well looks like the idsoftware Community Map Pack results are in. Kat made it, but apparently I didn't! I am not going to hide my bemusement. As a result I was prompted to finish a little article I had been planning about the decline in level design technique and skill.

28 March 2007

UPDATE: Please note this file has been updated. I have removed the swastika flag that was in the original and tweaked a couple of very minor issues. No more alterations. Honest!

A new level! This is a little 1v1 map for Q4. I have not really considered game play at all, the map is intended as a little artsy piece, inspired by 1950's Film Noir movies. Click on the Maps button on the left and follow the links to 'Film Noir' for further information and a download.

18 March 2007

My Q4 level, 'Sottosuolo',  has reached final release status, and I am pleased! Hit the Maps button on the left and follow the links to the level's download and information page.

Other news:

We still await the release of the Q4 1.4 patch and confirmation regarding which maps have made into the update. Personally I want to go on record as saying the single most important addition to the game would be bots, and not some daft pro-gaming nonsense. Come on guys, you know I'm right!

09 March 2007

Finally got a beta version of my new Q4 FFA level out.

'Sottosuolo'

 This is a remake and rescale of my Q3 Turtle map entry. The theme was inspired by some research I did into underground Roman cities in Rome and Naples. I have really been enjoying modelling terrain and have always been attracted by Gothic architecture (although in this case that should be 'Classical' architecture). Inition kindly allowed me to convert his lovely Q3 Roman style texture set for Q4, so I was all set. Organic rock and attractive architecture....just what I like to see:) I made a few little extra models (torches, lanterns, plants and smaller rocks) to add interest and increase the over all sense of the atmosphere. Modelling is enjoyable, and it increasingly seems, the future of level design.

Remember this a beta release, so there may well be a few little imperfections that will be ironed out before the map goes final.

Hit the Maps button on the left to navigate to the download (follow the 'work in progress' link) or for further information. //EDIT: Map now gone final, so follow the link from the maps page.

03 March 2007

A spring clean and clear out

Finally got around to updating my site. I have been putting off tidying up leveldk for months, but I finally got organised and got down to it.

The hardest part of this process was deciding no longer to provide links to many of my earlier Quake 3 levels. I wanted the site to reflect not simply everything that I have done, but to show best of what I have achieved and the point that I have reached in my journey.

I also wanted leveldk to become much more of a level design and resource site than simple a place to host my maps. To this end I have given much more prominence to my ever expanding series of level design articles.