View Full Version : level building timeframe
05-03-2006, 04:49 AM
Just wondering if anyone could give me some insight into how long, (on average) it should take to build level for a platforming type game for ps2? From concept to completion. And an average staff size.
05-03-2006, 05:19 AM
1 week to 2 years with 1 to 10 artists.
entirely depends on the game design, how big and detailed the levels are basically. I did one of the levels for Alfred Chicken on Psone in a day, though that was one of the shorter ones and the layout was firmly in place.
Also depends on your pipeline - whether you're using slot-together referenced objects, entirely bespoke geometry, or a mixture of the two. 3 different timelines right there, affects the staffing too : do you have an artist responsible for building the geometry and laying it out, do you have one building the modular pieces and another placing them etc etc
05-03-2006, 06:15 AM
Levels probably similar to a game like Ratchet and Clank,(both in scope and detail), with 2 junior artists on asset creation, 2 other artists, and a level builder. Using geometry tile sets. And 3 level designers. Oh yeah, and virtually no concept art.
05-03-2006, 06:38 AM
designers building out your sets, puzzles, arenas, etc. with artists assembling props. If there's no major bottlenecks slowing them down, 1 week to a month depending on just how large the level is. Rick and danr's posts are right on. On my last project (platforming shooter like R&C), some areas had to be redone so much it seemed like they took a year, while others (if assets were already complete) could be designed and built in a day. The initial levels may take longer to get things started, but the new levels built in the 2nd half of development could be done fast once the pipeline in stong.
05-04-2006, 01:08 AM
The lack of concept art is your killer there. Like Chris said, sometimes things have to be redone so many times. Over and Over and Over. With no concept art you are shooting blind.
Also, for a new/junior artist this can be soul destroying - seeing your work binned over and over.
A common practive these days it to build the level bare - 1 to 3 solid coloured textures for the entire level. Build it and play it to get the flow correct. With a builder and other artists, one person builds the proto levels and the artists covert that to real assets.
On Rayman we did this - the tilesets were being updated in real time while the level guys built the environment. When they were finished, the levels came back to the artists to paint in the backgrounds.
05-04-2006, 07:45 AM
Yeah for the latest level there is no concept art at all. Pretty much whoever is doing whichever asset or tileset is the designer. Which obviously leads to some random results. I was hired as a character artist, but have been thrown onto levels to help hit the next milestone, and find this process really in-efficent. Cheers for the info.
05-04-2006, 07:50 AM
On STACKED, I had about 3-4 weeks per environment. That was for modeling, texturing, setup, lighting and optimizations. When I was lucky, I got a little texturing help. Didn't happen often though /images/graemlins/frown.gif
Adam helped me with some prop texturing on 2 of the environments, which was REALLY nice to have.
That's right mofo! hahahahaha
ps: wtf is that game coming out?!
05-04-2006, 08:48 AM
gavku - where at you working? You can PM me if you want.
05-04-2006, 09:27 AM
Adam - tell me about it... /images/graemlins/frown.gif
The release date is May 30th right now. There have been 2 public beta tests, so I hope that the online is is stable enough now. I still talk to the guys at 5000ft, and they told me the May30th looks good.
So here's to hoping! /images/graemlins/smile.gif
05-05-2006, 07:05 AM
I probably shouldn't mention what company I'm with or the game we're working on......( especially seeing how this is my first industry job ).
Just a bit frustrating, especially when some things are so obviously being done in a counter-productive manner. But on the good side there are a few awewsome artists here, so I'm happy to suck as much knowledge as I can.
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