I'm a professional level designer and so can you!

Discussion in 'Games Talk' started by IrishTaxIDriver, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. IrishTaxIDriver

    IrishTaxIDriver L6: Sharp Member

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    Hello forums! You've all helped me so much in the past so I am coming to you with some returns.

    My name is Dan Merboth, I am an associate level designer at Raven Software. My page on Raven's site is here: http://www.ravensoftware.com/culture/our-people/135/dan+merboth/staff-info/ Check out my dirty feet.

    I was hired at Raven Software last August as an intern in a new design program, created to get Raven back to its roots in the mod community. A long time ago when I was just starting out with level design, Raven had this reputation of being close to the mod community, and thats gone away a little.

    I was offered a position in early January and took it, and then I won the lottery, and am going to space! All my wildest dreams came true!

    The program I was a part of was successful, we're doing it again this year and I'm bringing it to you!

    WHAT THIS MEANS:

    • You'll get to work with highly motivated designers who've been building levels for a very long time (they're also cool as hell).
    • You'll work in a building I've had to describe as "not like Grandma's Boy, its like a regular job but we make awesome games."
    • 6 month internship. 2-3 spots (as far as I know).
    • It is paid (don't know how much).
    • You should be familiar with CoD, preferably MW3. Its not a deal breaker if you're not but you would have to get familiar with it if you do a good job on the design test.

    WHAT THIS DOESN'T MEAN:

    • It is not a guaranteed position, you'd be applying, taking the test and I'd be recommending you. It'd certainly give you a leg up over people who found the page randomly.
    • I can't guarantee we'd be working together. I'm sorry!
    • This is not a remote job, you'd have to relocate to Wisconsin (Madison owns though so its cool).

    WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:

    • Visit: http://www.ravensoftware.com/careers/designtest/
    • Follow the instructions.
    • Email me at: dmerboth (at) ravensoftware.com with your name and portfolio. Please CC dan (at) danmerboth.com so I can be sure I at least get one copy of the email. In the subject put "RAVEN INTERNSHIP:" + your name. The subject line is very important.
    • Formally apply for the level design intern position on Raven's website.

    SOME QUICK ADVICE:

    • Use my portfolio as a benchmark. Our HR staff has told me a few times that they measure incoming employees against my portfolio for intern and associate level.
    • Follow the one sheet on the design test page, but don't be afraid to innovate. We will be asking you questions about what you change, so be ready to rationalize it.
    • Take your time with the test, theres no timelimit, but remember the more time you spend on it the better it needs to be. We'll ask you roughly how much time you spent so don't lie!

    HR cleared me to answer questions and stuff, but please keep in mind I obviously can't answer anything about future content or plans.

    (I talked with Froz3n, he okay'd posting this.)
     
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    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012
  2. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    Thanks for posting about this Dan.

    It'd be cool to see more companies allow their staff to do this type of thing and help the community know about these opportunities.
     
  3. Terwonick

    Terwonick L6: Sharp Member

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    thanks for letting him post it Joe ;)
     
  4. IrishTaxIDriver

    IrishTaxIDriver L6: Sharp Member

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    I wanted to post it because I've been on the other side of the wall and I know how frustrating it is when companies are these giant walls. I had that feeling when I was going through that process last summer. I asked to do this and my boss agreed that we should have that mod community connection back.
     
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  5. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    Do you know of any communities that do testing of CoD4 maps? For people who want to have their map tested, or continue with CoD mapping?
     
  6. Terwonick

    Terwonick L6: Sharp Member

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    The only problem I see with it is the whole COD4 thing, (and i'm only 15, but that's a different problem), I would love to do this for EP2 or some other Source game (CSS, TF2, P, P2), but that option is not provided, and I think more than one or two people here have slight issues with that. I am NOT saying that it's bad or anything, just that you are asking us to step outside of our "comfort zone." It took this community until last year to add forums specifically for maps for other games (Portal 2 and Minecraft), so I'm just warning you you might not get an amazing turnout.

    (truth be had though that I would probably enter if I was 18, after purchasing COD4)

    EDIT: slightly ninja'd by Frozen
     
  7. IrishTaxIDriver

    IrishTaxIDriver L6: Sharp Member

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    Don't worry about testing, we're not looking for 100% complete maps, we're looking for fundamentals. We're interested in your design process.

    It needs to be COD4 because thats the editor you'll be working with if you're hired. COD and TF2/HL2/CSS are completely different games and I don't see any way where I could allow a level in a different engine.

    To be honest, you'll probably have to step outside your comfort zone if you want to pursue level design as a career. Its very important to know the Big Three anyway, because 95% of games use their editors: Radiant, UED and Hammer. If you want to go farther than that, I know a lot of companies build levels in 3DSMax, like Vigil Games.

    EDIT: A lot of the fundamentals transition anyway, like distances.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  8. Terwonick

    Terwonick L6: Sharp Member

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    I understand that completely. it's just that I've just always felt that Idea's/Implementation>engine constraints. That's why you get so many custom modes and people modding games.

    EDIT: I think I'm just being a pain in the ass and undermining your authority, forgive me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  9. IrishTaxIDriver

    IrishTaxIDriver L6: Sharp Member

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    Thats why I'm trying to stress how much the fundamentals translate between Radiant and Hammer. I'm not looking for something crazy and outside the box, I'm just interested in your understanding 3D space.

    For instance, it took me a few days to get used to where the keyboard shortcuts were in relation to Hammer before I could start on my test, but I had the level blocked out within a day or two.
     
  10. xzzy

    aa xzzy

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    But it's a job application, not an art fair. The hard truth is if you wanna make video games, you have to use the tools your employer requires. No one gets to be a maverick until they spend decades climbing the ladder. :D
     
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  11. Terwonick

    Terwonick L6: Sharp Member

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    Oh, would I be allowed to apply anyway? (legitimate question, there is no age restriction in the original post).
     
  12. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    If I could chirp in, I've looked at Radiant, it is not that far off from hammer.
     
  13. IrishTaxIDriver

    IrishTaxIDriver L6: Sharp Member

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    I would say 18+, you'd have to relocate to Wisconsin if you don't live here already. If you're not old enough, don't worry. As far as I know this is a re-occuring thing every August (or if you wow us with your design you could start earlier / later).

    Yeah. They're both BSP based addative engines (though Radiant has a ton of CSG stuff we use for nice curves and such), and they have nearly the same lineage. In relation, they're basically cousins.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  14. Terwonick

    Terwonick L6: Sharp Member

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    Slightly depressing, but I guessed as much.

    EDIT: i think I'm going to have a look at COD4, I mean, why not?
     
  15. IrishTaxIDriver

    IrishTaxIDriver L6: Sharp Member

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    Yeah, theres really no reason not to at least dip your toes in the Radiant pool if you're not going to apply. A lot of studios use some variation of idtech engines and their editors are all similar if not the same.
     
  16. Tarry H Sruman

    Tarry H Sruman Large Orphanage Proprietor

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    You do realize child labor laws are a thing right?
     
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  17. Terwonick

    Terwonick L6: Sharp Member

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    yes, but i'm turning 16 in late May which means I can work legally (at least I can in Michigan)

    exactly, it's a why not kinda thing, it won't help me, it won't really hurt me (if I can actually get the game ;) )
     
  18. IrishTaxIDriver

    IrishTaxIDriver L6: Sharp Member

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    Good news for you, HR just replied to me and said while 18 is preferred, we can hire as low as 16 for internships. But, to quote her, "It’s possible but they have to be outstanding!"

    EDIT: Also want to mention that you'd still have to move here.
     
  19. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    I'm wishing I had more completed work to show, but I'll have to grab the game and give it a go. It'd be silly for me to pass up an opportunity like this. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!
     
  20. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    We're lucky enough to be provided with this opportunity in the first place, you can't be picky about it and say "i only wanna work in source because i'ved used it before". If you're serious about working in the industry that is exactly the wrong attitude to have. Maybe you could get away with it with Unreal because the UDK is one of the most licensed engines out there, but not Source. If you want prospective employers to take you seriously you should have shown initiative to experiment in several game engines.

    EDIT: How does the studio feel about foreign applicants, such as from the UK?
     
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    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012