UDK 3D Platformer was created in Unreal Engine 3 as a Platform that takes inspiration from the movie Dragon Hunters and focuses on a "Sheep Bounce" mechanic that can create a variety of experiences.
This "game" was actually a project done for a class and isn't really a game, but a single level. The reason why I point out this project is that it essentially helped me learn all of the different aspects of the UDK including Kismet, Unreal Script, Matinee, and, of course, the actual builder toolset. Essentially, by the end of this project, I can say that I am comfortable in using UDK.
When first using the UDK, it is quite intemidating and a lot of initial mistakes are made (like trying to save with ctrl + s [which doesn't save and instead does a subtract brush]).However, once you get past a lot of the initial confusion, the engine becomes a lot more usable, allowing for some quick work and iteration (until you start adding in lighting...). For Unreal Script, I was tasked with not only creating a 3rd Person Camera and creating a custom Pawn Class to be used for the Platforming, but I also had to script sheeps throughout the world, that when the Player lands on them, it sends the Player's velocity up into the air. This created a lot of problems and required a lot of research in order to fix. One of the biggest things I noticed about UDK is that a lot of time is spent doing research in order to figure out how something works or what already exists in order to save time.
The actual process of creating the level started off fairly commonly. Working with a small team of other designers, we decided my level would be at the end of a "story arc" and would incorporate the previous mechanics and would have a relative high difficulty as it is the last level. More importantly, it gave me a beginning and end to the level, allowing me to create the interest curve between these points. Once I had the plan, it became about doing a quick, relatively undetailed/gameplay unspecific level design map. While I could have spent a lot of time planning out every jump on paper, I decided to instead focus on the interest arc of the level, planning out the general gameplay goals of each sequence, knowing full well that once I started building the level, everything would change.
When it came to doing the initial building of the level, I used a combination of the Builder Brush tool and static meshes for the floating islands allowing me to very quickly change the distances of the jumps. This part I spent a large amount of time, trying to make sure that I was hitting the design goals and arcs of the level while at the same time changing it completely when the design wasn't working correctly. The final stretch of the level of course is to just start going crazy and making it look beautiful, while at the same time using the lighting to help the guide player.
Jonathan Gregoire - Game Design
Started at Ready at Dawn as a Senior Level Designer on an unnanounced project.
Last days at Naughty Dog working on The Last of Us Part II.
Shipped the Last of Us Part II press demo level "Patrol".
Started working at Naughty Dog as a Contract Single Player Level Layout Designer on The Last of Us Part II.
I started doing contract work for a start-up company called MyPad3D that focuses on VR experiences for corporate products.
More interestingly, I have begun to prototype my own card game on the side and have been volunteering with Sunbreak Games on an unannounced product.
With a heavy heart, E-Line Media has shut down the Seattle studio, laying off everyone including myself. I am currently looking for new opportunities.
Began working at E-Line Media again as a Level Designer on an unannounced and untitled game.
Updating my website to reflect the work I did on the Forest Song with Colabee Studios. Unfortunately due to funding issues, I am no longer with them, so I am currently looking for new opportunities.
Lots of new stuff since I last updated. Added in a short comic I made called Old Debts. Also have put up information about my role(s) on Never Alone and Never Alone: FoxTales.
Promoted to Lead Designer on Never Alone: FoxTales at E-Line Media.
Graduated Digipen as a BAGD and with a Cum Laude. Started working at E-Line Media as a Level Designer.
Uploaded a new Beta build of Chained. Also just put up the old builds of the game for anyone interested in our very quick process and progress.
I recently wrote a paper that was published for the IGDA about the benefit of Paper Prototyping. You can read it at this following link: http://newsletter.igda.org/2013/11/30/student-beat-faceoff-the-influences-of-board-games-on-video-games/#!