speedvoltage's profile

Basic Details

Sitename

speedvoltage

Real name

Peter Brev

PP Member since

13 December 2017

GRAvatar

Gender

Male

Contact Details
Brief Bio
My name is Peter Brev but I also go with the name speedvoltage. I am a 20-year-old student and level designer for the Source engine. I have been level designing since 2003 for both the GoldSrc engine and the Source engine. I am working on multiple projects but my main one currently is Hard Duty. As surprising as it can be from me closing almost all my online accounts (including my Steam account), I still have the files and I am still working on it but its development has been temporarily halted for personal reasons. It is nowhere near dead. The decision to remove all activity was to prevent it from sitting here with no updates in years. No further information will be provided about that mod. You can find example of my previous works, which are more or less old, on Gamebanana at: https://gamebanana.com/maps/191622 Although most of my works are on Gamebanana, not all of them were uploaded to the public. Some were uploaded for specific servers but later released. An example work would be dm_underdam: https://www.everythingfps.com/map.php?id=2310 The real reason that this map was not uploaded to Gamebanana was also because it did not stand up to my previous map: dm_basebunker which is the most detailed map I have ever made up until now. My situation does not allow me to contribute a lot of help to third party's project. That being said, I am bringing some level design updates to Meta-Genesis, a multiplayer mod you can find on ModDB. If you wish, you can also see non-released/WIP images of levels I have been working on to give you a taste of what I usually do: https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/861739389052486518/913DD8084AB401B2E6F5DD10E68ADB55720ADCA6/ https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/858361298431351213/B4F6D1B8B7EDCFC67860756823075CD464478DB1/ When I level design, there are two things I enjoy above everything else: 1) Proper lighting. This includes but is not limited to directional lighting, mood setting thanks to lighting, shadows cast from props with vertex lighting data. 2) Detailed world. Just look at the above pictures to have a preview of what my detailed worlds look like. Happy mapping!
Half-Life Games Owned
Playing Style and History

Type

Balanced

Top 5 Favourites

Games

  1. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  2. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  3. The Stanley Parable

Mods

  1. Research and Development
  2. Dark Interval
  3. Alchemilla
  4. Nightmare House 2
  5. Mission Improbable
Commenting

Milestone Reached

  • 1-50 Comments = Shy
  • 51-100 Comments = Friendly
  • 101-250 Comments = Socialable
  • 251-500 Comments = Talkative
  • 501-1000 Comments = Opinionated
  • 1001 Plus Comments = Omnipresent

Comment Totals

Total Comments

1

This year

0

This month

0

Modding Skills

Modding Skills

  • Mapping: Expert
  • Modeling: None
  • Scripting: Little
  • Texturing: Little
  • Voice acting: Little
  • Writing: Some
  • Sound: Little
  • Music: Some

Additional information

Level Designing is my entire life. I spend many hours building levels, crafting them from concept arts, from real life places, etc... In detail, I divide my workload into different parts. I have multiple .vmf files saved that I end up grouping together when building the final level. The first pass is creating the gameplay elements the map or mod is going to have. It's usually easier to start with that for two reasons. Firstly, the level you create for your gameplay is a test environment, usually with a floor, a ceiling/skybox and four walls, which means fast compiles and tests to then fix whatever didn't come out good. Secondly, you are more forced to think about your gameplay elements to make sure that: *)it has a good flow between levels *)it makes sense *)the player knows the puzzles he is in front of, the goal he has to get to/achieve and eventually the elements he'll need to use to complete the puzzle. *)you know how you are going to design the eye-candy level afterwards to make sure the player is not surprised. (A sniper attacking you when you are looking at the puzzle mechanics for instance is more likely to frustrate the player than anything else whereas providing high grounds or having the player behind cover where he can see the potential foes and puzzles before the foes can see the player is usually better. A good example of this is the cannon in Episode 2, where you can see it before it sees you, so that you can plan your strategy.) *)you know where and when you can place it in the final level. (After an intense combat, it's preferable to have the player relax with a scripted sequence, NPC talking, player being rewarded or having some kind of puzzle to solve. It's usually a welcoming change in pace for all players and they rarely complain about it. Again, 100% combat based mods is not the way to go.) *)you can play with some lighting techniques in advance, although, it's more likely going to be scrapped or heavily edited (that's why I just do it once I do all the eye-candy). *)the puzzles you create have variety. Variety is not limited to changing the type of puzzle to solve, but also adding vertical challenge (the mod Research and Development had a good idea; after crashing and dropping into a vent full of water, you have to make it rise to reach an exit). A puzzle is not solely limited to being an obstacle that obstruct the road that leads from point A to point B. You could make that puzzle be worthy by having a use on the long run. Whirly, the vehicle from R&D, was a nice touch. By having the gameplay done first, you are giving yourself more chances to have a good review from your audience. Eye-candy maps with only combat is not going to bring a lot of people to play your mod; it gets repetitive and boring. The second pass is creating the eye-candy level. It is also broken down into several parts. There is zero gameplay in the making of the eye-candy levels. The level is built by creating the most basic world geometry brushes that's going to seal the map from leaks. In Hammer, the grid size for those type of brushes should ideally be between 16 to 64 units. Anything below will create issues in the long run (I'm talking from past experience). Those big blocks will usually end up being buildings if it's close to the boundaries of the playable area, or they will just be dull walls with little to no detail on them if they are far away that the player will probably never notice and even if they did, they would not really see much, hence where the 3D skybox comes into play. I also place clip brushes where the boundaries of the playable area is. I adjust them later on if I have to, but they are usually small adjustments like size and/or position. Once this first part of building the eye-candy world is done, I start by texturing it, to get a general theme on the feeling I want an area to have. A lot of people seem to neglect texture choice, not in the way of incorrectly choosing them when they do not fit or where a texture does not transition or blend well with another texture, rather I am talking about the fact that the chosen textures are not blending with the lighting setting. Something I learned very late was that if I put textures that its dominant color is green, I will need to put a depressing kind-of feeling in the level by having lighting that goes towards the green/green turquoise color. Texture choice matters, we must not neglect it. Finally, I add the most basic lighting to light up the world. This usually gives me an idea on how I am going to place my light_spot, light entities and eventually, if I can, for special occasions, add an env_projectedtexture. Once I have this done, I start by placing some miscellaneous elements to add a certain pace or activity in the level. This can range from a simple helicopter that flies by above you to a pack of Combine and APC that enters the level to give you an additional challenge. In other word, we start bringing life to the level. Not too much yet, just what it needs to proceed to the next part. Then I add the first puzzle elements I designed in my gameplay environment. I attempt to fit, adjust and make sure it's not odd and blends with the entire level. For this next part, I commence to add some detail. Personally, the detail geometry goes first, but that's personal preference, you may as well put props first, but it never turned out good for me. Once all detail geometry is placed, I compile and see in-game if it all looks good. From past experience, when adding detailed geometry, you may experience some weird artifacts that does not happen in Hammer. That is why it is best to compile your level early and often to spot bugs to fix them immediately. Only then do I add props, decals/overlays and some bumpy ground (the bumpy ground here is displacement apart from cliffs, ground that cover a large portion of the map, etc... like gravel to break up the otherwise repetitive texture on floors or walls) to finish the detailing pass. I refine it on the last passes if needed. At this point, the level starts to gain shape. This is now where I start to put a lot of time in lighting. That and detailing the world are my 2 favorite moments in level designing. In the lighting passes, I do a first pass with general lighting. That means the area that are lit does not provide anything important, they just have to be lit. The second pass is where I start diving into the tedious part. Now that we have detail, gameplay mechanics applied to our eye-candy level, etc... I need to set directional lighting and lighting that needs to bring the player's attention on something. On top of that, the color is also an important part of it. Do I want the player to feel in danger, comfortable or uneasy? Red, green, blue, yellow, orange? What values am I going to give to constant, linear, quadratic, falloff distances? What values am I going to give to lightmaps? All those information I need to account for to make sure the player knows what to do and what to expect. It sounds easy at first, but I can assure you after 14 years, it's not. Then the last pass is to make sure everything is right and that bugs are ironed out. Once everything is settled and I am sure it is. I make a final compile with -final -both -staticproplighting -staticproppolys -textureshadows I build the cubemaps, pack all custom content and have my most trusted friends test my mod/maps for their feedback. (I usually level design in Episode 2 and then create the mod structure folder last.) If everything is set and ready to go, this is the moment I go full wild and release the mod to the world.

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