Hi everyone! 
I recently started the course "Level Design For Games" on CGMA. I've always been fascinated by design and at some point in my carrer I was really unsure if I was to be a concept artist or a game designer. So I thought this course sounded amazing and it would give me new skills in my tool box to make better environments for games! 
I will try to share with you each week what I've been learning and maybe some key takeaways to grow more in the upcoming assignments. 
WEEK 1 ASSIGMENT
For this week assignment, I was to do a level that would depict an Asian City Streets level. I had a specific Character Blueprint to use and my level needed to have at least a "T" (a junction of 2 streets), but other then that, we were pretty much free on what we would like to do in our level.  I started by making a PureRef board and asking myself some questions to nail down a bit more what I wanted to do. 
WHO: A Milkman  
WHERE: Asian Small City 
WHEN: Somewhen around the 1980s (I was not really sure about that one so I might revisit if ever I work on this again)
WHAT: Deliver milk to the people
WHY: To make people happy (AND FEED CATS) :) 
HOW: Putting the milk from your truck to the little outdoor fridges around the city
SESSION 1
During my first working session, I did not have a clue what I was doing. So I tried to start blocking out some rough shapes for the navigation. I built the main street and started to think where this could branch out. I added some stairs and started to think about how I could play with different levels of elevations. It was still extremely rough in my head and I was not super familiar with the modeling tools in Unreal so I explored that to make myself a fence object I would repeat here and there. I did not know yet where I could put an interesting POI. 
SESSION 2
On the second session, I had a bit more time to think so I was more confident about where I was going with my level. I added some life, with trees and lights. I also designed a noodle counter. I started to think about my little fridges and where I could put them. My main focus was to make a space with various elevations that would feel interesting. I was more familiar with the modeling tools so I built a bunch of assets to put in my scene. I was also testing the boundaries a lot to see where the player could go and where they couldn't. I also added the little truck and decided the player would start there. 
SESSION 3
On the 3rd session, I focused a little more on the sewers. I also had the idea of how I could connect all the streets to make boundaries. The sewers took the biggest part of this work session for me as I had no clue I wanted to do this in the first place. I did a lot of trial and errors to find something that could work. I also worked a bit on the little restaurant beside the truck, added some windows. And finally, I decided that I would color code the fridges so I made them red. 
SESSION 4
On session 4, I polished a little more and finished building out blockers and spaces where you could navigate. I tweaked the lighting a little and added some cats here and there that you could feed! I added a big fence with a collision so you can't go where there are some road work and you need to go by the sewers to get to the fridges on the other side. I also added some cables here and there to add a bit of life to the space. 
KEY TAKEAWAYS
I have some things that I think I could improve and some things that I want to learn or get better at in the upcoming weeks. The feedback from the instructor was really nice and instructive. 
GOOD:
- Adding life (cables, lights, cats)
- Different level of elevation
- Asking myself the questions to get a better idea on where I'm going with my level

TO IMPROVE:
- Interior spaces are really small and hard to navigate
- The fence in front of the noodle shop makes it less accessible to the player
- Red= danger (maybe it's not the right color for this environnement!) 

TO LEARN:
- How to make some text prompt to indicates either the character thoughts or my thoughts
- Interactions from the player with the environnement
- Different style of navigation (use of jumps, crouch, mount etc.)
I hope you guys enjoyed this! I made a little video where I play those levels live and talk about what I did and what I want to improve. Let me know your thoughts! 
See ya! 
- Caro

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