Level Up: Showcasing your UDK maps

Well it’s that time of the year, you’re done presenting on industry night and finished classes.  What a perfect time to dust off the ol’ UDK maps and start screen grabbing those hard worked on levels for your portfolio!

When it comes to in game shots, presentation and quality matters.  Surely we can go into fullscreen mode, hit PrintScreen and paste directly into Photoshop.  But let’s make the most of our game engine and get a beauty shot that captures your hard work without the loss of detail.

Here’s how we do it in UDK:

Step 1: Get into the level

Jump into your level like you normally would through the editor.

Step 2: Bring up the console

Bring up the console (press Tab).

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Competitive Gaming: A Twist


VFS Level Design Instructor Lanh Doan received bad news last year, due to health reasons he was going to have to take a break from teaching. Lanh was going to be spending a lot of time recovering and getting himself healthy again, and this meant a lot of quality time watching TV and Movies… more importantly it meant  he would be spending a lot of time on his computer. A lot of people (like me) would spend most of that time just playing games and connecting with friends, but Lanh wanted to continue to develop his skills, and there was no better way than competitive gaming.

This was not what most people would expect from competitive gaming, as  a Level Design expert Lanh had a different idea, enter competitions in Level Design. The Gnomon Workshop, an online training site for Artists, was running a monthly contest with a different theme, and awarding prizes to the best entries.

“I came across it when I was researching, development tools for UDK and noticed a familiar name in the industry, Alex Alvarez, an amazing 3D artist that I’d been following for a while.  He is now the founder of the site which is very popular and produces the best educational Dvd sets out there.”

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A Conversation With… GD Alumni John Brunkhart

John Brunkhart is a graduate of the 14th Game Design class at VFS. John graduated back in 2010 with Honours, and won awards for best board game design, best level design, best flash game (class award), and the rare ‘Follow the Leader Award’ for performing with dedication and excellence in the GD program and inspiring his classmates to do the same. He was snapped up quickly by Volition Studios in Champaign, Illinois to be an Associate Designer. Recently we had a chance to catch up with him…

What inspired you to come to study game design?

I had been talking with a friend about an MMO (City of Heroes) we both played, and how we would improve it. On a whim, I went to the publisher’s website and saw they had an opening for a game designer. I jokingly suggested that I would get a job as a designer there, work my way up, and fix the game from the inside. She said, dead-serious “You should do that. You should apply.” I figured I didn’t have a chance, but decided to take the design test, anyway. As I took the test, I suddenly realized ‘Hey … I can do this!’. On the drive home from work (I’d taken the test there after hours), I felt more energized than I had in years, and realized I needed to be working in game design, not where I was. I almost got the job, but didn’t … but by that point I knew what I wanted to do with myself, so I went to school to polish my skills and better my chances at landing a position.

John’s dog “Trooper” fills in while he takes a break

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