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Category Tutorial TopicsLevel DesignUnreal Engine 4UDKCryEngine 3 SDKGame Modeling: MayaCounter-Strike: Global OffensiveLeft4Dead 1 and 2Time Management and ProductivityGame Environment Art+DesignGetting StartedBrowse Full Tutorial List

PREMIUM UE4 Tutorial Series - Download Your Copy: "UE4 The Corridor Project" & "UE4 How to Create Custom Decals"

Recent Tutorials/Posts

Seeing the World as a Level Designer

Category: Level Design
April 28, 2016

"Last of Us" ©Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC; Dev: NaughtyDog Inc

Pete Ellis is back with another article on how to use "Environmental Transference" and begin to see the world as a level designer.

Pete is a level designer at Guerrilla Cambridge and he has worked on "Killzone: Shadow Fall" and "Killzone: Mercenary" games. He is currently working on "RIGS".

You may remember Pete with 3-part tutorial series on "Single Player Level Design Pacing and Gameplay Beats", which I highly recommend you to check out. But before you do that - read on to learn how to begin seeing the world as a level designer.

My personal favorite ideas from this article are "denial spaces" concept and intriguing level design space - a route between two buildings example.

Continue to the Full Tutorial...

UE4: Solution to Decals Not Rendering/Showing in Indirect Static Lighting

Category: Unreal Engine 4
April 14, 2016

By default, decals will not render or show up in static indirectly lit areas (in shadow). This is due to a new rendering decal system implemented in UE4. To make your decals work in any lighting situation you have to enable DBuffer decals. Here is how to do so and solve the problem and make your decals render in static indirect lighting.

Continue to the Full Tutorial...

UE4: How to Insert, Apply and Use Decals Inside Your Level

Category: Unreal Engine 4
April 07, 2016

Tutorial focuses on how to insert, apply and use decals inside your level. Such as how to move, rotate, scale decals and project them onto surrounding geometry properly.

Continue to the Full Tutorial...

UE4: How to Create Your First Decal Material

Category: Unreal Engine 4
March 31, 2016

Decals are materials that can be projected onto existing geometry (Static Meshes, BSP brushes or Skeletal Meshes) that are already placed inside the level.

Decals are one of the best ways to add additional detail into a level without having to create a new texture or material variation.

With most games out there taking advantage of decals, here is how to create your first decal and begin using them in your own project.

Continue to the Full Tutorial...

CS:GO Prop Statics Are Black and Don't Light Properly [Solved] - Wildfire Update

Category: Source: CS:GO SDK
March 01, 2016

Due to recent Wildfire update and improvements to lighting in Source, if you Run Map on Normal with Run VIS and Run RAD set to Normal/Fast options - your props will render black.

This issue is very likely to be fixed in the near future. But in the meantime what do you do when you want to run your map on Fast compile options?  Here is a fix.

Continue to the Full Tutorial...

CSGO: Stuck? One Section Level Design for Gameplay from Idea to Playtest

Category: Source: CS:GO SDK, Level Design
February 18, 2016

Are you unable to figure out your map's layout? Stuck with what a section of the level should look, play and flow like?

I've been in that situation too many times I care to admit.

I would be stuck and just couldn't figure out on how an area should look and what I should do next.

In this tutorial you will learn a quick and very useful technique. In fact, in less than one hour you can probably have something to play test and build upon.

I like this technique a lot because it allows you to go between an idea and implementation right away. It gives you something substantial to test and play.

Continue to the Full Tutorial...

Daily Screenshot Technique: 1-Minute Process For Improving Your Level Designs and Environment Art Work

Category: Level Design, Game Environment Design
January 27, 2016

What did you do last year?

Looking back on previous year, it's easy to get discouraged that you haven't done as much as you wanted. It's easy to downplay your accomplishments and work you've done.

But you probably worked, learned and accomplished more than you think you did.

I understand that you should do more, work more and create more. As a level designer and game environment artist you can't escape from constant self-criticism, it is what drives you to become better. But every once in a while you should be able to pat yourself on the back and acknowledge that you are better than you were before.

You should be able to present your work as-is without putting yourself down in deprecating self-talk. It is one thing to say that you will do better and aim for that by improving your skill. It is completely another to say that you aren't as good as someone else or what you created sucks and you will never get better.

Be satisfied with the work you are producing right now while at the same time continuing the pursuit of becoming better at all times.

You need less deprecating self-talk and more objective visual feedback.

How do you put this in practice?

Continue to the Full Tutorial...

CS:GO 3 Workflow Techniques - How to Draw Top-Down Level Design Map Layouts

Category: Source: CS:GO SDK, Level Design
January 14, 2016

Top-down layout is a schematic design or a floor plan of your map.

It could be created in Photoshop, Illustrator, Google Sketchup or AutoCad but using software for layouts is unnecessary.

Best and most practical way of creating top-down layouts is pen and paper.

Hand drawing layouts are not complicated. You do not need to know how to draw. All that's required is ability to visualize how your level is going to play. You have to plan out map's playable paths, alternative routes, connecting routes, choke points, objectives, obstacles and boundaries of the world.

This tutorial is focused on Counter-Strike defusal (DE) gametype but the technique and principle behind it can be applied to many other games with similar gameplay mechanics.

Continue to the Full Tutorial...

UE4: How I Created "The Corridor" Environment in 10 Hours with Unreal Engine 4 (32-Min Tutorial)

Category: Unreal Engine 4
November 30, 2015

10 hours.

In less than half a day I had completed one environment, lit two different ways.

No starter content or marketplace assets were used.

Most important, I now have a workflow to share with you.

In this tutorial I will cover an overview of what it took me to construct "UE4: The Corridor Project" in 10 hours.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • Workflow I used to construct The Corridor
  • Hour-by-hour breakdown
  • Planning process
  • BSP block-in
  • Static Meshing and detailing
  • Lighting and Post Process
  • Color grading
  • ...so much more than what I could write in a bulleted list

Grab yourself some coffee or tea and let's get started.

Continue to the Full Tutorial...

Now Out - "UE4 The Corridor Project" Video Tutorial Series

Category: News/Updates/Resources, Unreal Engine 4
November 26, 2015

"UE4 The Corridor Project" premium video tutorial series is now out.

Go beyond UE4 beginner basics and learn how to use Unreal Engine 4 to construct an original environment.

So what is the next project to do to get past the basics?

First Recommended Project was to create a small environment with Starter Content. The key to this first UE4 project is to keep it very small. Your primary goal is to learn Unreal Engine 4 functionality, fundamentals and principles of using this game engine. This was covered in detail in "UE4 Fundamentals".

Second Recommended Project is to create a slightly larger environment with a set of new custom Static Meshes. These custom static meshes should be either something you already have or something you downloaded from Marketplace/Learn sections. Don't create your own custom Static Meshes yet. You want to expand your UE4 knowledge and experience beyond the beginner by forcing yourself to create larger and more unique environment while using a set of Static Meshes already created.

"UE4: The Corridor Project" is the second recommended project. A series that will take you from beginner of UE4 Fundamentals and show you how to go beyond the simple Starter Content environments and use Unreal Engine 4 with more advanced purpose.

Here is what you will get:

  • Entire workflow from start-to-finish
  • Create "The Corridor" environment with this step-by-step guide and apply techniques to your own project
  • A set of custom Static Meshes included for you to use and follow along (31 Static Meshes)
  • 4 hours of video tutorials, taking you step-by-step and showing you how to constructe The Corridor environment yourself or use the techniques in any other project

You can download " UE4 The Corridor Project" here...

Now Out - "UE4 How to Create Custom Decals" Video Tutorial Series

Category: News/Updates/Resources, Unreal Engine 4
November 26, 2015

"UE4 How to Create Custom Decals" premium video tutorial series is now out.

Decals are one of the best ways to add unique detail to your environment by projecting a material onto existing surfaces within your level without having to add that unique detail into the texture itself.

These decals can include things like bullet holes, blood stains, blood splatter, posters, stains, leaks, dirt, graffiti, text/numbers and more.

Learn how to create custom decals for your level designs and game environments with Unreal Engine 4.

In total, you'll follow along to create 7 different variety of decals.

You can download " UE4 How to Create Custom Decals" here...

UE4: Beginner's Step-by-Step to Creating Your First Level

Category: Unreal Engine 4
October 06, 2015

How do you create your first playable level inside Unreal Engine 4?

As a beginner, you want to get started with a game engine/level editor as quickly as possible and build something you can play in. For this you need to know what objects or actors (as they are called in UE4) that are required to be in your level.

In this tutorial you will learn how to create a starter level that contains:

  • Ground plane
  • Player start
  • Player scale reference to judge proportion
  • Fog
  • Sunlight
  • Static Mesh (3d model)
  • Build and Play Test your level

Without much introduction, let's get started.

Continue to the Full Tutorial...

Now Out - Free PDF Guide "UE4 Beginner's Crash Course"

Category: News/Updates/Resources, Unreal Engine 4
September 28, 2015

"UE4 Beginner's Crash Course" is a free PDF guide that will show you how to start learning and using Unreal Engine 4. The guide is 150 pages and features over 80 tips and how to techniques.

Here is what you will get:

  • Free PDF Guide Download
  • 150+ pages
  • 80 tips and how-to techniques on getting started with UE4
  • Currently includes 4 Sections

You can get " UE4 Beginner's Crash Course" PDF Guide here...

Now Out - "UE4 Fundamentals" Video Tutorial Series

Category: News/Updates/Resources, Unreal Engine 4
September 24, 2015

"UE4 Fundamentals" premium video tutorial series is now out.

Learn Unreal Engine 4 as a complete beginner and without any previous knowledge or experience using Unreal Engine or any other game engine.

If you ever wanted to learn UE4 from scratch but didn't know where to start, "UE4 Fundamentals" tutorial series is it. It is "The Essential Beginner's Guide to Getting Started with Unreal Engine 4". It is rooted in a larger vision of using UE4 for level design and game environment art; it will set you up to explore more advanced topics.

I believe it is the best tutorial series for beginners.

Here is what you will get:

  • UE4 Fundamentals: The Essential Beginner's Guide to Getting Started with Unreal Engine 4 (includes 42 videos with running time of 7 hours)
  • Bonus: 150 page PDF guide, featuring 80 tips, techniques and insight "UE4 Beginner's Guide to Getting Started"
  • Digital download only
  • 4 additional video tutorials

You can get " UE4 Fundamentals" and all included bonuses here...

UE4: 16 Principles - How to Start Learning Unreal Engine 4

Category: Unreal Engine 4
September 23, 2015

Learning a new game engine as a complete beginner is very intimidating. There are a lot of tutorials, documentation and advice already out but how do you start and proceed with learning Unreal Engine 4 is unclear. You get pulled into many different directions and end up confused and overwhelmed.

I have spent a lot of time deconstructing what it takes to learn a game engine from scratch. What it is that you should focus on first and what you should avoid until later.

Unreal Engine 4 is a complete game engine. It is an extremely deep and complex piece of software that can be used to create variety of games, environments, cinematic and visualizations.

So how do you learn UE4 from scratch?

In this tutorial you will learn 16 principles/guidelines to follow that will give you direction to learning Unreal Engine 4 easier.

Continue to the Full Tutorial...