I'm thinking of either focusing on character modeling or level design, but I'm not sure what the differences are. Do companies consider them as separate jobs because I don't know that either.

My background: Currently I'm in an associates program for Game Programming, but over the last semester due to my work schedule there was no programming class available for me to take so instead I decided to take 3D Modeling. But as I'm reaching the end of the class I noticed I'm enjoying the 3D Modeling a lot more than programming, so I decided to stick with the art side. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, I'm going to have to move soon and transfer to a new university. Now this new university that I'm going to be attending how the program is set up so that you're required to pick a particular area to focus on. But I'm not sure what to do.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What differences between the two disciplines have you found so far? \$\endgroup\$ – Vaillancourt Apr 22 '18 at 0:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ (This page might prove useful to you.) \$\endgroup\$ – Vaillancourt Apr 22 '18 at 0:23

A character modeller is a 3D artist responsible for creating the polygon meshes for characters in the game. Depending on the team they might also do some or all of the texturing of those models, or that might be handled by dedicated texture artists. The rigging & weighting of the model for animation is typically done by a technical artist or rigger, but on small teams those hats might all be worn by the same artist.

A level designer is responsible for the layout of game environments and the sequencing and setup of gameplay events and triggers within them. In a large team they might do the initial greyblock pass, roughing out the volumes and hierarchy to figure out how to tell the right story through space and support the right gameplay, and work with specialized level artists to fill in the rendered detail. Designers also work on placing and tuning interactivity in the space — triggers for special events, resources and navigation elements the player can use, etc. Level designers will often participate in encounter & mission/quest design, setting up the challenges and opportunities players face, though again this can be its own specialized role in larger teams.


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