I’m Brian Roycewicz and I’ve been designing videogame levels for the last 20 years. I was raised on all-nighters in level editors and, despite playing a lot of violent videogames, turned out alright. I’m part of a new generation that learned to create cities in 3D before learning how to draw a cube in 2D and, as a result, can block-out a level quicker than the play-test schedule allows. Since 2007, I’ve worked with Infinity Ward, Gearbox Software, and RAD Studios. In 2018, on my own time, I’m an iOS developer preparing to release an addictive, AAA-quality mobile game in conjunction with a paper to showcase a new and exciting method of monetizing videogames.

Summary of Qualifications

  • Years of experience: 20 years individual experience, 11 years professional experience, 14 shipped AAA game credits
  • From concept to completion: Fluent in the game development processes from lunch-pitch, concept, block-out, iteration, detailing,
    to production-polish
  • Self-taught: >10 complete level releases for various Half-Life mods within the modding community since 1998
  • Individual identity: Half-Life 2 mod ‘Provenance’ featured in Computec Media’s PC Games magazine coverdisc, received offer to feature on PC Gamer UK magazine coverdisc

Two-minute Demo Reel





I’ve listed a few of my releases that I’d like to showcase, in newest-first order, and, since this is a level design portfolio, have excluded other releases such as models or animations. Please keep in mind that the shipped, retail levels I’ve listed below have gone through a process involving many talented artists — the final products are just as much theirs as they are mine.

Lone Echo / Echo Arena

Released July 2017

Between these two titles, the majority of my time was spent on the multiplayer component of Lone Echo, Echo Arena. My responsibilities included leading a group of designers and artists in the ‘Lobby Pod’ to keep communication open between both content-creators and management, designing the lobby levels (Lobby 1.0 and Lobby 2.0) and its activities, designing the obstacles and layout for the obstacles within the Arena level, designing various gameplay elements (player customization pitch, stats display, scoring rules), scripting and implementing various gameplay components (post-score player statistics, practice goals, personal practice disc), and even spritesheet creation and user interface work.

My work on Lone Echo was primarily pre-release polish and gameplay-related detail passses.

Levels were created in Maya, scripting was written in a proprietary scripting editor, UI textures, sprites, and decals were created in Photoshop and implemented in a proprietary UI editor.

3 Remarks

Echo Arena is a masterpiece.

Outside of a comeptitive match of Lone Echo you can hang out in a multiplayer lobby, and plenty of players spend hours enjoying the game this way…

…I wouldn’t be surprised to see Echo Arena’s lobby become just as popular of a social VR experience as alternatives like Playroom VR.

…Ready At Dawn just went all-in with Lone Echo and Echo Arena, and you can definitely see this when you look at the visuals, the arena design, in-game social interaction, and the innovative gameplay mechanics.

Deformers

Released April 2017

Having joined the Deformers team after many of its designs had been solidified, this was my first game whose levels were created solely in Maya. Learning most of the required Maya tools within the first few months of working at Ready at Dawn, I was tasked with laying out the process, spec, and design of five of the shipped levels. Level sizes varied between three environments, each with a small, medium, and large level.

Deformers’ gameplay is unlike anything I’ve designed for in the past; players roll around in third-person as soft-body physics blobs with the ability to either shoot, ram, or throw opponents in DM, TDM, and a rugby-like gamemode.

2 Remarks

Adorable character designs and fun maps.

…the game oozes with creative passion from cute character names and bios to interesting level design.

Battleborn

Released May 2016

While working on Battleborn, I’d branched-out as a level designer (designing and creating multi-player levels whose influences pulled from both FPS, MOBA and even RTS style games) into game design (detailing and implementing genre-bending gamemodes along with their accompanying, showcasing levels) before working on overhead systems like economy, pre/post-match game session designs, and AI combat encounters within PvP matches. Tasks included design documentation and presentation for both levels and game mechanics, designing level lay-outs, level block-outs, and scripting game mechanics.

Aliens: Colonial Marines

Released February 2013

Despite being haunted by Development Hell, I’d volunteered to work on Colonial Marines when it was revived in 2011 because Alien is an amazing IP and, by working in a small team, wanted a chance to influence the game’s design. I’d succeeded and was able to design some multiplayer gamemodes, alongside levels (for both single and multi-player), as well as the single-player training level and its mini-games. Many gamemodes and levels didn’t ship but I’m thankful to have earned the experiences. Besides being able to execute contractual obligations, please check out my resume for a list of my responsibilities.

3 Remarks

The one and only good thing about Aliens: Colonial Marines is its multiplayer.

…Colonial Marines is most successful as a competitive game. Its versus mode splits players into teams of marines and xenomorphs across four modes, ranging from regular team deathmatch to objective capture, survival, and a Left 4 Dead-style game type, Escape… These last two modes are genuinely enjoyable.

…a riveting, far superior multiplayer mode.

Sleepless

Released August 2012

Sleepless is a Left 4 Dead 2 campaign that spans four huge levels and includes custom gameplay using the L4D2 text-based scripting language, Squirrel. Thematically wrapped in dream-like sequences [as a MacGuffin to string-together only the coolest experiences], players push the L4D2 cast through various environments for an approximate hour of zombie-blasting combats dotted with custom gameplay scenerios (eg. players must hold-out in a shopping mall as store gates open one-by-one with each store holding a more powerful weapon than the last – and more powerful enemies to defend from – before the last store with a backdoor opens for escape).

Brothers in Arms: Furious 4

Coming – Cancelled

My first project at Gearbox Software, I’d worked on Furious 4 as a single-player level designer. With four-player, class-based, co-operative gameplay centric to the game’s campaign, levels in Furious 4 were designed along a strict set of co-op friendly principles to create a unique action experience. I was assigned to various chapters of the single-player experience, working within smaller teams to create and document designs, block-out levels, and implement combats that followed the game’s narrative.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Released November 2009

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Bridge Crossing

Released November 2009

Inspired by my favorite America’s Army MP level, Bridge Crossing was re-imagined and designed for Insurgency, a Half-Life 2 modification which has since become a stand-alone game. Two teams fight for control of the bridge, capturing various checkpoints along the way, where a variety of play-types are evoked (also requiring players to work together by divvying themselves into proper classes) as players can use the lower catwalk-like paths below the bridge to sneak past the main chokepoints or defend their half of the combat artery by positioning themselves in their team’s defense towers. A fun and powerfully class-balanced level. If you’ve played 2004’s America’s Army v1.0, you know what’s up. 🙂

1 Remarks

Duddeeee I love you!!! I love AA huge fan.. Thats how i got on insurgency 🙂 Good times this is so nostalgic

Provenance

Released August 2009

Provenance is an award-winning, single-player mini-mod for Half-Life 2 which takes the player to the remnants of Black Mesa. Built in two months, it’s a playable portfolio piece made to showcase a variety of gameplay scenarios including puzzles, combats, and even stealth gameplay. It was featured on a coverdisc of PC Games magazine and has received various accolades (such as Planet Philips’ Hall of Fame award). Sadly, Provenance has since become uncompatible with the latest version of the Source engine but, happily, I’ve released the source files for the game’s levels for others to check-out — they’re pretty intense themselves.

6 Remarks

Very story heavy, yet minimalist (like the original HL2), that forces the player to draw their own conclusions from what they’re seeing through flashbacks or otherwise. I really enjoyed this mod, only complaint is that it was really, really short. But alas, the candle that burns twice as bright only burns half as long. Great mod man. I really did enjoy this.

‘Brilliant” doesn’t BEGIN to describe the quality and atmosphere of this mod. It is realistic and convincing. If what follows is as good as this, it will by far surpass the original game.

At first I thougth, should I really play a mod of a guy which websites name is “phallus-palace” ?

Good that I did, this thing is one of the most exciting mods I ever played!
It is great how the gameplay turns so fast but still never feels crowded. I was especially surprised by the sneak part, would like to see more of this!
It’s a good balance between slow and heavily fast and exciting moments.
The visuals are also awesome, just the first room is already godlike (those spidernets, great!).

I LOVE THIS MINI-MOD, No Question.

I’m not going to tell the entire thing, but I can tell you this.. PLAY IT NOW! “You won’t regret it”

…the attention to pacing and atmosphere is something you really should experience. This mod differentiates itself from the crowd by focusing on areas that other mappers neglect, and that’s something I’d love to see more of.

Brian really made the old place look great. I don’t think I could fault anything, although I was running around in an eye-candy daze to really notice the minor details.
The lighting seemed great and the proportions were excellent.

Vault Break-Out

Released August 2009

[dark screen for first 20 seconds of video] Vault Break-out was built for a design test with a four-day build time. Requirements were simple: provide five minutes of single-player gameplay in a new level (without re-purposing an exsisting level) that would then be evaluated on pacing, flow, visual polish (both ‘base achitecture’ and set-dressing), originality, and inventiveness. You can download and play the level in Half-Life 2: Episode Two.

Missing Information

Released January 2009

Following the release of the book titled Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar, Missing Information is a mod aimed to bring Half-Life 2 back to its earlier iterations — in both content and narrative — by re-creating the game in it’s entirety to include weapons, settings, characters, and a story which were removed, or hadn’t yet been realized, from the shipped game. Although it’s an incredibly ambitious project, I’d formed, led, and worked alongside the original team by setting-up a discussion board to help communicate tasks. After ‘completing’ high-school and releasing a build of Missing Information in 2008, I’d said goodbye to the team and began working in Los Angeles, California at Infinity Ward. Having been passed on to a more-than-capable team (and probably the world’s biggest Half-Life fans), the Missing Information mod continues to charge onward in full development; they’d recently been accepted onto Steam Greenlight! My responsibilities on the project varied between everything from leadership to all sorts of content creation (level design, modelling, animating, 2D art, and even choreography in the game’s scripted sequences).

Gwanghwamun

Released June 2007

Gwanghwamun, or simply de_koreangate, is a Counter-Strike: Source level which places players in a Korean cityscape. Chock-full of custom materials and models, it was inspired by the beautifully colorful yet rectangularly-footprinted cultural architecture of my childhood home in Seoul, Korea and, if I can find the source files, would love to port to CS:GO.

entmap_tc_v3

Released August 2004

Sort of like LEGO, Entmod is a Half-Life .dll add-on which gives players the ability to manipulate objects within the world. By giving players a weapon similar to HL2’s Gravity Gun, players could move, copy, and rotate world entities to build new things. This level was created to provide Entmod players with a ton of objects to play with in a large, open landscape to build on. This is listed in my portfolio to showcase the unique purpose of a level.

Preperation Y

Released January 2002

Actually created by my brother Alex for Half-Life’s Sven Co-op mod, I’d received a credit in Preperation Y by lending a helping hand. Not to be confused with the properly-spelled Preparation H hygiene cream, this set of three levels is the sequel to Preperation X and is now included in the official Sven Co-op Classic Map Pack & Sven Co-op 2.0B map-packs.

Everest

Released September 2001

Everest’s listed on my portfolio page for one reason: nostalgia. Created in 2001, this was my first-ever multi-player level and was created for Half-Life’s Snow War mod. Players would wage war with snowballs in a TDM-like gamemode by standing on snowy textures to gather ammo. Despite missing nearly ever texture, the overview screenshot could still believably pass as snow-covered mountain top.