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October 20, 2017
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Travis Hoffstetter's Blog   Expert Blogs


I am a Lead Gameplay Designer at Visceral Games in the San Francisco Bay Area.  I have shipped "Battlefield Hardline", "Tomb Raider", “Transformers: War for Cybertron” and “The Bourne Conspiracy”.  I have a Masters in Interactive Technology with a Level Design Specialization from The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Saint Louis University.

I like to surf, eat breakfast burritos and make funny noises with my son.


Expert Blogs

Posted by Travis Hoffstetter on Thu, 07 Jan 2016 02:32:00 EST in Design, Console/PC
Traversal level design can be a tricky layout style to wrap your head around. These are the layout and gameplay principals I have learned to make a fun traversal level.

Posted by Travis Hoffstetter on Mon, 27 May 2013 05:51:00 EDT in Design
Hallways are a necessary evil in video games and more specifically level design. However, if done correctly, hallways can go from being a bland part of your level to one of the highlights.

Posted by Travis Hoffstetter on Sun, 10 Feb 2013 08:55:00 EST in Design
Pacing and sequencing is an art, based on science. The following explores how artistic decisions based on scientific process pave the way to making awesome combat encounters.

Posted by Travis Hoffstetter on Wed, 09 Jan 2013 02:50:00 EST in Design
As a level designer I can feel when spawn animations in a combat encounter are an afterthought or have been rushed. Here is a process for creating a set of quality AI spawns that make the AI look smart before they interact with the player.

Travis Hoffstetter's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 01/07/2016 - 02:32]

Good question. I do not ...

Good question. I do not mean open format, i mean don 't leave sections of your level where the ai cannot attack you unless for an explicit narrative purpose. Like in my screenshot, its just a small raised section. If the player got up there with only shield guys alive, ...

Comment In: [Blog - 02/20/2015 - 01:01]

I like the gamasutra blogs ...

I like the gamasutra blogs because it s such a great place for ideas to get our here. I think this piece has a polarizing effect on all us game school peeps because it such an investment both time and money wise. As the author states, you get out of ...

Comment In: [Blog - 05/27/2013 - 05:51]

Very true. Planning ahead and ...

Very true. Planning ahead and looking out for streaming limitations when cleaning up hallways are two great tips.

Comment In: [Blog - 05/17/2013 - 12:06]

Great article David ...

Great article David

Comment In: [Blog - 04/30/2013 - 05:01]

Great read I can 't ...

Great read I can 't count the number of times I 've heard people talking about going indie, especially during crunch.

Comment In: [Blog - 02/10/2013 - 08:55]

Do you mean handicaps on ...

Do you mean handicaps on the enemies You could, but you run the risk of having AI behave inconsistently game wide which can confuse the player. I have seen this done in the past and we always end up ripping that scripting out. r n r nFlow is important because ...