Level design is one of the most challenging aspect of game development; many could say this is one of the components of game development where there isn’t really a right and wrong way to approach it.
What I’ve learned by going through the process is that there are certain fundamentals to adhere to. For example here’s a list of areas I personally adhere to when designing a level.
- Observation. If I feel like I can’t really come up with ideas sitting in front of my computer; I mainly go out and observe an environment; for our game I mainly go to the factories close to my house and see how they work; I take a closer look at the architecture, weather at that point in time, and surroundings.
- Asking a lot of questions. If you think you can’t come up with any other fun levels or they currently do not make much sense, ask yourself questions and put yourself in the shoes of your hero, even on the shoes of your enemies. Ask questions such as: What am I doing here? What would happen if I could jump higher? Can I fly? Can I slide? Is the environment underground or outdoors? Etc… etc…
- Grab a pencil and piece of paper. Can’t count how many times I began in the level editor; designing levels before I even knew what I was going to create. This task can save you A LOT of time.
- Play test your levels. I always come up with great ideas while playing my levels, I tried to experiment as much as I can with my level and always come up with something new; the new can be an environment change, or even a new mechanic made by a mistake I made. Level Design is a complex process, but the key is to keep your levels simple, when I say simple I don’t mean boring whatsoever but get your levels working before creating a level like the ones in Halo or GTA.
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