Hello, gamedev. I love to make and play games, especially 2D. This I had from the time of Dendy & Sega. I remember how I admired the aesthetics of games, and beautiful backgrounds rear. I always pay attention to it and can look at the design of the first level without pressing any keys. Well, I would like today to talk a little bit about the level design. My name is Flatingo and I am a Ukrainian game developer.
1. Color. The first thing you need to build your level is determined in a range of colours. I advise you to choose, initially, 3-5 gradation of similar colors, but not bright and not poisonous. If it's winter level, for example, choose white (snow), blue (sky), grey (stones, etc.), dark green (spruce). Always take into account the color of the main character, that he did not mix with level.
2. Placement. Initially, think about the level. Don't make it monotonous and very short. Monotonous and flat platforms will tire the player. You must determine the time when the player will become bored and not interested in playing on it. It is still in the book, Jesse Schell mentioned that the player needs is in the flow of pleasure and interest, without leaving it. On one side of flow is boredom level and monotonous, and on the other hatred because of the complexity, so the player must be in the middle of a stream.
3. Details. When you choose a color for the level, you need to place game objects, that they would not recur and it is interesting to consider. I'm talking about static objects, for example: rocks, grass, logs, machines, buildings, etc. Your city will not be unique if it will have the same buildings and a few lanterns. Details your level. Don't forget about the rear and front backgrounds. I personally use 3 background and blurred foreground. If you find it difficult to come up with a level, take art and get inspired by them. If you want to create a fantasy world and you don't know how to fill it due to lack of imagination, then take a couple of examples that you were inspired by and try to combine them. People can't come up with a new that's never seen. The invention is a merger of two or more ideas. I once randomly met in a pub with a guy, we discussed the design and he said, "a Hammer is not something new and unique. It is a mixture of stick and stone."
4. Details. Topping your level of detail and animation in addition to static objects. Nice to look at, as the player is on the field, and somewhere far away working mill, slowly floating clouds in the sky the birds fly. It's beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. Music and sounds - about 60% of the aesthetics and enjoyment of the game. You can enjoy the sunrise in the game, but music... music is something that you'll remember and that will constantly remind you about it (a hallmark of the game). Remember the song in the game Robocop 3 from the main menu?
Well, probably I will finish. Just wanted to share with you something from my experience. If you do that enough, then at the bottom you will see videos from my channel as I create my design in 2D level for my game in Unity 5. Good luck with future projects. Chao.