Jump to content
  • Advertisement

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

DaFaction

Noob Level Designer?

This topic is 5730 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Advertisement
Level design is a skill that takes a lot of practice, infact, practive is prolly the most important aspect of level design, experiment with what works, and what doesn''t. And observe other games and see what works and what doesn''t in other games. Not only what doesn''t work, but mistakes, like places where a person can jump into a place they weren''t ''spose to go, etc.

Programming: Depends on the game, but the general rule is, you should be able to understand basic concepts. Its important to understand limitations, and why those limitations exist, because it will help you overcome them.

Art: Art is very important in level design, because you are an artist and an architect. Art is prolly the second most useful skill, excluding some 2d genres. You must be able to place what you are thinking onto paper.

Physics: Not really, you''ll have to know how far the character can jump, and how far it takes for him to fall to his death. Some really basic physics is important, but not really needed. You should be able to gleem most of this from the design document.

Humm, thats about it, try to do some mods. Doom is rather easy to mod, but allows you to do some cool things. Many NES games have level editors, including Zelda I, Super Mario 3, Metroid. It maybe interesting to create a new level or two with classic games such as these.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Level design is the hardest field. You need to know EVERYTHING! You first should learn programming. This way, you can write scripts to make advance events & triigers, and help the AI. You should then learn how to use some level designer. Start out with the basics, with an in-game editor, then try something hard like QE Radiant. Next, learn art. You need this to make level layouts in some modeling program, and assist the artists. Get some cheap modeler like Milkshape 3D, and try building levels and such. If you haven''t gone to college yet, you should learn Computer Sciences, or go to a game school. However, designer is to big. There are several types:
- UI Designer: Designs the user interface the players see in the game. This includes menus, and the in-game display.
-World Builders/Level Designers: Build the levels that the player is in. Responsible for the terrain.
-Lead Level Designer: Leads the level design team.
-Game Designer: Writes design documents and the back story, and places monsters in the levels world builders create.
-Lead Game Designer: Puts important characters in levels, oversees all lower developers, and also supervises playtesters/QA people.
-Director of Design: Oversees ALL design. Responsible for all design content.
This should help you.

A Hobo King

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I started with Quake level design, moving on to Quake2, Half-Life, and Unreal Tournament. If you''ve played Action Quake2 or Action Half-Life, you''ve probably played one of my maps.

I''m assuming here that you''re referring to 3D level design.

In my opinion, you need to have a grasp of a whole lot of areas, many of them nearly specific to level design. Most of them will come to you in time.
  • Flow. Players move around levels - you have to control how. Camping, item placement, intuition, speed, ambush points... for this you have to be a capable player.


  • Architecture. If your levels aren''t at least bearable to look at, people won''t like them. This breaks down:
  • efficiency: less important these days, but still - make a nice looking level, but keep the poly counts down.

  • flow (again): keep the architecture out of the way of the player.

  • realism: I''ve seen too many silly levels in my time running Map Depots. It doesn''t have to be real-life, just consistent and believable.

  • Art. If you can''t texture, learn or work with what''s available. The ability to sketch what you want will help, but some mappers work better by sketching in-editor, with rough geometry.


  • It''s also important to have a grasp of how the game''s AI works (bot node placement for example), weapon balance (where to place weapons and ammunition), how the renderer works (what impact effects, poly counts etc. have on performance), and what the physics of the engine will do (what heights players can fall without injury, for example). Of course, these are roughly game-dependent, and you don''t need prior knowledge. Tutorials will help.

    I don''t think that programming is particularly important for level design on its own - it can help, but it''s not required. I learnt to program after I stopped mapping. It will give you a headstart with scripting, but you don''t need a lot of skill.
    I agree with dede that it helps to know the limitations of the engine, but you don''t really need to program to do that.

    As I always used to tell aspiring mappers - keep trying. Make a whole level, then bin it. Then make another, this time looking at it to see where it''s inadequate. Maybe let someone see this one, to tell you what''s wrong.
    After some practice, you''ll start to see how to do things right - how to make the level have the effect you intended, and make players happy.

    But in general, there''s nothing that you can''t learn by looking at other levels, working with an editor, and a bit of thought and practice. Jump in and start making some levels for a commercial FPS. Half-Life is well-established; Quake3 has a lot of community support. UnrealEd is also good, and a little more user-friendly than Radiant.

    RUST is a good starting point.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    I''ve made a couple Counter-Strike maps, and I have friends who have made some for other 3D games - and they have NO programming experience. Basically it takes practice making maps and seeing how they play to make better maps in the future. Art is the key skill behind most maps - mainly creating and using textures so they look great, and having a level design that looks realistic (if that''s what you''re aiming for) and plays well. There are more difficult aspects to mapping that you eventually get to through tutorials online but aren''t required to make a decent map - hint brushes come to mind. Basically you need to know certain units (height of players, how far they can jump, how high they can jump, etc.) which are usually found in tutorials on how to make maps for that game. It''s also a good idea to learn some basics about the game engine so you know what limit of drawn polygons at any one time you should aim to keep your map under. The best advice I can give you is to read tutorials on how to make maps with a particular program for a particular game. Google is your friend.

    You don''t need to be a programmer or physicist to make maps, or even a good artist with drawing. It''s helpful to be good at making textures using a paint program, but there''s plenty of good free textures available. Get out some graph paper and plan your map first - then create it.

    (silencer)

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    thanks for the replies, those designer sections, UI, Level, and such make it easier for me to understand what i should concentrate on. What kind of programs that are fairly cheap can you use to practice on using for either 3D or even 2D? Other than Level mods as you guys mentioned

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    I used Worldcraft for Counter-Strike.. Radiant is frequently used for Quake.. just pick one that you can find tutorials on and you can test with a game you own.

    Do a google search for them to find download links.

    (silencer)

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    well right now i don''t have a great PC, just a 200mhz Pentium so i guess i am out of luck for right now then, any places to read up on level design?

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    • Advertisement
    ×

    Important Information

    By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

    GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

    Sign me up!