Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
GTspeed

Level Design

This topic is 4135 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

How do you design your levels? Do you use pen and paper, whiteboards, computer programs (and if so which ones)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Usually, I use my brain, my insight, some inspiration, etc... :P

Nah, I often make sketches on paper, as it allows me to remember my idea's easier and to vizualize things better, without costing much time. When actually creating a level, I usually do a few test maps first, to get a feeling for the style and theme, and often some layout/gameplay testmaps as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you're looking for ideas, check this page:
http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20050607/steingraber_01.shtml

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I use pen and graph paper (never use notebook paper, you lose scale too easily). I have time at school to draw so I often sketch out towns and regional places along with buildings and indoor areas. Too busy programming to worry about putting my designs on the computer just yet. My game is 2d so it works.

Are you making 3d maps?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I normally start with a rough sketch on a whiteboard (yes, I have my own small whiteboard) because it's easily changable and let's me quickly get the general idea out.

I'll then normally move onto a pen&paper prototype, which often involves actually having cutout pieces I can move around within the outlines I've drawn, etc. I agree with the above, graph paper or something with a scale grid (or non-square pattern if appropriate) is normally better than plain paper for the main layout. I actually have a lot of reusable cutouts (generic obstactles, "health packs", etc) ready to go so I don't have to make too many custom pieces to try laying out an idea on paper.


Try to consider what goals you're trying to set up, how play will flow through the level, what players might try to do, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm wondering how the big league ppl create large expansive height map terrains like in WoW and other 3D MMO's do they make it all in one giant image? or is it made it tiles? How do they get the tiles to fit together? It baffles me...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When designing levels, I will start out with a conceptual diagram. This diagram is not about the actual layout of the level, but it is supposed to document the way the level is to be played.

How I do this is I first list important areas in the level (not, this will not be all the areas, just the important ones). These areas would be, Goal areas (flag rooms in a Capture the Falg map, etc), Strategically valuable areas, Weapon Caches, etc.

Next, I start writting these areas on a white board (or a piece of paper or vector drawing program), and drawing a box around each one. The exact positioning is not important as this is not a diagram of their positions.

Next, I draw a line from one box to another to indicate that a player can move directly from one location to the other. I also use different colours for other types of connections between location (like being able to shoot, but not move between the locations or one way passages).

This kind of diagram is important as it will allow you to understand better how the different locations in a level will direct the flow of gameplay. It also allows you to see which locations are strategically important as certain locations might proved bottle necks (choke points) that will allow a smaller players to defend against larger groups of opponents and so forth.

Also, even though it is not meant to indicate the "physical" layout of the levle, it can be a good starting point to develop the "physical" layout.

You can also use this hyrachically by having a top level diagram that only lists a general out line, and then lower level diagrams are for each individual area.

Large levels can get very complex and diagrams like this will help you to understand the level better and it means that you don't have to keep the whole thing in your head (wher you might forget tbits and so forth).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

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

Participate in the game development conversation and more when you create an account on GameDev.net!

Sign me up!