Hi there, Gamers and Game Makers!
This week, I'll be breaking down some very quick but useful tips for your level design work. Ok let's jump right in!
Tip 1:Know your level
It's important to not just jump right into your editor placing objects any old place. You should always start out with your level design on paper. Think about the gameplay that takes place in this level and how the environment will influence that gameplay and vice versa.
Sketch out rough outlines of your level and make notes of key points in the level and consider things such as how you'll guide the player the way you want them to go. Have as much information about your level and what you want/need from it before you start building it.
Tip 2: It's only logical
When you know what you need in your level from a gameplay point of view and are ready to start building it,it's important to also think about the logic of your level. When it comes to games we tend to let a few things slide under the reasoning of "Video game logic" but at the same time you should strive to have your level make sense. Do the things in your level make sense? If you have a level set in a hospital and in the operating room I would expect to see an operating table but if I see a pool table or jukebox, I'll start to question to question the logic and the immersion will be broken. Always aim to have your level feel like a real logical place. Even in a fantasy game, we have expectations of what we want to see in an area.
Tip 3: Make it feel real
We've all played games where the level just felt like a placeholder for the gameplay that's taking place in it and then we've played games where the level felt not just like it was a real place with a story of it's own but that it may even hold some secrets if you poked around. I always feel like a games world should tell a story of it's own and when you're a level designer then that's exactly what you're doing. You want to have the level feel like a real place with it's own history that came before the player and the current events of the game. Make your level tell a story of its own and you'll have a more realistic and better level.
Tip 4: Know your tools
It's one thing to have your level on paper but when it comes to building it make sure you take the time to fully learn your tools. The better you understand your level design editor, the better levels you'll build. Get to know how your lighting works, your LODs, particals and so on.
Tip 5: Break the rules!
While there are many rules and tips you should follow when it comes to level design,sometimes breaking the rules and trying new things can lead to some truly new and fantastic game levels. Don't be afraid to experiment with your levels and think of new gameplay that you might create through new and interesting levels. Most importantly, have fun with it.
Well, that's it for this week. As always I hope this has been of some help. Feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch with me if you have any questions or suggestions for a topic you'd like me to cover.
Until next time!