Level Design Process*

Oct 29, 2010

Knowing how to use a paint brush is different than knowing what to do with it. The previous article was about how to use a level design tool, which is prerequisite to what this entry aims to cover: what to do with it.

Steps in the Process

Although every game’s level/scenario design is unique, there is a common series of steps that, when followed, are likely to produce better results while wasting less content. Without a sound process, it’s all too easy for a team to work themselves into a corner, having to decide between throwing out completed programming/art work because the level they were made for stinks – or to have a designer floundering in poorly defined and inconsistent conceptual space from having not made the right choices prior to fiddling with the level editor.

I used these steps to make overhead 3D levels in Shotgun Debugger, I adapted a version of this process when developing levels on the Boom Blox team, and it’s the same approach that I am now applying as part of the redesign for Vision by Proxy (that link goes to the original version of the game, the redesign is still behind closed doors [2014 update: the remake, Vision by Proxy Second Edition is done and has now played more than 6.8 million times. After that we grew the team and developed a sequel, Ms. Vision by Proxy]).

The steps… (continued in ebook)

*This entry is now in the Videogame Developer’s Strategy Guide, available through membership in Gamkedo Club.



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