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Intro to Level Design


Jul 30, 2022
Step 1: Understanding Constraints
Step 2: Brainstorming and Structure
Step 3: Bubble Diagrams
Step 4: Rough Maps
Step 5: Finishing the Design

When I'm designing a level, I like to think in terms of different "areas" within the level. That makes it easier to break my work down into manageable chunks. "Areas" is a loose term for any chunk of the level, of any arbitrary size, shape, or location. The only real criterion for whether something is an area or not is that it must help you work faster to think of it that way. If thinking that way makes things more difficult, don't worry about it.

For our example, I want players to learn about new enemies in isolation and then combine the enemies together over the course of the level, so everything gets more complex. This is good
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To do that well, I usually like to have at least seven areas to work with. (It's vastly beyond the scope of this article to explain why, but
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to see some of the pacing benefits it brings). When I need a final area for something, like a room for a cutscene where you rescue the VIP, I usually add an extra area. For this example, that means 8 areas.

For each area, I then assign some basic ideas or requirements, so that I have a short list that tells me the structure of my level.

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