The creation and layout of the individual rooms/stages/sections in which the game takes place in.

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117
votes
10answers
16k views

How can I create borders in an open-world game that don't feel artificial?

When creating open-world maps, a big issue to take into consideration is how "borders" of sorts are implemented. Obviously, in an open-world game, there shouldn't be invisible-wall borders, as it ...
58
votes
19answers
12k views

Level Design Tips [closed]

What are some pitfalls or pieces of good advice when designing levels or maps for a (presumeably 3D but not necessarily) game?
34
votes
4answers
11k views

Why don't we use octogonal maps instead of hexagonal maps?

I understand the advantage of hexagonal tiles over square ones. But why aren't octagons used instead? I would think they would provide better, more natural movement in eight directions. I was ...
34
votes
13answers
6k views

How can I make backtracking interesting?

When a player navigates a space for the first time, it is very interesting: the content is new, the dangers are unknown, paths need to be found. However, various situations force the player to ...
33
votes
1answer
1k views

How to deal with “level design creep?”

Level Design Creep is what I've started to call what happens when you build a series of levels and notice that every level is a little bit better looking or designed than the last, or when working ...
30
votes
2answers
3k views

Random/Procedural vs. Previously Made Level Generation

What the advantages/disadvantages of using random/procedural generation vs. pre-made levels? There seems to be few that I can think of, other than the fact that items may be a problem to distribute ...
27
votes
6answers
8k views

What 3D level development tools are available to indie developers? [closed]

People who build in Unity or UDK have immediate access to a 3D level editor. People who build their games in XNA or from scratch have no such thing. I'm looking for 3D level development tools ...
22
votes
3answers
2k views

Making walls in tile-based games: what am I missing?

After spending time today to jot down some notes regarding the implementation of walls into my tile-based game, I've suddenly realized it's not going to be as simple as I imagined before. While the ...
20
votes
18answers
2k views

How can I make the “Strength” attribute more attractive to Wizard/Caster classes in a RPG game? [closed]

I have a game where, among many attributes, is Strength and Constitution. In Ultima Online, Strength was used for hit points. However, I would like to avoid this- as Hit Points are so incredibly ...
20
votes
5answers
927 views

Level Design, Implying a path to the player

I am looking for articles on level design and particularly for techniques to imply a direction the player to go in, instead of another. Like which game mechanics can be used, how graphics, sound, ...
19
votes
6answers
8k views

Enemy Spawning method in a Top-Down Shooter

I'm working on a top-down shooter akin to DoDonPachi, Ikaruga, etc. The camera movement through the world is handled automatically with the player able to move inside of the camera's visible region. ...
18
votes
6answers
5k views

What are some techniques for designing fun, challenging Mario-style platformer levels?

I have everything I need to make a Mario type game. I just have no idea how to design the levels to make it challenging or fun. Any tips? The only way to kill enemies is by jumping on them, so I ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a definitive reference on Pinball playfield design?

I'm looking at designing tables for Future Pinball but I'm not sure where to start as I've little background in game design per se. I've played scores of pinball tables over the years so I've a fairly ...
14
votes
6answers
3k views

Creating a seamlessly looping 2D multiplayer level?

A discussion came up recently about how to create a 2D side-scrolling multiplayer game that can have an looping level design (Think of Starbound and how their worlds are looping). I thought the ...
14
votes
3answers
874 views

Is there a rule of thumb to scale up the environment by 33%?

I was reading an article on Gamasutra called A Rational Approach to Racing Game Track Design, and I found the following: A commonly acknowledged rule for third person games is that the ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Recommended RPG game that can be used to learn game Modding? [closed]

I would like to learn game development via game modding. RPG/MMORPG is one of my favorite genres. Could someone recommend me a good and recent ( I would like to play the game as well) game to learn ...
13
votes
2answers
8k views

Heightmap, Voxel, Polygon (geometry) terrains

In relation to Heightmap, Voxel and Polygon (geometry) terrains: What are the main differences between all these three? Can you form a "smooth" terrain with Voxels, I mean, can you for example get a ...
12
votes
5answers
4k views

2D Level design/editing/saving questions [closed]

I thought about making a simple 2D Sidescroller game like SuperMario. Then i wondered about how to save, load or create the levels for the game. The first thing i thought of was drawing a simple ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Programming a climbing system like tomb raider

I was wondering if anyone knew or had knowledge of how to program a climbing system like the one found in tomb raider/uncharted. I had thought of just having bounding boxes at all the climbable ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I randomly generate 2D tile-based side-scroller terrain?

I want to randomly generate a map for a 2D sidescroller game using the following tileset: I have found a few great articles on the bitmasking process, for example: ...
11
votes
4answers
6k views

What good books are there on level design?

I am trying to learn a bit of level design. The type of game I am most interested is 2D puzzle games similar to Cut The Rope for iPad. However, literature on general level-design for different genres ...
10
votes
4answers
8k views

Drawing large 2D sidescroller level terrain

I'm a relatively good programmer but now that it comes to add some basic levels to my 2D game I'm kinda stuck. What I want to do: An acceptable, large (8000 * 1000 pixels) "green hills" test level ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Properties of good RTS level design? [closed]

I saw the general level design question but not much of it applies to building good solid levels for RTS games. Where can i find information on rules and mechanics of RTS level design?
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Procedural terrains in 3D: what has been done ? Are there common algo and/or theories about it? [closed]

Besides programming, modeling an environment takes a great deal of time. I don't know about the work time involved, for example, in a WoW dungeon level, or other beautiful city-like, future ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

Level creation of Rayman Origins type game?

Does anyone know the technique they used to create their levels (using rayman origin as an example)? I'm strictly speaking of the floors and walls. Doesn't look like tiled based. What is the workflow ...
9
votes
3answers
734 views

Bejewelled Next Best jewel selection

Is there a game design technique I can use so that I completely remove 'No more moves left' situations. ie. the game should contain no impossible scenarios. As far as I've guess It all depends on ...
8
votes
4answers
358 views

Level design community help?

I'm developing a 2D physics platformer game, with commercial purposes. Almost everything is finished: An original game concept The whole 2D self-written game engine A level interpreter to read xml ...
8
votes
4answers
966 views

Which is better, one big level model or multiple smaller level models?

I am writing a game in XNA 4 and I want to have something like a corridor. Do you think that is better to use one big and solid model, or to use multiple small parts (window, stairs, door...)?
8
votes
1answer
3k views

What level editor is Phil Fish using in Indie Game: The Movie?

Does anyone know what program Phil Fish is using to edit models of levels? Or is it it something he built himself? I'm new to game development and was looking for something to design levels with ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I choose the scaling factor of a 3D game world?

I am making a 3D tank game prototype with some physics simulation, am using C++. One of the decisions I need to make is the scale of the game world in relation to reality. For example, I could ...
8
votes
6answers
872 views

How can I store all my level data in a single file instead of spread out over many files?

I am currently generating my level data, and saving to disk to ensure that any modifications done to the level are saved. I am storing "chunks" of 2048x2048 pixels into a file. Whenever the player ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

How to create an endless scrolling background?

I need to add a scrolling background to a my game, the image is 512x512px. It's for a car game with two way traffic and I want to be able to cross over to the opposite side and drive against the ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Random generation of interesting puzzle levels?

I'm making a Sokoban-like game i.e. there's a grid that has some crates on it you can push and you have to get the crates on crosses to win the level (although I'm going to add some extra elements to ...
8
votes
3answers
398 views

How do I go about hiring Level Designers from the Modding community?

The company I'm working for is growing fast and there's been talk of trying to hire level designers from the modding community. My question is simply, where would be good places to look for this, and ...
8
votes
2answers
891 views

Architects into videogames

I'm an architecture student in my last year. I've always been interested in videogames design. I use 3d Max and Photoshop on a daily basis, and I was thinking about aiming for a career in videogames, ...
7
votes
2answers
437 views

When should I start designing levels? [closed]

I'm working on a puzzle game. I thought of a core mechanic, implemented it, tuned it and now I have something I'm happy with. I'd really like to build a few levels before I work on stuff like UI and ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Some theory questions about classic endless arcade games

I had read in the book "A theory of fun for game design" that once the player realizes that he cannot overpower the computer in anyway (or) the AI is unbeatable (badly designed/coded) he will leave ...
7
votes
4answers
637 views

Recursive dungeon maps as represented by an elastic 2d array

I came up with a method for recursively generating simple dungeon maps by starting with one room and recursively connecting new adjacent rooms randomly to it. Maps are represented as two dimensional ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Question about top down/side scrolling!

I know that its just the background that scrolls and the player pretty much stays centered. What I am wondering what technique is more correct when I am implementing a large side scrolling map (I am ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Create Levels using blender

I am creating a game and I have a custom level format for levels in my game. I wanted to know if it is possible to create levels for that kinda format in Blender. My format is XML based and just ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the best way to render a 2d game map?

I know efficiency is key in game programming and I've had some experiences with rendering a "map" earlier but probably not in the best of ways. For a 2D TopDown game: (simply render the ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Voxel heightmap terrain editor

I've recently been experimenting with a simple Voxel-based 3d engine (think Minecraft) which uses heightmaps to define terrain in the following format: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heightmap Does ...
6
votes
1answer
301 views

What are some ways I can create random but consistent levels with an increase in difficulty

So I am relatively new to gaming, however, I am working on a breakout style game and I am not sure how to generate levels. In theory I would like some approach that will let me generate tons of levels ...
6
votes
1answer
452 views

How should I approach architecting a data-driven shoot-em-up?

I'm venturing into Mobile/Tablet based development coming from the world of Web Applications. I want to write a game similar to 1942/43 video game from the 80's: ...similar in the sense that I have ...
6
votes
1answer
82 views

What are some standard stair dimensions for good level navigation?

I am trying to establish some scale standards for a level. I have been following this guide: http://www.worldofleveldesign.com/categories/ue4/ue4-guide-to-scale-dimensions.php So far I have walls ...
5
votes
4answers
743 views

Can I use a genetic algorithm for balancing character builds?

I'm starting to build a online PVP (duel like, one-on-one) game, where there is leveling, skill points, special attacks and all the common stuff. Since I have never done anything like this, I'm still ...
5
votes
2answers
128 views

How irregularly shaped rooms should be placed in a dungeon

I have made a procedurally generated dungeon that places every room successfully so it is accessible via at least one other room. A 'successfully' placed room is a room who's wall cells are right net ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Height Map vs 3D Model Mesh

I'm currently working on a 3D PC game (written in C++ and DirectX 9.0) and I'm trying to find the best way to store level data in the memory. The game's action takes place under the ground, so ...
5
votes
3answers
671 views

Game/Level Design Career translations in other fields

Although I would love to get a job in the gaming industry I can't help but feel I should have a backup plan. What I wanted to ask is game/level design a marketable skill that translates to other ...
5
votes
1answer
722 views

Typical Method Of Building Puzzle Levels

I am designing a puzzle game for the iphone and was wondering as most puzzle games consist of the player progressing through multiple levels. You see for example Angry Birds has over 100 levels. Once ...