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 the basis of the game is made, how do developers typically go about building their levels?

Do they generally build them from scratch each one more or less, or work of their own template or have some other method which they use to tailor these levels?

I imagine building so many levels is a long process, certainly if building each one individually. Do they do this, or have a method which speeds it up once they have their basis?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Doing each by hand would be a tiresome process...that's why you hire unpaid interns if you wanted each to be hand-generated ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – erik
    Commented Jan 11, 2011 at 11:58

1 Answer 1


For the Pirate Poppers puzzle mode, I generated the levels randomly based on some parameters related to difficulty.

Difficulty is always difficult to measure objectively, but in this case there were some variables that were good indicators (chain length, number of different colors, nesting level of the combos) so I was able to generate pretty good puzzles quickly, with a sensible difficulty progression.

I did manually test every one of them afterwards to make sure they were winnable (some of them weren't, right after generation, due to other variables not included in the generator, such as chain position and path shape), tweaked some of them and re-generated others that were too difficult.

The first levels were hand made, though, to make sure they were simple enough and worked as a tutorial of sorts.

In summary, you can batch-generate tons of levels and manually pick and tweak the subset you finally include in the game.


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