My level design horror

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by shrug, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. shrug

    shrug
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd like to create levels for my game (a jump n run game) but it feels really bad doing it. Most of the time I don't know how to decide for anything. What's a good mood for designing levels? Can it be my personal problems that hold me back from level design art? Do I have to play more games?

    I've read (parts of) a book about level design and it was like reading Martin Fowlers "Refactoring", there were really few things that were new to me, because all ideas presented seem to result creative thinking, different views and applying philosophy to levels. The usual stuff. I still couldn't find out what I was missing.

    Honestly I believe I need something like a drug, a state of mind or much more fun creating levels. I just hate it. Any advice?
     
  2. Artinum

    Artinum
    Expand Collapse
    Original Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    536
    Likes Received:
    0
    The problem with creativity is that you can't be taught it. Following someone else's instructions rather defeats the object! All I can really offer are a few suggestions to bear in mind:
    1. Each level should bring a new concept into the game. No-one wants to play the same level over and over - so the first one should be very simple, and the later ones should get steadily more difficult. I have more than once known a game to have a flat course with no obstacles as the first section!
    2. Every level is, in effect, a simple challenge - get from point A to point B. Start with a basic route that does this. Then you add obstacles (and, in later levels, wrong turns).
    3. You may simply hate level design. That's okay. I hate working in sales and talking on telephones. Force yourself into doing some examples for a demo and find someone who likes level design. They'll need the first ones from you to show how everything works and you'll need to playtest the levels they produce.

    Remember - level design doesn't have to be perfect. Just throw something together and sand down the rough edges when you get there.
     
  3. jcottier

    jcottier
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,386
    Likes Received:
    0
    Play more games similar to your one and learn. Keep playing/testing your levels and improve them little by little.

    JC
     
  4. lennard

    lennard
    Expand Collapse
    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,348
    Likes Received:
    4
    Good advice above. My question is, if you are creating something that the world has plenty of and you are not enjoying it... are you spending your time working on the right thing?
     
  5. shrug

    shrug
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm disliking other things even more. My "normalized" opinion would be, that I love creating the game. But I'm bad at saying "I love ...". I know how it is meant, but such words feel strange to me.
    What I also wanted to say: thanks a lot for your help!! It's great to get help here. I'm btw not a fan of the stackoverflow/QA type of communication where you ideally say no single word about your feelings and unfinished thoughts. Great to have people here answering so honestly and non-technically, and still correctly of course.
     
  6. Spore Man

    Spore Man
    Expand Collapse
    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Messages:
    843
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, A. Can you visualize running through the level in your head? If not, this isn't for you. You have to play it in your mind and translate that to "real" level.
    and B. I like to follow the philosophy of introducing one new feature in each level and start the level design in a way that "teaches" the player how that feature works; Like, instead of a pop up with text explaining something, you set up the level in a way that the player encounters that new feature and will see/know how it works.
     

Share This Page