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Level Design: Inside Out

Updated: Feb 8



About


The objective of this blog is to gather less ordinarily tracked down information from our experience by creating our first game as well as from the other levels we have designed earlier.








This blog will include the entire level design process which will cover,

  • Planning and Concept

  • Blockout

  • Guiding the player

  • Pacing


  1. Planning and Concept

Great preparation toward the start and throughout the task can save both you and your group a ton of migraine. In this part we will go over certain tips that can assist with making the level creation process go all the more easily. As you have an overall thought of how you need to manage the level, you have of the scale down and you're somewhat more acquainted with the fundamental mechanics of the game it's an ideal opportunity to begin making our level.


  • Create a flowchart of the major events



Fundamentally, consider every one of the rooms/regions in your

level, place them into 'flow' and interface them in the manner they'll be associated in the level. The objective here is to get a sense of what regions your level will have, how they associate furthermore the way that the player will move through the level.





  • Draw a Rough map covering your entire level

The thought is to make a more itemized rendition of the flow chart that gives a more precise picture of how the whole level will look and interface. Arranged battle experiences, platforming areas, and so forth ought to be sorted through a little and you ought to demonstrate generally the number of enemies and such each room will have.


  • Deciding the Level Flow

Level flow is the simplistic view of level map as a whole that indicates the events and flow of the level.

i) Linear

  • Completely linear approach.

  • Straight forward path.

  • One path leads into another area and so on.

  • Player don’t have freedom to explore but only have to follow the dominant.



ii) Forked

  • Non-linear approach.

  • Player have freedom to choose any path.

  • Player can decide how to reach to the final objective.




iii) Spiderweb

  • Basically any Open World game.

  • Player can choose any way they want to go.

  • Player have full autonomy of the way they want to play the game.

  • Player can explore other world elements first rather than just completing missions.










2. Blockout


Blockout process is the basic process starts with putting building blocks to your level. Blockout process provides the major key physical elements of the scene as well as the basic navigation for the Main Character as well as the AIs.

So since you've begun Blockout your level, the initial step is simply place out

any of the bigger more unbending surfaces and primary calculation your level has. This implies any structures, caves, mountains, pits, and so on and not things like vehicles, tables, chairs or other non-unbending items (regularly called "props").




As the Blockout process gets completed, the Level artists hops in and starts applying the textures over the greyscale objects.



3. Guiding the Player

Guiding is the point at which you leave a path of something (typically pickups or data) that drives the player in the correct course or towards mysteries. One approach to doing it is to for instance put pickups along a way to all the more straightforwardly guide players to utilize said way or utilize a pickup (or a few) at significant places.


Another way is to leave hints in the world and allow players to accomplish some analyst work.

An illustration of this could be that you leave a note that depicts how the gourmet expert took the key to a locked safe. The player would then beginning examining the locker and look for ways to interact with it.






Path to choose

You can just outwardly impart to the player that one way is to a greater degree a primary way and another might prompt discretionary substance, an alternate way, another region, and so on by changing the size and 'topic' of said paths.

As depicted in the image above, the side path is more narrow than the main path, which can also help make these pretty much identical (visually, they have no actual markings to separate them) paths look more distinct.


4. Pacing


Whenever you plan your level it's critical to adjust pacing, consistency and that your level

seems OK. For instance, assuming there's consistently a straight way towards your objective that rapidly becomes dreary and exhausting, however assuming players need to go through confounding labyrinth like levels they can undoubtedly end up being lost and confounded.

Assuming a level comprises of relentless extraordinary battle for an hour it can undoubtedly become overpowering, tedious or in any event, exhausting.

As such it's a good idea to plan and watch out for the levels pacing beginning to end,

utilizing different instruments and deceives to guarantee the level is paced in the required manner.


There are 3 center components you ought to know and consider while arranging out the pacing.


Intensity

The test and exertion needed, alongside the effect. Simple riddles and battle experiences are low Intensity, while troublesome riddles and final boss fight have focused Intensity. Remember that the Narrative can likewise have Intensity.


Time

The Normal and average estimated time it takes to complete the objectives within the level.


Variety

The kind of movement or things that occur. Changes from one game to another, however in an

action-adventure it can be going from platforming to stealth to combat.


Time and difficulty breakdown affecting the Pacing


By creating basic distributive table we can estimate in what time all the activities can be completed. These data and chart are very important in determining pacing of the level.

Mission OCRs

Details

Approx. time (min)

​Total time

Transition

Movement as injured

2

~20 min

Transition

Inside lighthouse & back towards switch

3

Activity

Turn on the switch

1

Transition

At Radio tower: Medikit + Torch + Batteries

5

Transition

Communication room lighthouse

4

Activity

Easy(E): Solve an easy Radio puzzle

2

Transition

Towards safe house

3


















Creating a timeline can also be useful, especially when used in together with the pace chart.

You could for example use colored/patterned boxes to represent an event and time.


Looping


To limit trivial backtracking through void regions (like a Camp the player has cleared), having the level circle around on itself can be a powerful approach to diminishing it. This could likewise be a rope the player can slide down to the entry with, a teleporter or something like that.

Consider games like Void Bastards has several loops throughout the level. This opens up more opportunities for investigation and diminishes the danger of constrained backtracking.



The important key point while designing Looping is that the Circulation must be respected, i.e. there should be multiple entry and exit points to reach at the target area.

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