10 Level Design Principles

By Dan Taylor from Square Enix Montréal

  1. Good level design is fun to navigate
    1. Clarity and flow
    2. Confusion ~~is~~ can be cool
  2. Good level design doesn’t rely on words
    1. Imagine a broken circle: a completing a level is like filling a broken circle / mise-en-scène: telling a story through level design (Bioshock is a good example)
    2. Providing player choice is a source of emergent storytelling
  3. Good level design tells “what” but not “how”
    1. Nebulous objectives
    2. Reward improvisation
    3. Parallel missions
  4. Good level design constantly teaches
    1. There should always be new things
    2. The brain finds discovering new patterns fun
    3. Learn. Play. Challenge. Surprise.
  5. Good level design is surprising
    1. Good levels are like rollercoasters
    2. Subverting patterns also make games fun
    3. Take risks (but test them ASAP)
  6. Good level design empowers the player
    1. Go big or go home
    2. Videogames are escapism, so deliver the fantasy
    3. The player’s influence should be visible
  7. Good level design is easy, medium and hard
    1. Risk and reward provides difficulty by choice, which is better than picking the difficulty in the beginning
    2. Games can have many layers of difficulty
  8. Good level is efficient
    1. Good levels are modular
    2. Bi-directional gameplay is a possibility if done properly (not backtracking, but giving many uses to the same space)
    3. Non-linearity gameplay allows a lot of playability, but it should relevant to the game
  9. Good level design creates emotion
    1. Videogames are legally art!
    2. Architecture is a source of inspiration in this sense
    3. To create emotions, you should work backwards: from the chosen emotion, pick the mechanics that support it
  10. Good level design is driven by mechanics
    1. “Books let you imagine extraordinary things. Movies let you see extraordinary things. Games let you experience extraordinary things”
    2. The stories in games are about the mechanics as much as they are the player or the narrative
    3. Games are the metaphysical medium
    4. Levels exist to showcase the game’s mechanics
    5. Re-use your mechanics creatively

Cris Silva Jr.

Mais informações...

Você pode me achar no LinkedIn ou no GitHub.

GE/CS$ d- s:- a- C++ UL++$ W++ w++ M++ PS+ PE !tv b+ DI+ D+ G e>+++++ R* h++ r* y?