Level Design in Gaming: Our Top Tips for Beginners

Love them or hate them, among young people ages 16-24, playing video games is one of the most popular hobbies. People outside of this age demographic also still enjoy playing video games, but as this age group tends to have the freest time to play they’re seen as the biggest gamers. There are hundreds of popular games already on the market for people to enjoy and more games are released every year meaning gamers never run out of things to play. Gaming is also popular thanks to the wider gaming community, people feel accepted and love to meet people with similar interests. This is true for any interest but it is useful for gaming as if you get stuck, say for example you’re playing apex and need help, one of the people you’ve met in the community will likely be able to help and give you the best apex hacks to help. Many people who enjoy gaming go on to wanting to design their own games, if this is something you’ve recently become interested in, or something you’ve thought about for a while but didn’t know where to start, then we’ve found some of the best tips for level designing for beginners.

Level Design Theory

When you’re new to designing a game, the first thing that you want to do when you start is to do some research on the level design theory. These are basically 10 principles to follow when you’re designing a game, this book will be like your bible and these principles like your ten commandments. When starting to design your level it is so important that you follow these principles, a lot of research has gone into figuring out these rules to follow, following them will massively increase your chances of being successful with your designs. One of the most important principles is that the level must be fun to navigate, people play games as a form of entertainment so you have to make sure the level is fun enough to keep people wanting to play.

Good Vs Bad Level Design

There is a fine line between a good-level design and a bad-level design. A lot of whether a level is good or bad is subjective, so what some people may think is a fantastic level design others may think is terrible. However, there is a big part of it is objective, there are some things that will ruin your level and some things that will make it an objectively good level, even if it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Some things that are bound to make a level bad that you’ll definitely want to avoid include making the game so difficult that it feels impossible to complete, whilst a challenge in the level is necessary or it would be boring, you need to find the right balance of difficulty, a good level involves problem-solving, but not so difficult that the player can’t progress.

Playtesting

Once you’ve designed your level then you might think that you’re done but the process isn’t over yet. The hardest part is done as designing the level is the main part of the process, but once your design is complete, you’ll need to playtest. Playtesting is when you play the level that you’ve just designed so that you can test it for any flaws or technical bugs or glitches before the level is released. If you don’t have time to playtest yourself then there are many websites online where you can pay for people to playtest your level for you. This is an important part of the process as nothing ruins a good level more than there being flaws or bugs. If there are any errors then you’ll have to fix them and then repeat the process to make sure the changes you’ve made haven’t caused any other issues.

Great Level Examples

If you’re joining the level designing game now, then you’re in luck as there are already hundreds of well-designed games out there that you can take inspiration from. You can play games yourself for research to see what you enjoy and what works well and use this in your own design. Some designers really know how to create a fantastic level and some of the best that we’ve played include The Undead Burg (Dark Souls), this level has some intricate designs with the city having amazing architecture, making it feel realistic to the player. It is also a great level as it isn’t too complicated, it serves a functional purpose in connecting various places together and there are plenty of secrets to discover, like secret passageways and hidden ladders for the player to discover to progress.

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