i'm not saying he should play that game...i'm just bored and wanted to make something different:

denickespares  asked:

Hi, I'm a game dev student and I'm going to create a 3D Puzzle Platformer for my thesis. Can you give me some tips on Level Design? I've played lots of those kinds before, but now I feel like I know nothing about them. Thank you in advance.

Let me preface this by saying that level design is a really deep subject, and that there are plenty of people who spend their entire careers working on the concept of level design. There is no way I’m going to be able to cover everything you’re going to need to know, so I’ll just try to hit some valuable core techniques and principles in my experience and hope that it helps. If you aren’t sure about something or have more questions, feel free to ask further.

#1. Provide opportunities to use the mechanics

Games are about teaching the player how the mechanics work, and then letting the player use the mechanics to have fun. You want to give the player an opportunity to use the new mechanics you give them in a way that makes sense. You always want to start by giving them the most obvious way to use a new item, skill, power, or whatever. Make it as simple as possible, and do it at least three times to help hammer home how it works. You want to make it feel familiar to them so that they will be able to recognize when they can use it, and when they cannot. Repetition makes things familiar, but too much repetition makes them boring.

When plotting out the critical path to your level, you want to mark where they have to use a game mechanic to progress. If they aren’t using the mechanics enough, you’ll want to add more opportunities to use them. 

#2. Give players things to do. Keep it varied.

Avoid making players use the same mechanic multiple times in a row unless you’ve just introduced it. Try to keep a good mix of things to do by revisiting old mechanics as well as using new ones to keep things fresh. Start by constructing a critical path, and then mark points along the path where the level design might branch out and offer additional ways to get through. Not every level needs these options, but you should have them available to give players some choice and a sense of agency. Choosing which mechanic to use to overcome an obstacle is an excellent way to do this. 

Make sure the players don’t go for too long without doing something, but don’t make them have to do things constantly either. That can cause player fatigue. Vary it between segments with a high number of things to do, a low number of things to do, and just rest times where the only thing to do is walk around at their leisure, preferably with something interesting to just look at.

#3. Always draw players forward through the level

Incentivize the players to progress by showing them new things, preferably in the direction you want them to go. Bright lights, shiny objects, interesting colors, notable contrast in environment to where they are, treasure just out of reach, and even obstacles are your tools for this. When they enter a new area, they should never feel confused as to where to go. There should always be at least one clear option for where to go next. If there is more than one path, they should be easily visually differentiated. 

Remember, bright colors and lights will attract people. Dark colors and dim lighting will repel people. Moving objects will attract attention over static ones. Flashing lights are very hard to miss. Audio cues are another excellent avenue to notify a player that something is going on. Use these to your advantage to draw people through your level.

#4. Not every reward needs to be obtained immediately

Dangle rewards for the player in front of her in highly visible ways, but don’t always let her immediately obtain them. Sometimes they should be rewarded for making it this far, but other times you want to tell them “you should remember this place and come back later”. It’s an excellent way to showcase different use cases for a particular game mechanic that you’re in the process of introducing. Remember that a reward should only be given if she has done something to earn it - used the mechanic, solved the puzzle, traversed the level, etc. Getting a reward after completing a challenge is one of the things that makes players happiest.

#5. Create opportunities to showcase mechanical synergy

After teaching the player how to use a mechanic at a basic level, build on it by making her use that mechanic in conjunction with other mechanics. It encourages her to explore how the different game mechanics interact with each other, which adds depth to the gameplay. You can utilize options like timing, location, scale, or other such things to add new variations that the player may not have explored.

#6. The player should be able to see a clear goal at (almost) all times

Even if a player is in the middle of something, there should be a clearly visible place that he wants to go next and a way to go in that direction. Getting lost is super frustrating. Not knowing where to go is super frustrating. You (usually) want to keep frustration to a minimum. Give the player something to head towards so that, once she is done exploring the current area, she knows where to go next.

#7. Theme is important

When you create a level, you should have a theme. It could be an ice palace, a dark dungeon, a seedy waterfront bar, a high tech office building, a military base, or any of a number of other things. Your visuals should match the theme, because the theme will help fill in the little gaps and details you may have forgotten or overlooked. A robot factory can have enemies that move mechanically, but an amazonian jungle would not. An ancient ruin might have climbable ropes and statues, but they’d probably seem out of place in a shopping mall. Try to pick a theme that works with your mechanics. It is easiest to get immersed into a game when both gameplay and theme work together coherently.

#8. Playtest, iterate, playtest some more

Get people to playtest your levels. Give them the absolute minimum of what they should know to play the game, and then step back and take notes. Bite your tongue and do not offer help or suggestions. If they get stuck and ask for help, give them the minimum necessary to pass where they are stuck. Observe and note what is working and what is not.

Where are the players getting stuck? What are the frustration points? What are they enjoying? Write it all down, let it rest for a little bit (a few hours to a day, to get a little distance), and then start analyzing and thinking about possible solutions. Try your new changes out and repeat the process. If possible, get testers who have never tried your game before. Pay close attention to what they try, and note what things seem intuitive to them. Is there any way you can take advantage of that intuition? Do you need to do something to discourage it earlier?

These are the main concepts I try to look to when I am creating a level. They have each served me very well over the years, and I hope that you can see why they are important guidelines. Good level design isn’t easy to do, which is why you see people making their entire careers out of it. I hope that this helps. Best of luck with your thesis!

[Requested] Yuu and Tomori's Love Life Abridged - The Thrilling Saga [updated]
  • Nao: Welcome to the academy!
  • Yuu: fuck this place
  • Nao: oh why you wanna end up like my bro?
  • Yuu: wut
  • Nao: I lost my brother, but thanks to that one person I can trust, I was able to escape that school environment...
  • Yuu: that's sad
  • *an episode later*
  • Nao: WE GONNA PLAY SOME BASEBALL MOTHERFUCKAS
  • Yuu: good god
  • *shit goes down*
  • Yuu: you know you are kinda pretty
  • Nao: wut... i got... I GOT A COMPLIMENT. YA BITCH THIS MOTHAFUCKA GAVE ME A COMPLIMENT. YAAAAAAAS
  • *another episode later*
  • Nao: Let's go camping!
  • Yuu: fuckin christ this student council is whack af
  • *goes out shopping*
  • Yuu and Nao: *argues about groceries*
  • Yusa: oh my god those two are so in sync!
  • Takajo: They should go out!
  • Yusa: nah they ain't dating
  • Takajo: awwwwww
  • Yuu: aw fuck ayumi is sick
  • Nao: She also has the "collapse" ability whatever that is. We should probably take care of her
  • Yuu: idk
  • Ayumi: ARE YOU TWO DATING????
  • Nao and Yuu: fuck off
  • Ayumi: *dies*
  • Yuu: FUCK YOU GOD
  • Yuu: *hides himself in his room*
  • Nao: Oh god, he lost his little sister. That's pretty understandable.
  • Yuu: *runs away from home*
  • Nao: He probably wants to be alone, I mean, I can't blame him...
  • Yuu: *does nothing but eat pizza and watch anime*
  • Nao: Maybe he'll cheer up if he does something that he enjoys???
  • Yuu: *gets addicted to a violent video game and releases maniac laughter*
  • Nao: It was someone close to him but-
  • Yuu: *starts picking fights with everyone who crosses his path*
  • Nao: oh dear...
  • Yuu: *snorts crack cocaine*
  • Nao: THAT'S IT MISTER YOU CROSSED THE FUCKING LINE
  • *kicks the shit out of Yuu*
  • Yuu: NAO WHAT THE FUCK
  • Nao: I was watching you this whole time! Get your ass out of the grass, and come with me. I wanna make you something.
  • Yuu: dammit
  • Nao: Just one bite, and then I swear we'll have nothing to do with each other anymore
  • Yuu: fine
  • Nao: *makes him rice cake*
  • Nao: Ayumi probably did this because she wanted to be your mom when she wasn't around anymore. Look at this *points to book*
  • Yuu: How did you get my mom's-
  • Nao: She probably saw this as your favorite meal and wanted to make it for you
  • Yuu: *gobbles it up*
  • Nao: it's good ain't it
  • Yuu: HOLY FUCK I'M HAVING A TONGUEGASM IT'S SO BAD BUT YET IT'S SO GOOD
  • Nao: Feeling better? :3
  • Yuu: what the fuck you said you wanted nothing to do with me after this
  • Nao: after one bite, you ate the whole thing, and i watched thinking "Wow, you must really want something to do with me!"
  • Yuu: ... please go fuck yourself
  • Nao: come back, k?
  • Yuu: k
  • *an episode later*
  • Nao: who wants to go to the Zhiend concert with me?
  • Yusa and Takajo: you should go yuu!
  • Yuu: Why me?!
  • Yusa and Takajo: dude literally everyone here ships you and tomori and if you don't fuckin go out with her you'll be sorry
  • Yuu: FINE
  • Nao: YAAAAAAAAAAY!!!
  • Yuu: *meets Sara Shane*
  • Sara: you love that tomori bitch don't you
  • Yuu: OKAY. OKAY I GET IT. I LOOOOOOOOVE NAO TOMORI! NOW WILL Y'ALL JUST LEAVE ME ALONE?!
  • *the next day*
  • Yuu: HOLY SHIT I'M GOIN OUT WITH DIS NICE ASS BITCH RIGHT HERE AMIRITE
  • Nao: i don't want anyone thinking we're dating please put the phone case back
  • Yuu: fuck
  • Nao: here hold my hand i don't wanna be bored
  • Yuu: oh well what do you know maybe she likes me
  • *shit goes down with memories*
  • Nao: you collapsed
  • Yuu: COLLAPSE IS MY TRIGGER WORD
  • Nao: oh sorry forgot
  • Yuu: da fuck happened
  • Kuagami: right this way
  • Nao: OH MY GOD IT'S BIG BROTHER. I FUCKIN LOVE YOU AND I ALWAYS WILL. YOU'RE THE ONLY PERSON THAT I WILL EVER BE ABLE TO TRUST!!!!!!1!
  • Yuu: r... r u fuckin kidding me rn
  • *mmm whatcha say*
  • Shunsuke: so I timeleaped and shit so there you have it
  • Nao: OH MY FUCKIN GO D SHUNSUKE I FUC KING LOV E YOU
  • Yuu: can dis bitch pls stop
  • Yuu: I GOTTA SAVE AYUMI. AYUMMMMMMMMIIIIIIII
  • *saves Ayumi*
  • Yuu: YAAAAAAAAS BITTTTTTTCH
  • *an episode later*
  • Yuu: hey so all this crazy shit happened in another world would you believe me if i told you that i'm from the future?
  • Nao: ya probably
  • Yuu: Thank you for everything!
  • Nao: the fuck you talkin about
  • Yuu: Well, in a different world, you did cool stuff
  • Nao: well, thanks i guess...
  • Nao: *gets kidnapped*
  • Yuu: FUCK I GOTTA SAVE TOMORI
  • Kumagami: *dies*
  • Shunsuke: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
  • *an episode later*
  • Yuu: OH MY GOD IS TOMORI OKAY
  • Everyone: ya she good
  • *visits Tomori*
  • Yuu: I'M HAVING AN EXISTENTIAL CRISIS WHAT DO I DO
  • Nao: well i have this crazy idea but idk if it will work. It would be a feat of strength though
  • Yuu: What is it?
  • Nao: You see... if you loot everyone's ability all around the world and then took the anti-power vaccine... that would save everyone
  • Yuu: ...
  • Nao: See, I told you it was craz-
  • Yuu: IMMA DO IT
  • Nao: lol wut
  • Yuu: I'M GONNA SAVE THE WORLD ALL ALONE
  • Nao: bruh you don't even have a motive...
  • Yuu: ya i do
  • Nao: what then?
  • Yuu: i love you
  • Nao: *looks into the camera like she's in The Office*
  • Yuu: What?
  • Nao: I came to have a good time and I'm honestly feeling so attacked right now
  • Yuu: bitch why the fuck do you say that
  • Nao: our compatibility is absolutely the worst we would never be a good couple
  • Yuu: BUT I STILL LUVVVV YOU
  • Nao: Fine. Save the world, and we'll fuck. Sound good?
  • Yuu: YAAAAAAAASSSS
  • Nao: ur really desperate for my pussy aren't you?
  • Yuu: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
  • Nao: fine then
  • Yuu: *leaves*
  • Nao: lmao hes fuckin dead