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What happens in industry? The level design is completed by a team of level designer who decide on the challenge of the level and what elements go where to create the game player. A team of environment designs may also be involved in creating the atmosphere needed for emersion.
Games designers hand over the game details to the level designer detailing what they want for the level i.e. Mood, key game play activities events. The level designer will take the design idea and then decide on: – Events that can be triggers by player action. – Props (objects that are present in the game). – Non Player Characters (NPCS) – A rough outline of the design showing the location of the above elements.
What needs to be considered? Layout: Where can the controlled character go or not go? Paths they can use to get there? Are some parts just simply cosmetic? Player cannot go there? Pacing: How will the intensity vary through the game i.e. Pacman speeds up as you go through the level to make it harder. Where is key events happening? Termination conditions: how does the player win or loose the level
Resource Placements: is there anywhere you can renew ammo? Health? Get armor? How much is there? Player Start and end points: Same place or different each game? NPC positions and spawning points: do they spawn or move randomly or are they in a set place? Do they even move?
Landmarks: Distinguishing parts of the landscape for example Lord of the Rings Online has recognisable parts from the book. i.e. Prancing Pony Destruction: Can the level be destroyed? Battlefield Bad Company 2 does this really well. Storytelling: How does it develop through the narrative? Does the Character need to get to this place? Through the maze? Etc