Report article RSS Feed 10 Modding/Level Design Tips

Jeannie Novak, Online Program Director of the Game Art & Design / Media Arts & Animation Courses at The Art Institute Online - shares the following 10 tips.

Posted by INtense! on Apr 17th, 2007
Basic Management.

Jeannie Novak
Online Program Director -- Game Art & Design / Media Arts & Animation (The Art Institute Online)
Lead Author & Series Editor – Game Development Essentials series (Thomson Publishing)

  1. Plan out the scope of your mod. Will it be a solo project, or will you need a team of modders who will handle different aspects (art, design, tech, testing)?
  2. Always create a level design document (LDD). You don’t need a full-blown game design document (GDD), but an LDD can be very helpful in planning out your mod – especially if you will be experimenting with one level at first. You’ll need to incorporate your story and gameplay elements into your LDD.
  3. What game type will you focus on? With an FPS mod alone, you’ll have several possible “traditional” types – such as death match, capture the flag, bombing run, assault, onslaught, double domination, and invasion.
  4. Consider making a paper prototype to test your gameplay mechanics.
  5. Build up a library of reference material – including photos that you might take while “location scouting.”
  6. The environment you create should play the role of a character in your game. You can enhance this by manipulating the condition of your props. Before you ever place characters into your environment, consider whether or not the environment already looks inhabited. Do your props look too generic . . . too clean? Do your spaces look “lived in,” even cluttered?
  7. Your structures should always be grounded into the environment. The roots of trees extend far under the ground, and even the foundations of buildings are often not above ground.
  8. Non-player characters (NPCs) should have rich histories (backstories) – but also detailed physical and personality descriptions that incorporate both psychological and sociological characteristics.
  9. Sketch out a level map that will become the blueprint for your level.
  10. Create a non-linear gameplay flowchart that allows your player character(s) to take a number of different paths through the level.

For more information and insight, head to the Art Institute Online website today.

Post comment Comments
SneakySoft
SneakySoft Apr 21 2007, 5:28am says:

To CRACK-A-BACK:
Thats why it's called => "Basic - Management"

+1 vote     reply to comment
aaaaaallllllllllllll
aaaaaallllllllllllll Apr 17 2007, 5:08pm says:

Cool - It's nice to know you are already doing tutorials for us. :) I hope you're working hard on the next one!

Anyways, I didn't find this too detailed, but it was pretty good. The funny thing is - I never heard of the term LDD before! lol

+1 vote     reply to comment
alfaalex101
alfaalex101 Apr 18 2007, 9:31pm says:

Amazing.

+1 vote     reply to comment
INtense!
INtense! Apr 29 2007, 7:48pm says:

we shall be working closely with AiO in the coming months to hopefully provide many more insightful and detailed tutorials.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Jambozal
Jambozal May 9 2007, 7:23pm says:

Fantastic idea, nice to see this going ahead! Cheers AIO

+1 vote     reply to comment
nazulan
nazulan Apr 25 2012, 6:00pm says:

Rule #10 needs to be applied more in games. *cough* COD *cough*

+1 vote     reply to comment
Post a Comment
click to sign in

You are not logged in, your comment will be anonymous unless you join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) which we encourage all contributors to do.

2000 characters limit; HTML formatting and smileys are not supported - text only

Tutorial
Browse
Tutorials
Report Abuse
Report article