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1026660 Posts in 41161 Topics- by 32769 Members - Latest Member: rafaelchm

July 25, 2014, 09:21:44 AM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperCreativeDesign2d level concepts.
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rundown
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« on: March 28, 2013, 05:05:36 PM »

Hey, I got stuck to a point in my development where I'm finished with coding. So now I have to create the levels for the game.
And I kinda got stuck.

I used a trick for some time called "the rule of 3". Used by many games like mario.
Where before you give the player a new challenge you show him 3 times how it works. So he fully understands the concept.

But passed the point of "the rule of 3" I tend to slow down in development
How do you tend to carry on developping the levels and making them one by one interesting.
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Whiteclaws
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2013, 05:41:47 PM »

Keep the game new ,

Make a list of what the player will encounter of your mechanics and keep it fresh ...

Level 1- Learn how to move
Level 2- Learn how to jump
Level 3- encounter your first enemies
etc...
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rundown
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2013, 03:24:35 AM »

Thats the part where i'm stuck like I said. I've made the player encounter everything there is. Yet I don't want the game to end yet.
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Udderdude
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2013, 04:20:51 AM »

That's not an easy question to answer, because each game has a different set of game elements/mechanics and has levels designed for it differently.

Usually you want to combine all of the stuff into one level for the player to figure out.

How many elements/mechanics have you got in this game?
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sublinimal
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2013, 04:32:40 AM »

Yeah, I'd also like to hear more details about the mechanics you have. Easier to give help that way - others might see some creative combinations you haven't thought of. Even simple mechanics have potential for dozens of levels if used efficiently.
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rundown
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2013, 05:16:14 AM »

Well I have
-switches that connect to a door.
-spikes
-boms
-healthpacks
-timed laserbeams wich go on and off.
-A gravity changer, mutch like VVVVVV
-closing and opening hatch
-Vacuum, wich you need oxygen for
-Oxygen refill
-Jumppad
-checkpoints
-objects with Sinus movement that instant kill.

I'm also able to force the player to run because of a gassleak. Where the room fills up slowly and you need to get to high ground fast.
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Whiteclaws
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2013, 05:41:29 AM »

Well , you have a lot to experiment with ...

Try and start with a basic path that the player should take , and then , add some obstacles
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2013, 05:55:55 AM »

Seems like you've got a very time-critical game where the player has to make decisions quickly or die due to time running out.

I'd suggest building levels around speedrunning where the player is expected to keep moving at all times.
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sublinimal
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2013, 12:21:40 PM »

You said you've already made the player encounter everything there is, but your objects can still be juiced further by improving the ways they can interact with each other. This will also be important in setting your game apart from other similar games, since those are very common objects. A lot of players will have some intuition for interacting with them, so it's going to take more than simple encounters to really surprise them.

Maybe bombs could be disarmed, or at least safely detonated, by spikes and lasers. If the player can carry items in addition to that, it'd allow you to design levels in less strict and "hard-coded" ways. If your game lends well to speedrunning, it's important to give the player enough room for coming up with creative solutions.

Take it further and think about the properties an object has, then find ways to manipulate them. If we stick with bombs, there's also the knockback explosions cause. Some cleverly designed level might require the player to blow up bombs and knock other objects into otherwise unreachable areas. Maybe a player with full health would even be able to survive a bomb blast and just use the knockback to jump really high.

Games are all about interaction, so do your best to give the player lots of possibilities at it. You'll find level design becomes a breeze if you've invested in your mechanics.
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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2013, 02:17:50 PM »

Remember alongside what everyone else is saying to make your game change enough from level to level to keep the player interested.  It is very easy to forget that, and have loss of interest.
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meta87
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« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2013, 07:41:28 PM »

I'm glad you posted this thread. I'm in a similar position with the game I'm developing. It's also a platformer. So far I've tried to vary the overall shape of the levels. Some are mostly horizontal, some you have to go up and up. Levels where the camera moves at a set rate ala Mario.

Also I just try and ramp up the difficulty overall. Tighter jumps, more frequent baddies. Good luck with your game!
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« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2013, 10:18:00 PM »

Thats the part where i'm stuck like I said. I've made the player encounter everything there is. Yet I don't want the game to end yet.
I don't know if it's been posted yet, but a common trick is doing this: room one you introduce mechanic A, room two you introduce mechanic B, room three you combine A and B. Make your systems interact in interesting ways.
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Graham-
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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2013, 03:51:06 AM »

Level design is a whole thing.

You have to iterate a bunch. Do this. .... Get your mechanics together, and try to create as much variety as you can. Push your boundaries.

Example: assume your guy can run and jump, and can run fast and jump. He can jump on platforms, on top of enemies. This is a reduced Mario.

There's a lot of variety that you can create with just this. Assume there is only one enemy type. Try this: using only one level of platforms, and no gaps, and any combination of your one enemy, create as many scenarios as possible.

Next: using no enemies, 2 platform heights, and no gaps, create as many different challenges as you can. Repeat for 3 platform heights, 5, N.

Using 5 platform heights and 1 enemy type, create as many different challenges as you can.

See the pattern? As you get better you'll need to be less specific in each of your designs. You'll be able to generalize the kinds of challenges you can create given any set of mechanics.

Try again with 1 enemy, 3 platform heights, 2 different gaps sizes. Keep doing this.

Using normal language to describe some of your favourite designs. Then use normal language to describe a theoretical design you haven't made yet. Then try to implement it using all of your mechanics.

Repeat, adding more mechanics to your trials, mixing different sets together. 
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Udderdude
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« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2013, 04:10:01 AM »

Thats the part where i'm stuck like I said. I've made the player encounter everything there is. Yet I don't want the game to end yet.
I don't know if it's been posted yet, but a common trick is doing this: room one you introduce mechanic A, room two you introduce mechanic B, room three you combine A and B. Make your systems interact in interesting ways.

He said he already introduced all the mechanics in beginner levels.
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« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2013, 09:15:37 AM »

There was a good design tip in Indie Game The Movie where Edmund discusses the buzz saws in Super Meat Boy and how they first start off stationary and then move on to moving back and forth, and then rotating around on swinging planks, and they are used in all sorts of different ways to further expand on them.

So maybe it would be good to look at your already existing mechanics and expand upon them in simple ways.

Also, obviously as others have stated... combining elements together can be good as well. I mean the whole point of introducing all these different mechanics is to actually have the player interact with them again in later stages.
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