Author Topic: Empowering the Player: Level Design (A prensentation)  (Read 640 times)

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Online IchoTolot

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Empowering the Player: Level Design (A prensentation)
« on: July 06, 2018, 11:07:29 am »
A while ago I found a presentation from a Game Develoer Conference and I was just remembering it now and thought: Why haven't I linked it here? ???

It's ~ 1hour long and it's called: Empowering the Player: Level Design in N++
As you can tell from the name N++ is the example here and the developers who created thousands of levels for it are talking about game and level design.

Now not all the points they bring up can 100% be projected on Lemmings or Lix levels in my opinion. For example the point: Let players choreograph, not just execute.

Of course only having precise trick levels is not very good, but especially on higher difficulties levels Lemmings level are a bit more about one or a small group of solutions. On the lower ranks this point fits way better, but in higher difficulty ranks you often want to enforce certain patterns or parts and I think finding the right mixture of restricted and a bit more open levels is the best way.

Other points they bring up:

- Minimalism on the core level idea + expanding that idea with more and more details for higher difficulties. Also the danger of overdoing it with adding too much.

- Level creation process - from core structure to the finished level.

- The nessesarity of culling stuff. Scrapping of levels and ideas - not everything fits and it can be better to cut it out.    - This point I feel needs to be addressed more here in the case of levels. For mechanics: Yes, I know I argued a lot about keeping stuff and features, but I also was in favor of culling a few things (gimmicks as an example). I still believe the right balance is correct and I don't wanna see things that offer a lot of gain and just fit disappear.
Sometimes levels just don't work out that well. I think that can also be expanded to features and machanics. They talked about at some point they added portals in N++, saw that it makes things too complicated in a fast platformer and threw them out again. I think Slowfreeze, Radiation and Gimmicks are the NeoLemmix equivalent here with them adding only unnessesary precision and complexity without offering too much.

- Balance between "boring/calm" and "exciting". Calm parts make exciting ones stick out more.

- Smooth difficulty curves and inclusion of breathers.

- Mastering of skills and levels of high complexity + difficulty.

- Variance in level desgin - one type of level is not enough!  - I especially agree with that point. You don't wanna make only huge/tiny/button or trick levels for example. You wanna have a huge variation of levels that has something for everyone.

- Naming of levels.

- Access to all/a lot of the levels from the getgo to avoid getting stucked completely.      - We solved that with unlock all.

So, I think maybe you can take a few things with you from this presentation, even if it's another quite different game they are referring to and not everything can be transferred to Lemmings 1:1. :)

Offline Nepster

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Re: Empowering the Player: Level Design (A prensentation)
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2018, 08:55:54 am »
Very nice find! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

The same GDC'16 conference had as well an extremely interesting talk about creating 8bit-graphics, that I would totally recommend to any graphic style creators:

Offline mobius

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Re: Empowering the Player: Level Design (A prensentation)
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2018, 09:53:55 pm »
Excellent find!  Thanks for posting

I'll Definitely  take a look at this.
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakwin Rinzai

"Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man"
-the Dude