What does a level designer do?
Level designers understand what makes good gameplay. They design the game – but only a portion of it, normally referred to as a ‘level’. They take the specification defined by the gameplay designer, and get into the detail - the actions, events, objects and environment. They also design the characters and the ways they behave.
The level designer first sketches ideas on paper or using 2D drawing software. They imagine the playing experience, putting themselves in the position of the player, mapping out all the possibilities. They need to think about the logic and flow of events and actions, the conditions that need to be met for certain things to happen and the challenges the player will encounter.
What are level designers good at?
- Creativity: come up with new challenges and missions
- Knowledge of gameplay: imagine the game, see it visually and develop the gameplay mechanics
- Knowledge of programming: understand programming, have some scripting language competence
- Physics: understand how objects respond according to the laws of physics
- Art: have a strong spatial awareness with 2D and 3D design skills
- Communication: work with other artists and the design team and share the vision with games developers