Book Image

Level Up! The Guide to Great Video Game Design - Second Edition

By : Scott Rogers
Book Image

Level Up! The Guide to Great Video Game Design - Second Edition

By: Scott Rogers

Overview of this book

If you want to design and build cutting-edge video games but aren’t sure where to start, then the SECOND EDITION of the acclaimed Level Up! is for you! Written by leading video game expert Scott Rogers, who has designed the hits Pac Man World, Maximo and SpongeBob Squarepants, this updated edition provides clear and well-thought out examples that forgo theoretical gobbledygook with charmingly illustrated concepts and solutions based on years of professional experience. Level Up! 2nd Edition has been NEWLY EXPANDED to teach you how to develop marketable ideas, learn what perils and pitfalls await during a game’s pre-production, production and post-production stages, and provide even more creative ideas to serve as fuel for your own projects. Level Up! 2nd Edition includes all-new content, an introduction by David “God of War” Jaffe and even a brand-new chili recipe –making it an even more indispensable guide for video game designers both “in the field” and the classroom.
Table of Contents (54 chapters)
Free Chapter
1
Copyright Information
2
Publisher’s Acknowledgements
3
Foreword
6
Level 1’s Universal Truths and Clever Ideas
8
Level 2’s Universal Truths and Clever Ideas
10
Level 3’s Universal Truths and Clever Ideas
11
You Can Design a Game, but Can You Do the Paperwork?
13
Level 4’s Universal Truths and Clever Ideas
15
Level 5’s Universal Truths and Clever Ideas
17
Level 6’s Universal Truths and Clever Ideas
19
Level 7’s Universal Truths and Clever Ideas
21
Level 8’s Universal Truths and Clever Ideas
24
Level 9’s Universal Truths and Clever Ideas
26
Level 10’s Universal Truths and Clever Ideas
28
Level 11’s Universal Truths and Clever Ideas
30
Level 12’s Universal Truths and Clever Ideas
32
Level 13’s Universal Truths and Clever Ideas
34
Level 14’s Universal Truths and Clever Ideas
36
Level 15’s Universal Truths and Clever Ideas
38
Level 16’s Universal Truths and Clever Ideas
40
Level 17’s Universal Truths and Clever Ideas
42
Level 18’s Universal Truths and Clever Ideas
43
Continue?
44
The One-Sheet Sample
47
The Medium-Sized List of Story Genres
48
Game Genres
49
The Big List of Environments1
50
Mechanics and Hazards
51
Enemy Design Template
52
Boss Design Template

Re-using Re-use

While looking at the preceding beat chart, I noticed several different gameplay systems: platforming, shooting, driving, and stealth. These different systems add diversity to a game, but when it comes to creating them, they have nothing to do with each other. One of the most important design decisions you can make is how and when to re-use gameplay systems over the course of the game.

If you use a game system fewer than three times over the course of a game, it’s not worth having. This doesn’t mean that you need to have the same gameplay section over and over again. Instead, you can be smart with your art assets and repurpose them.

For example, a vehicle system can support a jeep, a hatchback, and a sedan. Creating the vehicle system costs more time and money than building the three different cars does. But remember, you can stretch your recycling only so far: the same system you use for your cars can’t support a hovercraft or motorcycle. Although...