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

The Music of Mechanics

In the great chili pot that is video game design, hazards are the beans. Just like beans, they act as filler when you don’t have enough meat to go around and … they help the designer make “music.”7 The goal of good level design is to help players achieve what psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi8 calls flow. (I told you we’d get back to it.)

Csíkszentmihályi’s theory proposes that there is a point between boredom and difficulty. A place where players become so engrossed that they become energized, focused, and unaware of time. But in order to create flow, you need to know how to orchestrate these elements together.

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Reaching the state of flow feels like making music; it’s the rhythm of a great level. A natural rhythm of the player’s movement and actions—or flow—starts to emerge as he traverses the level.9

To me, game element placement is orchestrated like the instruments...