Level Design: Concept, Theory, and Practice, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Level Design

Concept, Theory, and Practice, 1st Edition

By Rudolf Kremers

A K Peters/CRC Press

408 pages

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pub: 2009-10-21
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Good or bad level design can make or break any game, so it is surprising how little reference material exists for level designers. Beginning level designers have a limited understanding of the tools and techniques they can use to achieve their goals, or even define them. This book is the first to use a conceptual and theoretical foundation to build such a set of practical tools and techniques. It is tied to no particular technology or genre, so it will be a useful reference for many years to come. Kremers covers many concepts universal to level design, such as interactivity, world building, immersion, sensory perception, pace, and more, and he shows how to apply these concepts in practical ways, with many examples from real games.


A book on level design comprehensive and relevant enough that I can recommend it to professional colleagues and students alike. The industry has needed a book like this for years. Kremers leaves no stone unturned, touching upon the relationship between level design and the game’s lighting, audio, story, artificial intelligence, mechanics, puzzles . . . It’s a truly grand task to take in the domain of ‘level design’ and try to wrap it up into a book of manageable length. Kremers has succeeded in doing so, unafraid to mix in the relevant considerations of game design, art, and psychology where applicable.

—Chris DeLeon, February 2010

This is not just another book that deals with the discipline of level design. … This book covers relevant concepts and theories behind designing levels. Instruction in building levels is replaced by fascinating examinations behind the reasons why.

—A. Chen, CHOICE Magazine, June 2010

Table of Contents

Introduction to Level Design

Game Design vs. Level Design

Teaching Mechanisms

Level Design Goals and Hierarchies

Level Design Structure and Methodology

Single-Player vs. Multiplayer Considerations

Towards a Shared Grammer for Level

Emotional Feedback Systems

Reward Systems


Negative Emotions

Game Environments

Visual Experiences

Audio Design

Game Stories

Story and Narrative

Designing Gameplay

World Building


Artificial Intelligence


Final Thoughts

Considering the Future

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
COMPUTERS / Programming / Games