Level Design: Processes and Experiences, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Level Design

Processes and Experiences, 1st Edition

By Christopher W. Totten

A K Peters/CRC Press

378 pages | 100 B/W Illus.

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In this book, veteran game developers, academics, journalists, and others provide their processes and experiences with level design. Each provides a unique perspective representing multiple steps of the process for interacting with and creating game levels – experiencing levels, designing levels, constructing levels, and testing levels. These diverse perspectives offer readers a window into the thought processes that result in memorable open game worlds, chilling horror environments, computer-generated levels, evocative soundscapes, and many other types of gamespaces. This collection invites readers into the minds of professional designers as they work and provides evergreen topics on level design and game criticism to inspire both new and veteran designers.


Key Features:

  • Learn about the processes of experienced developers and level designers in their own words
  • Discover best-practices for creating levels for persuasive play and designing collaboratively
  • Offers analysis methods for better understanding game worlds and how they function in response to gameplay
  • Find your own preferred method of level design by learning the processes of multiple industry veterans

Table of Contents

Chapter1. Kamuro Nights: A Personal Retrospective of the Yakuza Series Gavin Greene

Chapter2. Cracking the Resident Evil Puzzle Box Daniel Johnson

Chapter3.From Construction to Perception: Three Views of Level Design for Story-Driven Games Huaxin Wei and Chaoguang Wang

Chapter4. Everything I Learned About Level Design at an Orlesian Ball Heidi McDonald

Chapter5. Hell, Hyboria, and Disneyland; The Origins and Inspirations of Themed Video Game Level Design Scott Rogers

Chapter6. Level Design Practices for Independent Games Fares Kayali and Josef Ortner

Chapter7. Making the Most of Audio in Characterization, Narrative Structure, and Level Design Chanel Summers

Chapter8. Procedural Content Generation: An Overview Gillian Smith

Chapter9. P.T. and the Play of Stillness Brian Upton

Chapter10. The Illusion of Choice – How to Hide the Linearity of Levels from Players Joao Raza and Benjamin Carter

Chapter11. Integrating Procedural and Handmade Level Design Dr. Mark R. Johnson

Chapter12. Level Design Planning for Open World Games Joel Burgess PART 4: TESTING LEVELS

Chapter 13. Play-Personas: Mental Tools for Player-Centered Level Design Alessandro Canossa

Chapter14. Evaluating Level Design Using Public Events Jonathan Moriarty

Chapter15. The Rule of 27’s: A Comparative Analysis of 2D Screenspace and Virtual Reality Environment Design Hadar Silverman

Chapter16. Expression vs. Experience: Balancing Art and Usability Needs in Level Design Christopher W. Totten

About the Author

Christopher Totten is the Game Artist in Residence at American University and the founder of independent developer Pie for Breakfast Studios. He is also the founder of the Smithsonian American Art Museum Indie Arcade and an advocate for bringing games to museums and cultural institutions. Totten is an active writer in the game industry, with articles featured in industry journals, chapters in several academic publications, and two books: Game Character Creation in Blender and Unity (Wiley 2012) and An Architectural Approach to Level Design (CRC, 2014.) He has also spoken at GDC China, Foundations Of Digital Games (FDG), East Coast Game Conference, Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) conference, and Games For Change. He has displayed his games at MAGFest, The Smithsonian Innovation in Art event, and Baltimore Artscape, and Blank Arcade. He has a Masters Degree in Architecture from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
COMPUTERS / Programming / Games