1st Edition

World Design for 2D Action Adventures

    256 Pages 177 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    256 Pages 177 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Award-winning action adventure designers Christopher Totten and Adrian Sandoval guide you on a quest to create levels for different styles of 2D action-adventure games, from top-down dungeon-crawler adventures to side-scrolling non-linear “Metroidvania” titles. Blending theory and practical analysis, the book shows how principles of game and level design are applied in some of your favorite 2D action-adventure games. It uses examples from popular games such as The Legend of Zelda and Hollow Knight, while also providing insights from the authors’ own experiences creating independent games in the genre.

     The book also intersperses these examples with practical exercises in 2D action-adventure world design using the free and easy-to-use GB Studio engine, allowing readers to practice their skills and see how lessons from the theory chapters apply in real game development environments. These practical chapters cover the basics of using GB Studio and related software, such as Asesprite and Tiled, to help readers create their own action-adventure characters, monsters, quest systems, switches, keys, and other mechanics - all the way up to designing their own dungeon!

    World Design for 2D Action Adventures will be of great interest to all those looking to improve their level design skills within this genre.

    Chapter 0.1 - 0-D Introduction Chapter 0.2 - 0-P Downloading and Installing GB Studio and Related Software Chapter 1.1 - 1-D Structures for Exploratory Gameplay Chapter 1.2 - 1-P Planning “tools” for 2D Action-Adventures Chapter 2.1 - 2-D Common Gameplay Mechanisms Chapter 2.2 - 2-P Building Basic Gameplay Mechanisms  Chapter 3.1 - 3-D Planning Your World Chapter 3.2 - 3-P Building Sprites, Tilesets and Backgrounds Chapter 4.1 - 4-D Tutorials and Openings in Action-Adventure Games Chapter 4.2 - 4-P Creating Scenes, Dialogue, NPCs, and Cutscenes Chapter 5.1 - 5-D Puzzle and Encounter Design Chapter 5.2 - 5-P Let’s build a dungeon


    Christopher Totten is an award-winning game designer and an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of the Animation Game Design program at Kent State University. He is also the founder of the studios Pie For Breakfast, LLC and Team Nemo, Inc., which has created games for mobile, PC, tabletop, Game Boy, and the Nintendo Switch. He holds a Masters Degree in Architecture with a concentration in digital media from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC and is a lifetime member of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA.)

     Chris’s games and community work explore the intersections between games and the arts. He is a founder of the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) Arcade and has created games based on art, literature, and works of animation, including the award-winning games La Mancha and Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends. For this work, he won the Faculty of Excellence Award for Innovation at IndieCade Horizons 2022. He is the author of An Architectural Approach to Level Design, and Game Character Creation in Blender and Unity. He is also the editor of the collected volume, Level Design: Processes and Experiences.

    Adrian Sandoval is a video game designer, writer and professor of game production and history. His work spans nearly fifteen years, with titles published across platforms such as the Nintendo DS, PC and mobile. Currently, he is the lead designer on the upcoming Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends game for PC and Nintendo Switch, and the current chair for the Philadelphia chapter of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA.)