Sign in to follow this  
GamerGuy09

The Dos And Don'ts Of Level Design.

Recommended Posts

Please Read Before Posting!

Please watch this before asking any questions!

 

If it still didn't answer the thing you wanted to know like how some of the blocks work. Please go to Battlepedia, here.

 

(http://battlewiki.battleblocktheater.com/index.php/Main_Page)

 

Okay, now let's begin!

 

You are probably here asking, "Can you give me some tips on how to make a better level?" Yes I am friend, and I will give you multiple tips on how to not make your level not smell like bat poop. Well my friend, I have seen a lot of bat poop levels on the community theater right now! So here are my DOs and Don'ts of making a level.

 

DOs

 

  • Do make your levels fun and excited, don't waste a moment to put an interesting obstacle or puzzle. One example is instead of having a normal ladder, put some lasers next to it to make a timing obstacle!
  • Do use the signs. I mean both the arrow ones, the warning ones, and the instructional ones. If you think there might be a chance of them not knowing where to go, use a arrow sign to point them in the right direction. The warning ones are mostly used for decoration, but they do make simple obstacles seem more challenging. The instructional ones should be used every time a player not know what to do. A heavy example is calling the horse to you with the LT button. I'm sure someone made a level where this happened and didn't put the sign. 
  • Do have intriguing placement of both your strawberries and your pie. Make sure that the pie one is the most difficult/hardest to find while the strawberries can be more easy to reach places. Another thing I've seen is that people use hidden block trails to hide strawberries, which is fine. However, they have mostly been random and not hinted at in the slightest. There are a few ways that you can hint at a hidden trail. One of them being an indent, which is where  there is an empty space to the entrance of the hidden trail. Another is using colored blocks to lead the path. Finally, the last one is leaving the strawberry exposed, which will make them look around and probably will find your hidden block trail.
  • Do test your levels with a friend. This is both for single player levels and co-op levels. (NOTE: I'm sorry if you're forever alone, but you should do this.) Since you made the map, you know where all the strawberries and pie are. And also how to beat the level effectively. You should ask a friend or relative. This is way more important in co-op levels though since you should get the feel on how to play the level with a friend.
  • Do use plants and trees. They are just fun to put about to make your level not feel empty.

DON'Ts

  • Don't make your level open as all hell. I've seen levels that are all just cannons and grenade cats that are all just thrown across the whole level without linear thinking. Please make your levels linear where there is a beginning, middle, and end. The only exception is MAYBE secret levels, but don't make them super difficult.
  • Don't make troll levels. I've seen levels that have just hidden blocks every where that only lead to death. It isn't fun, it isn't creative, it's just pointless.
  • Don't make your level's impossible level difficult unless it actually requires skill. There are levels that are just filled with grenade throwing cats, lasers, and spikes just placed to make things difficult that requires no skill to traverse and ends up being luck. 
  • Don't use only a single color. There are some levels that are a single color which is horrible to look at. It isn't fun seeing the same single colored block everywhere in the level with no patterns. Use colors that contrast or maybe look cool and are easy to tell apart!

Your help!

Please comment below if you have any DOs or DON'Ts to help the new blood! We need nice juicy Dracula worthy new blood and not that sparkly vampire new blood! COMMENT BELOW!

Edited by GamerGuy09
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree with single color levels.  I like to make some that are single color, as they aren't all that common.

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks GamerGuide09 for the useful suggestions, I particularly agree with the do test, don't troll pair, it should probably be the first law of level designing, something along the line of "A level designer may not intentionally troll a player or, through lack of proper testing, allow a player to be trolled by his/her level".

 

Testing with a friend is crucial, as been said, also for single player levels, so that there's you, the designer who knows every twist and turn of your creation, and a fresh pair of eyes that through non-optimal play can highlight problematic spots or even puzzles/sections/whole levels that break under unexpected circumstances. It can happen anyway but it's better to try to avoid it :lol:

 

As for the level of challenge one should try to achieve, any suggestions? As a rule of the thumb in my playlist-in-progress I'm trying to make levels where it's relatively easy to get to the exit and more complex, let's say from moderately to very, to get an A++, which I see as an ulterior challenge mostly non-casual players are interested in.

 

Anyway, I think the most important thing is to have fun and to try to make levels you would have fun playing :D

 

P. S.

Sorry for the wall of text and for any mistakes that could have found their way in it - English is not my native language :unsure:

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for this, couldn't agree more with your don't section. A new player will always see your level with different eyes and things you may take for granted may be bewildering to others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I could probably come up with some tips off the top of my head. I'd suggest always making a level the max dimensions. Since if you want a smaller level you can put more blocks around the edges. Basically you can make a large level smaller, but you can't make a smaller size world any bigger. (unless you have a specific idea in mind)

 

Test your levels, try to find any possible way you can "break" the level to a point you have to reset. 

 

If you're making an adventure that's going to have a solo version, and a co-op version do the co-op version first. It's easier, and usually better to convert a co-op segments into a solo level, rather than the other way around. Making a way to solve your co-op puzzle/platform solo can make for an interesting challenge. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a question about this topic.

At the moment i am making a playlist. I really try to make a professional design.

 

i try to explain as best i can (im sorry for any errors/spelling mistakes).

 

example 1: when you have a rollerblock and it rolls to the direction to you. And you have only 1 free block above it, then normally you can not run to the other side (over the rollerblock) But when you duck and jump fast you can get over the rollerblock

 

 

example 2: When you have a ladder and at the end of the ladder there are 3 normal blocks and the 4th block is a open space. When trying double jumping and pushing forward you can not get up to the open space (ont top). But when you first jump away from the open space and then toward it, then you can get up to the open space.

 

My question are these kind of tricks DO's or DON'Ts for a level?

 

ps its not impossible, its not even hard, you just need to know wich buttons to press.

Edited by M4dmuffinNL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried both your examples and I think that neither of them can be labeled as trolling or unfair. However perception is a different thing altogheter - you should be careful as to not overfrustrate the player, especially not by not having them know what to do, which in my opinion is worse than not being able to do it. (Exceptions are obviously puzzle sections, but I don't think your examples fall into that category).

 

Here's a couple of advices I personally try to live by regarding the use of new or uncommon mechanics when creating levels. I could be wrong and of course I can see many exceptions but I think they make sense, as a start at least :)

 

1. Introduce new mechanics one at a time and, if possible, present a simplified, clean version before expanding on that on future levels. This gives the players a little leeway to familiarize with something the may not yet have encountered.

2. Try to put visual hints either using block patterns or arrows/signs. For example, a way to present the rollerblock technique could be to have a series of rollerblocks with free spaces over them of decreasing height, with an arrow clearly indicating that the player is not supposed to come back from there but rather go that way.

 

You could also consider using more uncommon and/or difficult mechanics for optional, A++, exploration, in other words leaving a simpler and more immediate path from the start of the level to the exit, touching at least three strawberries. That way the casual player could move forward in your playlist, perhaps having obtained just a C or a B, and come back later if interested. I think it also helps with replayability!

 

My personal opinion on the examples you presented is that the first one just doesn't play nice, it feels messy and while I can see it working in a few selected cases I think it should not be overused. But that's just me, everyone is different so ... surprise us!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you very much for your feedback! boofl. I really appreciate that!!

 

Maby i need to remove these parts from the level, or adjust them, althrough i really like the idea because you can not die you only need to know what to do.

 

Anyway im glad with your support, yesterday i finished my 7th level (solo campaign). This level (The Garage) is my masterwork!

I'm so proud of this level that i really hope people will enjoy it. Maby you wanna test my (solo campaign) when it's finished?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

btw i only use the above two tricks once, so its an onetime trick and then you don't see them back in any level again.

unfortunately there's no room to build a easy variant and then move to a more complicated variant. (but i keep this in mind, because this is a good idea/tip).

 

do you think it's still oke to use them once in a level?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that using them sparingly, especially once, couldn't do much harm. Of course it depends from the overall level design as well! Also, it's probably a good idea to use arrow signs at least ;)

 

Good luck with your creations, make sure to come back and promote your playlist in the dedicated section once you're done :D

Edited by boolf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One tip I have is try not to have your ceiling too short on your entire map so you're not always hitting your head on it. I had that problem at first when creating my playlist 'Funstrating.' Hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for this, couldn't agree more with your don't section. A new player will always see your level with different eyes and things you may take for granted may be bewildering to others.

I love the fact of adding fun levels, not so open, but are challenging and not impossible, great job making the guide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this