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  1. About Reaching Perfection Missed Chapter 20? Read it here: Safe Spawning Intro There’s a word that is always thrown around when talking about great maps. What is that word you say? My friend... that word is“balance”. Is your map “balanced”? How do you go about answering that? How do you weigh your map? Well typically you measure the map by comparing all of the advantages throughout it to ensure there is a balance of advantages no matter where you are. What do we call advantages again? OH YEAH! Incentives... Weighing the un-weighable So here’
  2. Follow Adam YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/Thefearalcarrot/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/thefearalcarrot Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/ArchitectofGames Follow Next Level Design Join the Forum: http://www.nextleveldesign.org/index.php?/register/ Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NextLevelDesig2 Discuss on Discord: https://discord.gg/RqEy7rg
  3. We here at Next Level Design love being able to learn from other disciplines and interfaces, and apply them to game design and level design. We hope you'll find something within this article that you can use in your own designs. If you do, please share by commenting below. Happy learning! *Note: The following is a portion of an article which was shared on canva.com. It capture some of the main points, but there are detailed examples provided within the source article which are not included here. Please follow the link at the end for the full article. As cons
  4. Follow Neutronized Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHZkLi-4lIASVlMP-Edq1jg Twitter: https://twitter.com/neutronized Website: http://www.neutronized.com/ Follow Next Level Design Join the Forum: http://www.nextleveldesign.org/index.php?/register/ Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NextLevelDesig2 Discuss on Discord: https://discord.gg/RqEy7rg
  5. This article is a portion of a dissertation by Kenneth Hullet. The source writing is over 250 pages in length. We share this in hopes that it will further the learning of level designers. The Table of Contents is listed directly below, within a spoiler. The parts marked in Orange are included here. Follow the link at the end of this article to read the full writing, as it contains much value. TABLE OF CONTENTS - In Spoiler ABSTRACT Level designers create gameplay through geometry, AI scripting, and item placement. There is little formal understa
  6. Recently through the mysterious and tenuous connections of social media, I was asked a few questions about the game design of Halo multiplayer. Yes, the first Halo. Combat Evolved. Yes, I know that game came out when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth, but there are still a few things about the development process that might be interesting to designers. One question in particular caught my attention: “Was quick-camo intentional?” Paraphrased, I read the question this way: "When the player picks up the Active Camo powerup, they turn invisible. If they shoot while they're invisible, they bec
  7. Level design is something you almost always have to go through when making a game, but it’s one of the most overlooked segments of game production, especially on small/indie production teams. Here I’ll try to give some advice on how to make a good level design, by using examples from my own experience. I’ll mostly use recurring games as references (Bad Company 2 and Mirror’s Edge), because they are games I played a lot and feel comfortable mentioning, and because they have fairly different gameplays.WHERE TO START ? Mirror’s Edge The first step before making any “real” level
  8. Introduction The purpose of this document is to provide guidance and insight for designers who are creating or working on a multiplayer level. I will address such topics as Flow, Item Placement, Initial Design, Architecture, and Testing. Although Capture the Flag and other team games are rarely addressed specifically throughout this document, because they are typically for a minimum of four players (two teams of two), with a higher number more often being the case (e.g. 4 on 4, 6 on 6). That being said, many of these guidelines will apply to those types of games as well. (The major n
  9. Choke points are areas of the map where the attacking team meets resistance from the defending team before reaching the objective. Choke points are also called control points or bottlenecks. The attacking team (Terrorist in defuse maps and Counter-Terrorist in hostage rescue maps) must fight through the choke point to reach the objective or retreat and try a different route/strategy. Choke point areas are specifically designed to enhance gameplay. They are used to control flow, pacing and balance within the map. Whether you are playing Dust (Underpass c
  10. Great looking models, textures, and ambiances and lighting are very important to making our games look as good as they can. Yet without a solid composition to build upon, the visual structure of our environments will be never as compelling or attractive as they can be. The Challenge: Creating compositions in a real time game environment is different from static images such as a photograph or painting in the sense that the camera or the player’s frame of reference is always moving. The player moves through a 3 dimensional space, which effectively creates a brand new
  11. Game Balance Concepts is a 10-part series of 'lessons'. The course is derived from the actual course teachings of Ian Schreiber, a professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Like any college level course, it will require some effort on your part. There's a fair amount of reading. There's also Homework. Feel free to take this as seriously or unseriously as you want.The course will be released in weekly installments as follows: Week 1: Intro to Game Balance Week 2: Numeric Relationships Week 3: Transitive Mechanics and Cost Curves Week 4: Probability and Ran
  12. How to create competitive Counter-Strike gameplay map layouts? In this tutorial you will learn: How to design layouts from scratch using important gameplay principles How to define pathways that offer strategy and choices How to set up choke points How to determine locations where two teams will meet (at the choke point) How to balance your layout How to structure flow and pacing Note: Examples are Counter-Strike focused, but any level designer that uses any form of attack/defend, assault or search/destroy typ
  13. In this article, which was originally a 2-part series, Jaime offers his view on balancing resources in games. The goal is to create a fair and enjoyable environment for players. Perception is Reality Jaime's perspective is that the actual measurable's don't matter when it comes to balance. All that matters is the perspective of the player/s. If something is balanced on paper, but the community views it as unbalanced, you have yourself a balance problem. The Tooth Fairy is Overpowered Taking the 'pe
  14. Next Level Design has been given permission from the author to host this entire book in PDF format. Download the attached PDF at the bottom of this article for the entire book, or view it here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1uB3pUjPkHuWWOYEc70nkVjVlR09ua70zStill not sure? Read through this section on lighting that was recently posted on Next Level Design: In addition, we've included another small section of the book right here: pg. 25 INTRODUCTION Due to games’ ever-increasing complexity and the expanding nature of levels in general, it can certainly b
  15. What is “good” gameplay, and what makes good gameplay happen? Level designers mull over these difficult questions all the time. They are tough ones to answer because, like most art forms, level design barely has any laws about what makes a map successful. Whenever some kind of law gets proposed, you can be sure it will only be a matter of time before a level designer goes in direct opposition to it and still comes out with a great map. Blanket statements about mapping almost always fail.So look at the advice I'm about to give you simply as one mapper's best practice, not rules or laws. This is
  16. Lighting: The theory behind lighting out your levels. How to create an interesting setup and what to watch out for. IntroductionLighting is one of the most important and influential elements in environments. It has the power to make or break the visuals, theme and atmosphere.Lighting is often forgotten or underestimated. Designers often add it quickly and without much love. While in the past that was partially excusable by the weak hardware and game engines, these excuses just won't hold up anymore. Lighting is just as important as geometry. Without lighting there is no environment but just a
  17. Table Of Contents: I. Introduction A. Purpose B. Audience C. Thanks II. Getting Started A. Links 1. Articles 2. Forums B. Decision Time C. Drawing Up a Layout D. Testing Time III. Layout Design Theory A. Purpose B. Definitions 1. Tournament Mode 2. Device #1 - Levels 3. Device #2 - Items C. Fundamentals 1. Verticality 2. Balance 3. Flow 4. Connectivity 5. Scale D. Layout Types 1. Single Atrium 2. Duel Atri
  18. About Ben Burkart I initially became interested in level design as a full time career at the age of 12 when somebody gave me a copy of the original Unreal Tournament. I do not recall exactly how it happened but I ended up stumbling upon the level editor and quickly became fascinated with it. Above all the thing that stood out to me and fascinated me the most was the idea of creating my own levels. The authors names were under the properties of each level in the game and because I was so interested in level design these people in a very large way became my role models even though I had no idea
  19. The following is from "Level Design Using The Elements of Art and Principles of Design" by Wesley Rockholz This is only a portion of the article. Click on the link above (or at the end) to read the article in its' entirety. Wesley is currently an Associate Software Engineer for Blizzard Entertainment. His portfolio can be seen here. I'll start this post by saying that I'm not an artist, but it's important as a game designer to be well-rounded and understand both the technical and creative side of the development process. Everything I know about level desig
  20. The story behind Dust 2 - the map that was never meant to happen and at best, I thought, would be a foolish attempt to repeat the success of Dust. I gave it a go anyway.IntroductionDespite the success and overwhelming popularity of Dust, the thought of making a sequel took a long time to cross my mind. Although considered by some to be it’s spiritual successor, Cobble failed to find the same audience, and there was clear demand for a ‘real’ sequel. Dust 2 didn’t arrive until March 2001 - nearly 2 years after the original.It was never going to be easy creating a successor to the most-played FPS
  21. In this Blog Post, Zi Peters discusses what he considers the basics of level design in First and Third Person Shooters: There are some considerable differences between single player and multiplayer level design. In a single player game you have a lot more control on how the player is manipulated, but with multiple human players you can’t as accurately foretell how they will act and react to each other. This is also the beauty of it all, as it generates a lot of tension and increases the excitement of the experience. Outsmarting another human opponent is far more rewarding that taking d
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