How do you design your levels?

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Amine Retro
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How do you design your levels?

Postby Amine Retro » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:16 am

Hey guys, Amine Retro here, it looks like i have some kind of level design problem. Every single time i get the idea for a level, i launch SMBX and load the graphics, music, folder for my dedicated level. The level is ready to be made and everything is set but... Just as i open the level editor, my head gets empty, i have no idea what to do, i randomly place and delete blocks with no clue of what should i do. And this problem is seriously upsetting me, i keep repeating over and over and over and it just gets terrible. So far i only made one level (apart from the joke ones) and it was really short, also i made it AGES ago wich is kind of disappointing. I seriously don't know if this is some kind of sickness or whatever, i NEED to get over this, i just can't keep it.

The reason i made this thread is to show me how you guys make levels, what are the steps, tips and advices you can give me to get motivated and design levels correctly without giving up like always...
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Re: How do you design your levels?

Postby AlphaFenix » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:31 am

Draw your level structure and write your ideias in a paper. Then in the editor you add the other elements.
Miyamoto drawned all SMB1 levels on a Graph Paper.
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Re: How do you design your levels?

Postby RPG_Magician » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:38 am

Music is a good motivation for me when it comes to designing levels personally. Especially with Video Game OSTs, ask you listen to the music, you think, "how can I build a level that encompasses this music." and then you start brainstorming stuff then you set it into action.

Or sometimes I think drawing your levels on paper is good idea.

idk, this is just me personally.
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Re: How do you design your levels?

Postby Amine Retro » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:41 am

RPG_Magician wrote:Music is a good motivation for me when it comes to designing levels personally. Especially with Video Game OSTs, ask you listen to the music, you think, "how can I build a level that encompasses this music." and then you start brainstorming stuff then you set it into action.
Music has nothing to do with my problem, i always choose my favorite and nothing happens.
AlphaFenix wrote:Draw your level structure and write your ideias in a paper. Then in the editor you add the other elements.
Miyamoto drawned all SMB1 levels on a Graph Paper.
To be honest that's not a bad idea... might try it out sometime i guess...
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Re: How do you design your levels?

Postby AlphaFenix » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:47 am

Amine Retro wrote:
AlphaFenix wrote:Draw your level structure and write your ideias in a paper. Then in the editor you add the other elements.
Miyamoto drawned all SMB1 levels on a Graph Paper.
To be honest that's not a bad idea... might try it out sometime i guess...
Put all of ideias in the paper, make your schemes, draw all of the gimmicks e write a little text to explain it...
It's like an architecture project.

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Re: How do you design your levels?

Postby RudeGuy » Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:10 pm

i'd also suggest to play levels made by other people, you might get new ideas by them.
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Re: How do you design your levels?

Postby Radiance » Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:24 pm

Think of a good gimmick and implement it in your level. It would be nice if that gimmick you're going to use will be revolving in your level. And sometimes, I make levels out of the music which sounds good for me.

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Re: How do you design your levels?

Postby bossedit8 » Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:56 pm

RPG_Magician wrote:Music is a good motivation for me when it comes to designing levels personally.
I do have that aswell on specific moments in relation to music... at one point when I randomly listened to Bowser Themes it came up to my mind to make a ghost Bowser in process for my episode as a tiny scene after you beat him...

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Re: How do you design your levels?

Postby 1AmPlayer » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:22 pm

I actually doing simple stuff when building a level. First,think what gimmick you wanted to have in your level. After that, try putting it in your level and enhance it. Give some CGFX to make it atmospheric and make the music atmospheric also. And you're done.
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Re: How do you design your levels?

Postby Croagyoshi » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:32 am

Go with the flow, once you get an idea just start making things and testing and seeing what works.
...or you could put thought into it and design it on graph paper or something first, but that's what a reasonable person would do.
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Re: How do you design your levels?

Postby Amine Retro » Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:16 am

1AmPlayer wrote:I actually doing simple stuff when building a level. First,think what gimmick you wanted to have in your level. After that, try putting it in your level and enhance it. Give some CGFX to make it atmospheric and make the music atmospheric also. And you're done.
Yeah, i mentioned in the OP i load the CGFX and music before i make my level, but only thing i care about is the design, i mean, think of a bad level with good graphics, would that work out?
Mr Briney wrote:Think of a good gimmick and implement it in your level. It would be nice if that gimmick you're going to use will be revolving in your level. And sometimes, I make levels out of the music which sounds good for me.
Getting an idea for a gimmick and good music has nothing to do with my level designing problem, i need to plan for my level before making it rather than counting on music.
Croagyoshi wrote:Go with the flow, once you get an idea just start making things and testing and seeing what works.
...or you could put thought into it and design it on graph paper or something first, but that's what a reasonable person would do.
I'd choose to draw my level on paper before creating it, talking about that, i already made 5 pages (i think) of a level i could create after a while, took some of my free time to do that. I hope it'll go well.
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Re: How do you design your levels?

Postby HeroLinik » Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:39 am

I tend to follow a certain structure with my levels.

1. Ease the player in with the theme
2. Introduce the level's gimmick and feature it
3. Lay off from the gimmick for a while and focus on other aspects
4. Use said gimmick in more imaginative ways
5. IT ALL COMES TOGETHER
6. End of the level
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Re: How do you design your levels?

Postby Snessy the duck » Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:35 am

You may want to watch a YouTube channel called Mark Brown, who has a series called Game Maker's Toolkit. Some of the videoes are based on level design in platformers, and they're really good at decontructing good level design, so they might help you with your problem.
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Re: How do you design your levels?

Postby Amine Retro » Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:51 am

Snessy the duck wrote:You may want to watch a YouTube channel called Mark Brown, who has a series called Game Maker's Toolkit. Some of the videoes are based on level design in platformers, and they're really good at decontructing good level design, so they might help you with your problem.
I watched one of his videos and this made me take back my words; gimmicks are good for level design.
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Re: How do you design your levels?

Postby 1AmPlayer » Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:22 am

Amine Retro wrote:
1AmPlayer wrote:I actually doing simple stuff when building a level. First,think what gimmick you wanted to have in your level. After that, try putting it in your level and enhance it. Give some CGFX to make it atmospheric and make the music atmospheric also. And you're done.
Yeah, i mentioned in the OP i load the CGFX and music before i make my level, but only thing i care about is the design, i mean, think of a bad level with good graphics, would that work out?
Simple. If you want, make some layout first or something. If it doesn't work, well. I don't know.
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Re: How do you design your levels?

Postby DJFMHD » Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:06 pm

When I have enough ideas stored in my head I design it around that which always doesn't end up well so I make revisions after.
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Re: How do you design your levels?

Postby ivanmegafanboy » Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:09 am

Maybe you are just burned up for making so many levels. Take a stroll, bake a cake, keep with your normal life until something comes up. But well, that might take from days to months, or maybe the ideas will never come back, I dunno.
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Re: How do you design your levels?

Postby Amine Retro » Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:41 am

ivanmegafanboy wrote:Maybe you are just burned up for making so many levels. Take a stroll, bake a cake, keep with your normal life until something comes up. But well, that might take from days to months, or maybe the ideas will never come back, I dunno.
Um i'm making a level right now and i'm doing well with it.
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Re: How do you design your levels?

Postby Mable » Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:22 am

I hit my head on a wall and the level creates itself then


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