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What "Level Designer" means in our industry


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Hi, I wanna ask you what are functions and what Level Designer should make in his work. Also I wanna ask how to call a guy that is making a plan and drawns a gameplay on paper/in documents - how to call him if there's a guy that is doing in editor that what he draws.

Thanks for answers!

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Both are level designers. A level designer plans the levels and does the editor work (prop placement, scripting etc...) and a level artist provides him with assets. In some cases the game designers are also heavily involved in planning the level as well as the level designer can also be involved in art creation, there´s no general rule to this, it depends on your studio´s organization really.

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Level designer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A level designer is a person who creates levels, challenges or missions for computer and/or video games using a specific set of programs. These programs may be commonly available commercial 3D or 2D design programs, or specially designed and tailored level editors made for a specific game.

In addition to actually making the environments the player inhabits in the game, a level designer may also work on enemy or Non-player character placement or scripted story events. They may also write high-level code, altering game rules or scoring in a multiplayer game, for instance.

Level design and mappers

A level designer may also be called a mapper; this term is however chiefly used in reference to people working on lower level free mods. This term technically only applies to people who are only able to work well in few specific areas of the level design process, such as being able to create geometry while unable to properly illuminate it. Using the term level designer to describe someone is generally reserved for those that have attained a certain level of mastery, in the engine they are designing for, so that they may control all aspects of the player experience.

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Assume that in most situations, level designers are doing some combination of layout and gameplay design, layout construction, and scripting. Some places distinguish between "level builders" and "level scripters," and some have them do all of the above.

Beyond that, some will do art, some will do lighting, some will do AI/enemy design, some will write, some will do cinematics, some will do all of the above, but that all depends entirely on the project, the engine and tools, and the company's workflow and resources.

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it's like mentioned above, Level Design can mean different things from company to company.

6/7 years ago, a level designer could do everything from sketching the level on paper, making the BSP, paint the textures, model props and level geometry, illuminate and script AI / Object animations / Cinematics.

Nowadays, games are so complex that it's almost impossible to do all this stuff for only one guy, that's why most of the time you have certain different categories of level designers, like:

level designer, level scripter, level artist / environment artist.

Personaly speaking, I prefer the Level Art side of level design, illuminate environments, model props and paint textures, make environments good looking, etc! :) The longer I stay sway from scripting, the better! :P

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I think the most basic definition is the guy that plans out and shapes the level environment, and from studio to studio you get more stuff attached to that- scripting events, placing entities and enemies, placing textures, lighting, making models, etc.

I'm comfortable with all of that except making models. It's a skill I probably need to learn eventually, though... :|

I think most of us with a mod background are more used to taking the wider scope workload.

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At Ubisoft, you would typically only handle gameplay as a level designer. Level artists will work hand in hand with you to make your level come alive, while you make sure your intended gameplay is as good as it can be. You may also have to script certain things, but the intricate cinematics and cameras would be handled by specific level scripters.

On the other hand, I picked up something as trivial as making the credits for Prince of Persia. That's the extent of the flexibility of your work as a level designer, you may very well end up doing things that fall way outside of your usual job spectrum simply because you may be available at the time. There is this constant belief wherever I go to work that level designers are always the most flexible, the guys on whom you can just dump whatever and expect things to get done regardless. Good thing I like to keep on learning new things and techniques...

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