Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
October 26, 2016
arrowPress Releases

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:

Feature: Controlling Game Structure, Pacing, Mood
Feature: Controlling Game Structure, Pacing, Mood
May 27, 2010 | By Staff

May 27, 2010 | By Staff
    Post A Comment
More: Console/PC, Design

In Gamasutra's latest design feature, veteran designer and Lara Croft creator Toby Gard discusses how leads can gather feedback, assemble a comprehensive picture of the game, and message that picture back to the team.

Gard writes, "To structure their feedback, the creative leads need to validate all level plans in relation to each other. Because the levels are likely to be pretty complex, it is useful to create a simplified representation of the whole game so that you can assess the pacing and emotional consistency of the experience."

His solution -- which he describes in concert with a further exploration of his case study, the fictional beat 'em-up Kung Fu Zombie Killer, which debuted in Gard's last feature -- is to draw up charts which examine the proprtion of gameplay in each level, to help shape the overall game and its mood, and communicate these important facts back to the team.

Once assembled, it allows the team to settle on and implement gameplay concepts which grow organically from their own ideas, and keep the game cohesive, well-paced, and emotionally effective.

"These mechanics are generally gold, because they were not forced into the game design from a desire to tick boxes based on competitive products, but were discovered organically through an exploration of its unique themes and the thoughtful exploration of its world," he writes on team-driven creativity.

Meanwhile, a game's Mood Map, which designates the general emotion you want players to feel as they play the game, "has two purposes. It is used to assess that the level order and content will not interfere with the emotional journey of the player, but more critically, it is a fundamental tool for aligning the whole development team towards creating a holistic experience," writes Gard.

The full feature, Action Adventure Level Design: Pacing, Content, and Mood, is live today on Gamasutra.

Related Jobs

New York University Tisch School of the Arts
New York University Tisch School of the Arts — New York, New York, United States

Associate Arts Professor, New York University: Tisch School of the Arts: Game Center
Psyonix — San Diego, California, United States

Systems Designer
id Software
id Software — Richardson, Texas, United States

Senior 3D/Prop Modeler
id Software
id Software — Richardson, Texas, United States

Senior Environment Artist

Loading Comments

loader image