Gamasutra is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
May 21, 2019
arrowPress Releases

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

 Hitman  dev says the secret to expansive level design is spirals

Hitman dev says the secret to expansive level design is spirals

March 24, 2017 | By Alex Wawro

March 24, 2017 | By Alex Wawro
    Post A Comment
More: Console/PC, Design

"They’re basically spirals, or a snail house, we call it."

- IO Interactive's Torbjørn Christensen, speaking to Rock, Paper, Shotgun about how the studio designs Hitman levels like Sapienza and Hokkaido.

How do you make a level seem as big and expansive as possible?

One way, according to Hitman lead level designer Torbjørn Christensen, might be to think of your level like a big spiral -- a "snail house" your players can walk every inch of without feeling as though they've hit a wall.

Christensen and lead game designer Jesper Hylling recently spoke to Rock, Paper, Shotgun about the design of Hitman's Hokkaido level, and its a good read if you're curious about how the snowy, isolated space got its shape -- or why it might seem to feel larger than it actually is.

"One of the reasons why all these levels feel larger than they maybe are in terms of square meters is that you can keep moving ahead all the time,” Hylling said, referring specifically to the Sapienza and Hokkaido levels in Hitman. “There are no dead ends and you never need to backtrack, although you can.”

Corollary to this is the Hitman development team's reported focus on designing each room so that players can comfortably "flow" through them without say, missing notable stairwells or doorways. You can read Christensen and Hylling's comments on that and many other aspects of Hitman's level design in the full RPS article.

Related Jobs

Sucker Punch Productions
Sucker Punch Productions — Bellevue, Washington, United States

QA Manager
Dream Harvest
Dream Harvest — Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Technical Game Designer
Deep Silver Volition
Deep Silver Volition — Champaign, Illinois, United States

System Designer (Player Progression)
Bohemia Interactive Simulations
Bohemia Interactive Simulations — Prague, Czech Republic

Lead Game Designer

Loading Comments

loader image