How do you design your game's levels to feel both complete and whole in and of themselves, but also a believable part of something greater?
At GDC 2017 Arkane's Steve Lee offered some advice on that front when he took the stage to advocate a holistic approach to level design, where LDs not only think about many aspects of the player's experience (primarily gameplay, presentation and story), but focus specifically on how all of these things work together.
His talk was especially notable because it drew from his experiences as an LD on games like Dishonored 2 and BioShock Infinite, and the design values of the immersive sim genre in general.
Plus, he highlighted and discussed several key ideas that emerge specifically from the relationships between the output of different disciplines, such as affordances, intentionality, world building and (in the context of these kinds of games) interactive storytelling.
Lee's talk was fascinating and insightful, especially if you do any sort of level design or worldbuilding on your own games. If you missed it earlier this year, don't skip your chance to now watch it for free over on the official GDC YouTube channel!
In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its new YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.
Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC Next already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.
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