How to develop game levels?

Hey guys,

I’m not a programmers, but I’ve seen a lot of good games out there, which I’d like to redo in another form. I’d prefer to buy source codes, but usually either I don’t find what I’m looking for, or it’s too expensive.

So, for those of you who develop games yourself - how do you plan game levels? Do you write it down, have a level planning software, or anything else? I’m thinking mostly about arcade and puzzle games.

Also, would you recommend a tool like GameSalad for creating simple games?


Game libraries just as LibGDX or AndEngine have a feature to load .tmx map files which you can create using the ‘Tiled Mapeditor’. It’s free and a really nice tool.

Hey re4lity,

thanks for answering. I was thinking more about the actual design - you know, some puzzle games have really good puzzles to solve and I wonder how does the author think up the levels? :slight_smile:

I found it to be really hard when I was doing my puzzle platformer. Advice - play other puzzle games, borrow ideas from them, add some twistss0 and think, think, think.

I’ve suspected that there is no easy or automated way of doing this. :slight_smile: So you basically design all the “riddles” yourself.

Oh, I’m sorry. :o

I am currently working on a puzzle game too. My game is about filling boards with certain shapes. So, I created a random level generator which is working with probability when it comes down to the creation of the shapes. Using different probability values I can adjust the difficulty.

When I created the first 10 levels I tried to make them really easy. Just to give the player an idea what my game is all about. I then shared my game and the first 10 levels with my friends and all complained about the high difficulty of the first levels, eventhough they looked really easy to me (probably because I created them :rolleyes:)

So, in the end it’s all about testing really.

Thanks. :slight_smile: It’s really good to know this. Btw, are you reading any “game development” journals?

No, I don’t read any at all. Which journal did you think of for example?

I don’t have any particular in mind, I was just wondering, if you read this sort of material. I guess everything everything a person need to know or learn is available on-line and for free. :slight_smile:

It is a great thing that you are thinking of developing a new game app. You are right that Game Salad for creating simple games as it is world’s fastest game design engine.

I’ve recently found an alternative I might use -

Looks even simpler than GameSalad. Does anyone has any experience with it?

Personally, i think about all the riddles myself, always considering the basic game design rules, and trying to apply my experience as videogame player and common sense. I highly recommend you to read “The art of game design: A book of lenses”, and “Level Up: A guide to great video game design”

Thanks for the tips! I’ll definitely look for those books.