Monday, April 29, 2019

An Architectural Approach to Level Design (Free PDF)

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Game designer and theorist Ian Bogost has been quoted as saying that game design is a bit of a “black art.”1 While many people outside the field underestimate the amount of work, expertise, and manpower required to make video games, many inside the industry are humbled by game design’s staggering complexity. The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) 2008 curriculum framework for game design education is a testament to this complexity. Over twenty-seven pages of its forty-one-page length are devoted to a list of suggested topics to cover in an academic program on game design.2 In The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses,3 designer Jesse Schell highlights nineteen fields from which a successful game designer must draw knowledge. Both documents cite topics including business and economics, programming, art, psychology, and theater performance theory. Clearly, the entirety of modern game design is a daunting beast.

About the Author
Chapter 1. A Brief History of Architecture and Level Design
Chapter 2. Tools and Techniques for Level Design
Chapter 3. Basic Gamespaces
Chapter 4. Teaching in Levels through Visual Communication
Chapter 5. Introducing Emotional Level Design through Survival Instincts
Chapter 6. Enticing Players with Reward Spaces
Chapter 7. Storytelling in Gamespace
Chapter 8. Possibility Spaces and Worldbuilding
Chapter 9. Influencing Social Interaction with Level Design
Chapter 10. Enhancing Level Design with Music and Sounds
Chapter 11. Real-World Adaptive Level Design

Author Details
"Christopher Totten" is an assistant professor of game design at George Mason University. He has a master’s degree in architecture with a concentration in digital media from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Pie For Breakfast Studios and has participated in several independent and serious game projects as an artist, animator, level designer, and project manager.

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