© Copyright 2007 Paul Davis, All Rights Reserved.
Whether your a level scripter, or level designer, knowing the basics of geometry design is a must! The area is too vast to cover here, so the following are some basic and advanced tips to help you on your way!
Turning circles!, the first thing for any level designer to work out is the turning circles for the players vehicle/avatar. This is essential in working out how wide corridors must be. If your corridors are too narrow it can be a nightmare for the player and the A.I.
Blocking it out?, making a rough blocked out level is common in some studios, this saves time in tweaking art and is better for the level designer. The level designer basically makes a very simple 3d mesh of the level ( without textures ) that he can then test without
constraints. If your creating a level starting with a basic mesh is a good idea to nail it down quick'n'dirty!
Height changes are a must in any 3d-level, walkways, arches, overhead floors, stairs are all good. Alot of 3d-levels suffer from lack of height changes, tall buildings and structures also help break-up the skyline and add atmosphere.
The dog-leg is a pretty common feature in most games. If you've been doing you de-engineering you'll come across it alot! It's a good shape that works in alot of situations, so use it, it's also pretty common to place the Enemy's in the middle of the dog-leg, the old guy around the corner routine.
Focal Points are really important in level design, they set the ambience and can be used as a story-device, The picture to the left shows a focal point in the centre of a room with routes leading off, this is a good set-up as crossroads should always have a focal
point so players don't get lost. The focal point in the picture shows dead bodies around a missing statue, which is a focal point that tells a story and sets up ambience.
Making the level as real as possible is very important, if your designing an underground bunker level then do some research on that and try to capture the feel and structure of the real thing. This is all to help create a reality in which the player can 'get into', the suspension of disbelief.