Follow these tips and you'll have a great level in no time. Trust me, I'll keep it simple for all you new guys so listen up.
"So you wanna make levels?"
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The first thing your gonna need, is what we call a theme. Basically everything in your level comes outta the theme, so you better pick a good theme first. What's a good theme, I'll leave that one up to you. But it could be a derelict spaceship, bit like the RT-XL's, a battle-field, a base under attack.
OK, simple enough right?. So whats next?. Next your gonna need a focal point, this is some big-ass structure or unique thing that goes bang in the middle of your map. So if it's a battlefield you could have a giant crashed dropship, as long as it's big and tall. This is like a landmark, so the player can see it and know where he is. So annoying things like getting lost don't happen.
"Get yourself a Focal Point"
What you can't draw?. Hell I can't draw either, but that shouldn't stop you. Just some scribbles are better than nothing. Make sure all your routes lead back to the focal point, and you can't go far wrong.
Placing objects?. Just keep this in mind when placing objects. "Marines of a feather flock toegther". What the hell does that mean?. Basically similar objects group together, forests are a bunch of trees, ammo packs group together, bad guys group together. Buildings group together to make cities and so on.
Life is always in balance. And so should your level. What does this mean? it means getting the bad guy/ammo/health balance just right. You don't want it too easy but you don't want it too hard either, right?. Get a ratio and stick to it, 3/1/1 could be used but hell I don't know what game your playing so you'll have to do this one yourself.
They call this enemy placement. But that shouldn't stop you. When your putting in your bad guys, try sticking them behind doors, mix it up alittle, make them sneakier. Be devious, cause thats what the bad guys are right?
A real newbie mistake is to put all the guns into one level. More is better right?, well no, getting a new gun is like getting a present it's gotta be a reward and you should make your player work for it. So after making him kill lotsa bad guys stick a gun or ammo in the next room. Trust me he'll keep coming back for more, if theres a reward.