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Placing objects in levels..
Object placement is the process of positioning pick-ups, enemies, power-ups, within a level. This is an important factor in a level's appeal as it greatly affects the challenge and pacing.
 
(Object Placement)

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Placing lot's of smaller less powerful pick-ups, and one or two super pick-ups is a good strategy. Placement should generally be in rooms off the main pathway, this promotes further exploration. Powerful pick-ups are generally

guarded or in a hard to access areas. Easter egg items are generally placed in 'secret areas', these are there for replayability.
Enemy placement should be light at the beginning of the level, and build up towards the 3/4 mark. Following the 3/4 mark there should be a rest period, then a climatic battle at the 4/5 period. If that makes any sense? if not mail me.

Good places to put enemies is up high on balconies, where they can shoot-down on the player. Around corners, behind doors, patroling corridors. A good rule of thumb is to think why is this enemy in this area, is he guarding? is he patroling, what is he guarding in this zone?

A final note is in relation to balance, it's important to test your level constantly in order to get a feel of how difficult it is.   Adding random factors can also greatly increase a levels appeal, for example having enemies spawn in different places everytime you play, if your game supports this! A good rule for getting the difficulty right is when you can beat the level without too much effort the difficulty is perfect. Alot of designers after playing the level 500 times get the feeling it's too easy and then make it impossibly hard, an easy trap to fall into!