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5 Tips for Becoming a Better Level Designer

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Sykoo, Mar 24, 2017.

  1. Sykoo


    Jul 25, 2014
    Hi there,

    I decided to post a new video that I recently uploaded on my YouTube channel here as well, since most of my previous videos have been enjoyed here.

    I hope that I can help out some people by this video.

    1: Artistic Eye - how can you become better at it? How do you get the "artistic eye"?

    2: Grass - how can you make your grass look good? Why are your grass textures failing? Is your grass too green?

    3: Models - how to find high quality models? What model packs should you purchase? How can you search for the "right" kind of assets?

    4: Lightning and Shadows - how do you properly light up your levels? How do you use a directional light? How do you edit the ambient light? Are your shadows TOO strong?

    5: Take your time - is it worth spending extra 30 minutes on your level? Why should you not be afraid of editing more? Is there ALWAYS room for improvement, if so, how can you actually perform the improvement?

    I also talk quite a lot about Unity's level designing, since I know most of my viewers (biased) use Unity. I hope you enjoy. If you have any feedback for me about the video, or a few tips of your own - let me and us know in the replies. :)
  2. Master-Frog


    Jun 22, 2015
    I have an autistic eye.
    RockoDyne likes this.
  3. zombiegorilla



    May 8, 2012
    That's really not level design, it's more environment assembly. Level design is more about gameplay.
  4. Sykoo


    Jul 25, 2014
    These are factors that help you through level designing. If you're pointing at my content, I've been making levels, and that's one thing my customers can agree with. Some of my designs I post on my channel go to game studios as well.
  5. Sykoo


    Jul 25, 2014
    LOL YouTube's subtitles detected one of my "artistic" pronunciation as "autistic". Oh my, what have I done?
  6. passerbycmc


    Feb 12, 2015
    This seems like it is more about environment art, and not level design. Level design is more in the domain of problem solving and less in the domain of visuals. Its about building layouts that let the gameplay flow, building interesting encounters for the player and even a lot of work with fixing and optimizing sight lines as well as level scripting.
  7. Ch33ri0s


    Feb 6, 2013
    Great video, but I felt like you only grazed the top of what actually make you a better environment designer. This video seemed more like simple tips than making me a better level designer.

    If you really want to "help" make people better at 'level designing' you should make several videos and focus on specific topics (such as lighting, then grass/trees, then camera, then scaling and textures.. etc.). The problem with focusing on 'level designing' as a whole, is their are so many different topics that need to be addressed.

    In my opinion, lighting and shadows would be a great topic to talk about. You can make bad terrain look good with proper lighting and shadows (from my experience).

    Then again, I've only used Unity for a couple months. So what do I know? Haha. Thanks for the video. Just thought I'd give my two cents!
  8. Dustin-Horne


    Apr 4, 2013
    For someone like me who is a programmer and terrible at environment design though, this is great. I'd much rather get a taste of the high level first. Understand the concepts, then deep dive into them as I see fit.
    Ryiah likes this.
  9. frosted


    Jan 17, 2014
    I watched some, only recommendation is to get down to specifics faster.

    I think it's literally like 5 minutes in you're talking about how an "artistic eye can be learned" then like 4 minutes on setting the color/width/height of the grass.

    I liked the examples contrasting very small grass against big grass. But I can't help but think you could crunch this 15 minute video down to about 4 minutes and still communicate your points clearly.

    Still, nice looking visuals in some of those scenes!
  10. Buttons4Bellies


    Jan 25, 2017
    Firstly, sharing your knowledge is always admirable, no matter what level you're at. But this is a forum, so let's discuss...

    As far as I can tell this was your advice:

    Q:How do I get an "artistic eye"?
    A:Start making levels.

    Q:How can I improve my grass?
    A:Change the colors, and transition from areas with no grass by ramping up the size.

    Q:How do I find the right models?
    A Depends on what you want. Tile textures.

    Q:How can I improve my lighting?
    A:Use ambient lighting.

    I think you did a great job with the second piece of advice, you defined the problem, you showed an example of what not to do, as well as your solution.

    That wasn't the case for the rest of the video, there were no concrete tips regarding the first and third problems. The fourth had very little "how" or "why" or what good ambient lighting looks like.

    In the future, I think you'd benefit from writing down your tips beforehand, it didn't feel like you had a grasp on the problems you were trying to address. That would also cut down on the ridiculous length.

    Like others have noted, try and research the terms used.
  11. Sykoo


    Jul 25, 2014
    Thank you very much for your feedback!

    I agree with your point being that it was a bit too simple, although I'd like to admit that my channel has got quite a lot of viewers who don't seem to get enough inspiration, knowledge or motivation to get started in the first place. I thought if I shared my two cents, being honest and keeping it simple and straight; I'd get their attention easier. But I completely agree, it could've been more general by including more "pro-tips" rather than simplistic parts. I hope to make a new video for that in that case. :)

    Hi Frosted,

    thank you very much for your feedback! I agree, I should've wrote down a bit more specifically what I'd talk of, instead of going with the flow. It would've definitely made the video shorter, which would benefit everyone. I'll definitely keep that in mind for next time!