Detailed hand-drawn platform game level design process.

Here is a complete commission for the level design of a platform game. I have produced a detailed reference for 3D modelling and texturing in 3DSMax for use in the Unity-developed game.

Squared grid level design process for collision map platforms

A grid-check is done prior to the final rendering. This is done with a transparent map of the platforms in the level over a grid. This helps to check the structure and map of the platforms, and helps to prevent in-game mechanics and the overall level design from breaking the gameplay. On a basic level this could be something like: Player gets stuck in a ditch and doesn’t have a high enough jump to get out.

User research

On a lean budget and tight time constraints, a bare minimum for user research should be to play-test the draft level design. Player/user feedback is then closely analysed to help improve the level design through iterations until the team are satisfied that it works well and is fun to play. Following this, the level is given the green-light for final artwork to be created.

Pseudo 3D Level Design

This is a pseudo 3D platform game level, which has a 2D-platformer feel, but a 3D parallax environment. Think game genres similar in camera-orientation to Shadow Complex, Ori and the Blind Forest, or the Rad Rodgers Kickstarter project.

The creative work and overall level design here is for a prototype. The storyboard and script are in constant development by the main game development team I am working with. This script also doubles up as a game design document which includes a specific set of game mechanics, some of which help the player to control the main character.

Release on iOS and Android

The puzzle-adventure will be released on both iOS (iPad and iPhone) and Android tablets in future. The head office for the production team of this game (and others) is in Hong Kong.

Below I have stitched a composite scan together in PhotoShop. The fully-rendered pencil drawing is drawn in pencil across three A3 sheets of smooth Canson Cartridge paper. The paper weight is approximately 200gsm.

Level design final pencil rendering composite for a platform game.
Pencil rendering of a platform game level design
The level includes, amongst other things: magnetic lava rocks, wooden ladders, gnarly trees, and some nice grassy platforms.