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Level Design for Games

A 10-week course in which students will learn to approach 3D game level environments with a design perspective

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Course Categories
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Course Format:
Standard
Duration:
10 weeks
Materials:
Maya (or equivalent), Unity
Lecture Type:
Pre-recorded
Assignment:
Deadlines each week
Skills Level:
Intermediate
Feedback:
Individual recordings
Q&A:
Once a week
Prerequisites:
Strong working knowledge of Maya is required; knowledge of Unity is recommended but not required
Course Format:
Standard
Duration:
10 weeks
Materials:
Maya (or equivalent), Unity
Lecture Type:
Pre-recorded
Assignment:
Deadlines each week
Skills Level:
Intermediate
Feedback:
Individual recordings
Q&A:
Once a week
Prerequisites:
Strong working knowledge of Maya is required; knowledge of Unity is recommended but not required
Course Format:
Standard
Duration:
10 weeks
Materials:
Maya (or equivalent), Unity
Lecture Type:
Pre-recorded
Assignment:
Deadlines each week
Skills Level:
Intermediate
Feedback:
Individual recordings
Q&A:
Once a week
Prerequisites:
Strong working knowledge of Maya is required; knowledge of Unity is recommended but not required
COURSE OVERVIEW
COURSE OVERVIEW
WHAT YOU'LL LEARN
EXPAND ALL COLLAPSE ALL

The more you know, the better.

Week 1 | Getting Started

What is a “level”? What do level designers do? We’ll look at the history of environments in games and their purpose in the overall structure of a game’s design. And we’ll briefly take a look at the structure of the course. Finally, we’ll setup Unity and familiarize ourselves with the pipeline of creating environment mesh and bringing it into the game.

Week 2 | Shapes, Space, and Beyond

We’re going back to basics of architecture this week and exploring components of geometric shape. We’ll talk positive and negative space, rules of perception, and how shape influences player behavior and experience.

Week 3 | Elements of Layout

Let’s get organized! We’ll learn about the structure of cities and buildings, how players mentally map and utilize space, and how you can create environments that communicate their purpose to the player.

Week 4 | Hit the Books

It’s time to start planning an environment. We’ll talk about how designers study and research, gather reference, and create prototypes leading up to the creation of their levels. Learn to look at reference and pick out what evokes a sense of place and atmosphere. Creating immersion means getting your head in the world of the game.

Week 5 | Shape in Sequence

A level is a story. We’ll learn about formal narrative structure and performative techniques. We’ll create beat diagrams, pacing, and examine how levels flow from space to space in support of narrative and character development.

Week 6 | Exploration Design

How do you create spaces that are interesting to explore? We’ll look at path flow, valving, risk, rewards, creating mystery, player motivation and investment.

Week 7 | Guiding the Player

This week covers how risk versus reward, affordances, and denials can shape player choices.

Week 8 | Emotive Design

This week explores how different types of spaces, shape language, contrasts, and story/environmental values contribute to the emotive design of a level.

Week 9 | Combat

Many games feature some form of combat. We’ll dive into cover-based shooter mechanics as a case study for how environmental shape interacts directly with player mechanics as well as take a look at what considerations go into creating multiplayer deathmatch style arena maps.

Week 10 | Odds & Ends

A design isn’t done until it ships. It’s a humbling experience putting your game in the hands of new players. We’ll look at the cycle of iteration and working with other departments to carry your design to gold. Also some final thoughts. This week we’ll finish covering a few more combat concepts in addition to valves, working with cinematics, and constructing a journey. We’ll conclude with a survey of various archetypes and how they line up.

Level Design for Games
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN
Instructor

Real heroes don't wear capes, they teach

Shane Canning is a veteran Level Designer at Square Enix and has been working in the game industry for twelve years. He spent 8 years at Disney Interactive where he had the opportunity to help create Disney Infinity and shipped 7 titles during his time there. Afterwards, he spent years on Marvel's Spider-Man where one of his levels was used for the Sony showcase at E3 2018. (The Raft) He is known for his exciting layouts and set pieces. Shane decided to tackle his next challenge, landing in Japan, and is now helping Square Enix on an unannounced project.

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STUDENT INTERVIEWS
Introduction to Level Design for Games
Introduction to Level Design for Games
The Art of Level Design: Do's and Don'ts
The Art of Level Design: Do's and Don'ts
How to Level Design: An Overview
How to Level Design: An Overview
FALL TERM REGISTRATION
Jul 26, 2021 - Oct 11, 2021
ONLY
$998
COURSE BEGINS
January 28th

PRICING SCHEDULE

Even though our courses are the most affordable for the quality of education.

These FINANCE OPTIONS allow you to focus on your goals instead of the barriers that keep you from reaching them.

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Gonzalo Bernal

I learned a few very useful tricks and helped me correct some bad habits acquired in my self taught period as a level designer.

Alexandre Chaves

A lot, this course is really helping me to improve myself as a Level Designer. It’s totally worth it.

Alina Dreesmann

Patrick really did a good job, was flexible and tried to find solutions and help whenever he could. His input and feedback was really nice and he’s super polite.

COMPANIES THAT HIRE OUR STUDENTS
BENEFITS
What makes this learning experience unique?
Personal Feedback

Receive personal individual feedback on all submitted assignments from the industry’s best artist.

1+ Year Access

Enjoy over 365 days of full course access. This includes all lectures, feedback, and Live Q&A recordings.

Certificate of Completion

Earn a Certificate of Completion when you complete and turn in 80% of course assignments.

Flexible Learning

Learn anywhere, anytime, and at your own pace with our online courses.

Level Design for Games
BENEFITS

Need guidance?

We can help with admissions questions, portfolio review / course recommendations!

FALL TERM REGISTRATION
Jul 26, 2021 - Oct 11, 2021
ONLY
$998
COURSE BEGINS
January 28th
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