How to Design Game Levels &Adventures for Video and Tabletop
What you'll learn
- What it is and isn't - and why you'd do it
- Questions you must consider when you make a level/adventure
- Producing the goods - obstacles, objectives, scale, linearity, style, mood, etc.
- You need to have some knowledge of game design, e.g. from my book or Learning Game Design audiovisual class
- You need to know how to play games that use levels/adventures
(Note: This course will never be deeply discounted: it is not part of Udemy's "kamikaze marketing." If it were, I'd have priced it three or even four times higher.)
This is a class about how to design episodes for games (both video and tabletop) - call it level design or adventure design - rather than how to program them. (Level design is a subset of game design.) There is no instruction in using specific software, for example, but a lot about what to put in the level (and not put in it). Adventures (for D&D) preceded video game levels, and levels follow the same principles as those adventures.
In games that require episodes (stages, missions, levels, adventures), the episode designer is the person who delivers the enjoyment to the players.
Entire books have been written about level design, though much of the material in these books describes how to manipulate a specific level editor such as Unreal III. There's not so much in these books about the actual design of levels/adventures. This course is strictly about design, not production, though we do discuss documentation.
Udemy says the course is 8 hours. It's actually half that, they count as four hours the file I supply that contains all the slides used in the videos.
Who this course is for:
- There are two major audiences: those who want to make levels for video games,
- and those who want to design adventures for tabletop RPGs
- It may also help those making scenarios for wargames
Dr. Lewis Pulsipher (Wikipedia: "Lewis Pulsipher"; "Britannia (board game)"; "Archomental" ) is the designer of half a dozen commercially published boardgames. His game "Britannia" is described in an Armchair General review "as one of the great titles in the world of games." Britannia was also one of the 100 games highlighted in the book "Hobby Games: the 100 Best". He has over 17,000 classroom hours of teaching experience including teaching video game design and production, and over 20 years of part-time graduate teaching experience.
His book "Game Design: How to Create Video and Tabletop Games, Start to Finish" (McFarland) focuses on practical advice for beginning game designers, about how you actually create and complete game designs. He also contributed to the books "Tabletop: Analog Game Design," "Hobby Games: the 100 Best," "Family Games: the 100 Best." His game design blog has been active since 2004, and he is a contributor and "expert blogger" on Gamasutra, the #1 site for professional video game developers.
His latest published game is the 2011 reissue with additions of "Dragon Rage," originally published in 1982. Three new versions of Britannia, including a 90-120 minute version and a diceless version, are forthcoming, as well as several other games from Worthington Publishing and others. His Viking adventure game "Sea Kings" was published by Worthington in August 2015, and the video game "Lew Pulsipher's Doomstar" on Steam in September 2016.
Lew has a Ph.D. in military and diplomatic history from Duke University, from ancient days when degrees in media, computer networking, or game design did not exist--nor did IBM PCs. In 2012 he was a speaker at the East Coast Game Conference, PrezCon, Origins Game Fair, and World Boardgaming Championships. Long ago he was contributing editor for White Dwarf and Dragon magazines, and publisher of various game fanzines. In 2013 he was Industry Insider Guest of Honor at GenCon, and in 2014 is again speaker at the ECGC.
Game design blog and teach game design blogs are on blogspot
"Expert blogger", Gamasutra
former contributing editor, White Dwarf, Dragon, Space Gamer, etc.
former publisher, Supernova, Blood and Iron, Sweep of History, etc.
"Always do right--this will gratify some and astonish the rest." --Mark Twain