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Post news RSS How long does it take to make a level?

Thought I'd share my thoughts as a self-taught game, level designer about my experience in creating levels in our game BUCK.

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How long does it take to make a level?

Well that's a very good question to be honest and it really depends on the type of level.

Town Hubs such as Westown take much more time to get right. Having a large amount of NPC's with different game progression flags add a lot of time and effort to get to feel right. Limited camera movements and smaller spaces means that much more assets are being used to fill the scene and make it feel immersive.

Mission Levels like the one shown in the video to make are indeed longer in size and scope. They host elevators, switches, secrets, hidden loot caches and enemies. I usually get through these levels much quicker although it always catches me off guard when I return to make a level after a long time and worry that these mission levels will take me forever. I keep getting pleasantly surprised of how quickly I finish the first iteration of the level.

To summarize;

Mission Levels take up to between 2 to 5 days to complete, enemies and all. Most changes simply minor tweaks of the camera and object clarity in the level.

Town Hub areas take at least three weeks to get to work.

The biggest delay with Town Hub areas is by far the dialogues. Since dialogues dictate the progression of the game, it takes a single misspelled object ID to be wrong to break the entire progression of the game. I comb through the dialogues and the changes they enable carefully and make sure every tiny change is correct and progresses the game in the ways I intended.

5 hours of work in 5 minutes:

The video below shows a very old version of a the level "Oldtown". It's been remade at least 4 times from scratch due to compatibility issues that occurred when new editing tools have been introduced.

I hope you found this interesting. If you have any questions or anything else on your mind, I'm here on Twitter.

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