成爲更優秀關卡設計師需要養成的4個習慣

作者:Geoff Ellenor

有時候我會遇到一些總是希望將自己的工作做得更好的設計師,但事實上他們卻未曾發生改進,或者覺得自己現在所擁有的技能水平遠遠不夠。不斷的迭代能夠成就更出色的設計師,但並不是所有人都能從自己所從事的事中獲得價值。以下便是能夠幫助任何關卡設計師獲得提升的4種習慣。

利用你所擁有的每一個創造性自由

在AAA級遊戲中,我們往往沒有足夠的自由去創造我們想創造的內容,有時候你能夠自由發揮創造性的空間總是非常小。這就是說:如果你能在你所擁有的自由空間裏充滿自信,你便可能變得更好。

在早期製作過程中,你可以嘗試許多不同理念。與你所合作的美術師保持同步,親身投入創造性過程中並推動某些讓人驚訝的內容的創造。

有時候你可能分配到一些很平常的任務,這時候你便應該竭盡所能地讓它發光發亮。如果地圖上的一個空間充滿了本不該存在的機筒和板條箱,你便可以嘗試一些不同的內容去完成任務,將其變成是自己的創意,即創造出讓自己感到驕傲的內容。

不要只嘗試一個理念

你的第一個理念可能是你最喜歡的理念,但這也只有在你嘗試了其它不同理念時才能知道的事。致力於一張地圖佈局?不要只創造一次關鍵區域。你應該創造三個變量,如此你便能從中選擇最出色的一個。(遊戲邦注:是的,我的方法意味着你要丟掉其它佈局,而如果你不能果敢地按下刪除按鍵,你便不能獲得你所需要的自由。)

你必須記得,沒有人能夠強迫你提交每個理念到每日構建中,但如果你未能嘗試一些不同變量,你便只能深陷於你的第一個理念中,甚至更糟糕的是,你可能會遇到別人說着“這部分看起來不怎麼樣,請展示其它內容給我看”的情況。

如果你在PC上嘗試了4個不同的理念,你便能在回家前自信地提交最佳選擇,至少你在這過程中不斷練習,學習並完善着。

學習從所有人那獲得反饋

feedback(from baike)

feedback(from baike)

是的,即使是你們團隊中的成員也幾乎很少會去表達自己的看法。而各種類型的玩家對於你的設計的看法總是能夠更好地完善你的內容。

有些人不善於提供反饋,有些開發者只是將反饋當成是自己在會議上發揮聰明的表現,但不管怎樣你都應該去聽取所有人的反饋。在開發中,你的第一個用戶便是與你共事的人。你應該儘可能地獲取反饋,禮貌地聽別人說話,然後再自己判斷這些反饋的含義。

就像有人說:“我在這裏左轉,但前面卻是個死衚衕,我很鬱悶,不知道爲什麼這裏會有個門道。”這可能是一個負面反饋,但這也告訴了你這位玩家希望能夠穿過這條路徑。這可能是一個佈局問題,也有可能是光線問題,或者你可以在這裏添加一個可收集的道具。所以你應該使用反饋去創造更出色的玩家體驗。

始終保持“乾淨”—-修改任何內容

我不能誇大“乾淨”數據的重要性。如果你的工作方式亂糟糟(即到處都是無用的實體內容,劣質的碰撞網,糟糕的佈局安排等等),你的迭代速度將受到很大影響,並會導致你的遊戲關卡中充滿各種小漏洞。

如果你在關卡中發現一個問題,你應該檢查數據中的其它地方是否存在同樣的問題。我便曾遇到一個關卡設計師在解決了地圖上一個“無效的玩家掉落高度”問題後直接忽視了其它16個位置上出現的同樣的問題。

關卡設計師總是需要處理許多數據,而保持數據的整潔是一項很重要的工作,如果你不能做好這點,你便很難發生改變。如果你能夠確保你所擁有的數據足夠有序,那麼迭代便會更加輕鬆。

本文爲遊戲邦/gamerboom.com編譯,拒絕任何不保留版權的轉發,如需轉載請聯繫:遊戲邦

Four Useful Habits for Level Designers

by Geoff Ellenor

I sometimes meet designers who want to be better at their jobs, but don’t appear to be improving, or feel like they’re stuck at the skill level they have now. Constant iteration makes better designers, but not everybody really gets value from everything they do. Here are four habits you can give yourself that can make any level designer improve.

Use Every Last Bit of Creative Liberty You’re Given

In AAA games we are almost never given full liberty to make what we want, and sometimes the space within which you can create freely is very small. That said: you will get better if you act confidently within the space you’re given.

Early in the production process you can typically try a lot of different ideas, so make sure you do. Sync with the artists that you work with, stay involved in the creative process, and push for something amazing.

Sometimes your assigned task isn’t thrilling, but you should try to rock it regardless. If one room in one map has to be filled with barrels and crates, that may not be exciting… but try a few variations, take the task and make it your own, and try to create something you can be proud of.

Never Try Only One Idea

Your first idea may be the one you like the most, but you won’t know until you try several. Working on a map layout? Don’t build key areas only once… Build three variations, so you can confidently choose the one that works best. (Yes, my approach means throwing away several layouts, but if you’re not comfortable pressing the delete button, you‘re not going to give yourself the freedom you need to become great at this.)

Remember, nobody forces you to submit each idea into the nightly build, but if you haven’t tried several different variations locally, you’re going to be stuck with your first idea, or worse: you will only iterate when somebody like me says “this part isn’t very good, show me something else.”

If you’ve tried four different ideas on your PC, you’re likely to feel confident that you submitted the best choice before you went home that night, and if nothing else: you’re practicing, learning, and improving.

Listen to Feedback From Everybody

Yes, even that one guy on your team who can barely express himself and seems to suck at video games. A variety of player perspectives on your design is pure fuel to make your content better.

Some people are terrible at giving feedback, and some devs give feedback purely as a way of seeming clever in meetings, and you should still listen to everyone. In development, your first audience is the people you work with. Take all the feedback you can get, listen politely, and then decide for yourself what that feedback means.

Let’s say somebody says “I turned left here, and it was a dead end, and I was depressed, like why is this doorway even here.” This feedback may be very negative, but it does tell you that this player was expecting to be able to move through that path. It could be a layout problem, it could be a lighting problem, or you could have just found a place for a collectible item. Use the feedback to make better experiences.

Work “Clean” All The Time?—?Fix Everything

I can’t overstate the importance of clean data. If you work “filthy” (unused entities hanging around, shoddy collision meshes, badly arranged layers, etc) you are slowing your iteration time down drastically, and making little bug factories all over your level.

If you find a problem in your level, check to see where else in your data the same problem exists. I’ve seen a level designer fix a ‘invalid height for player drop’ problem in one spot in the map and go on to ignore the other sixteen places in his map where the same problem exists?—?don’t be that guy.

Level designers work with a lot of data; keeping it well organized is a big job and if you do it badly, you’ll be afraid to make changes. You should always know what’s under the hood, and you should always feel like you can be proud of it. If you know your data is well-organized, iteration can be painless.(source:gamasutra)