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L4D1/2: 13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice

Category: Source: L4D2, Source: L4D1, Level Design
October 15, 2010

L4D1/2: 13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice

Valve has released "The Sacrifice" for L4D1/2. It is a 3 map campaign that features few new additions, features and endless level design insight.

The following tutorial features a video where you will learn 13 Level Design Tips from "The Sacrifice".

Many of these tips can be applied to other game level designs. Don't pass this by if you don't play L4D1/2.

13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice:

Below are notes for 13 Level Design Tips. The video detailed explanation and more level design tips and advice along the way.

1. PLAYER SPAWN PERSPECTIVE

Spawn the player facing the direction they need to go in.

L4D1/2: 13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice

2. STORY OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT

Tell a story with your environment. Design and create an environment to communicate a story. Environment needs a reason to exist. Let the player piece together a story of what has happened to an environment prior to the player getting there.

L4D1/2: 13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice

L4D1/2: 13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice

3. Prop_Fuel_Barrel

From Valve: "Added "prop_fuel_barrel" entity. This is a special destructible physics prop that blows up in several stages."

L4D1/2: 13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice

4. ENVIRONMENT CHOICES

Offer options which way the player wants to go. For example: Building vs Side Alley.

Create an illustion of freedom by giving the player a choice where they want to go.

L4D1/2: 13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice

L4D1/2: 13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice

5. "NARROW FLOW"

Create tight narrow spaces such as alleyways or hallways. Valve calls these "Narrow Flow". These help to break up your levels pacing and increase tension.

L4D1/2: 13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice

L4D1/2: 13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice

6. SIDE ROOMS

Create side rooms along the way to allow players to collect items, weapons, break up pacing of your level and spawn horde of infected.

L4D1/2: 13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice

The Sacrifice also uses cargo containers to do the same thing.

L4D1/2: 13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice

7. ENVIRONMENT EXPLORATION

Allow the player to explore your environments. Don't design your levels to go from point A to B. Make the player a participant of your environment. Make them travel within your environment, making choices.

L4D1/2: 13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice

L4D1/2: 13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice

8. FORCED WALKING

From Valve: "Added support for "Forced Walking" to trigger_player_movement entity. Forces the players to move at walk speed. "

L4D1/2: 13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice

9. WATER

Water is another element to introduce "Forced Walking". Water also introduces a visual element to your environment. Function and visuals.

L4D1/2: 13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice

10. TRAPPING

Trap the player for panic events or finales. Use the drop-off method.

L4D1/2: 13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice

11. GUIDE THE PLAYER

Guide the player to their next location using light. Elements such as light flares, warm lighting and safehouse overlays are all effective way to help player not get lost.

L4D1/2: 13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice

L4D1/2: 13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice

L4D1/2: 13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice

12. DETAIL

Pay attention to detail. Add various details in your environment to make it more authentic and believable. You don't want to detail every section of your map, you want to detail important locations.

L4D1/2: 13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice

L4D1/2: 13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice

L4D1/2: 13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice

13. SACRIFICE

Design your environment with the idea that one player will have to sacrifice themselves.

L4D1/2: 13 Level Design Tips from The Sacrifice

Updated & Revised - Preproduction Blueprint: How to Plan Your Game Environments and Level Designs

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