Level design is a very important task for game design and shouldn’t be taken lightly as it is done to determine the path the player with follow and intereact with. UDK is great for doing this as it has blue and white tiled squares (bsp) to test the playablity of a level and to find out whether the level is interesting and works well with path finding. Some times games can leave you feeling lost if you don’t know where to go. Skyrim is a good example as it does have a map and marks but it can leave you sometimes confused on which way to go in open areas. The dungeons for example are really narrow and guide the player really well through them with little puzzles on the way the path is always clear. They also open up to bigger areas for interaction like fights with spiders.
I guess it depends on what the type of game determines the level design. Multiplayer games are design alot differently to say a action adventure like uncharted. I’ll compare it with bf3 as they are both different in level design for the tasks they need to do. Uncharted has climbable objects like cliffs and buildings as the game is about exploring. So often for encharted then levels are big but yet the path ways are small to guide a player through sometimes giving a player only one route to follow. Uncharted is good for this has it has vertical levels so the gameplay in white box isn’t boring as your not just following like a level full of corridors but a level that makes you move up and down too. but its still guiding a player. When it comes to battlefield 3 on multiplayer all this changes. Multiplayer would be so boring if it only had one route to get to places. So the levels in a multiplayer are very open but yet made interesting to get to there is never one straight route to an objective. It would be boring if a level was just flat and everyone could see everyone. So adding corners and buildings to break up line of sight from getting shot makes a level. Though in level design you wouldn’t actually call things buildings exactly as they would just be blocks to build navigation though the level. Objects and so forth would just be smaller blocks. I guess i should have said this earlier than everything is in blocks and not objects like i’ve been calling them.
Also when doing level design alot of things should be took in to consideration like composition is there a feature in the concepts that needs to be shown like a goal to get to does it need to be viewable as to showing direction. Also concepting should be done before white boxing but it should carry all the way through. This way you know kinda what style the level design is going to be like . like what is the mission for this level? What are the goals that are going to be completed by the end of the level?
In a way the best way i can think of to describe how a game design works is. Say you own a art museum that has these white boards separating sections off. How would you want your customers to be guiding through all these rooms of art and not get bored or lost and still be interested? There is a gallery in London thats one once a yeah thats in a huge tent in a park http://www.friezeartfair.com/ wondering around this place really interested me and it think the way it is laid out is the same way level design is applied in a sense. I could be talking aload of rubbish but its the best place i can think of that really made me enjoy wondering around and exploring.