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Stuck with level design

I am making a third person shooter but when i am making the game i get stuck with level design i am trying to make a sniper elite style of map but i dont know how to start making the level i am looking for models and most of the free models are quite bad poly and dont suit my style of game and i tried making my own models but its time consuming and also they dont really look as good as i want them to be. where would i be able find good models and how would i make my map any tips that would help? Thanks for taking the time to read.

If I were you I wouldn’t worry about models at all at this point. Use BSP and landscape tool and get to work designing gameplay. Early on getting the gameplay right is going to be much more important then creating the visual style, which can come later.

thanks for the reply. I am not a very creative person when i comes to making my own level what things would you suggest i could do to help me think of ideas

Concept arts help so much.
Loot at a lot of them on google and visualize what you want in your level.

thanks i will have a look now

I would also echo what others have said here and say that it’s a good idea to focus on just greyboxing the level with BSP till it plays how you want it to. At that point you can start looking at replacing these with more final art. Until you greybox you have no idea what assets you will even need to build.

what things could you suggest to help me come up with ideas of a map? apart from concept art, i have no idea how to start making my map like should i use world machine to get a basic landscape or should i make a map then use the landscape tool to add around the level?

What setting, historical, fantasy, modern, futuristic, sci-fi…

This is why concept art helps, or even just having a few ideas…
i.e. Is the map an island surrounded by water / landlocked…?
Explore samples: community tools, Epic freebies, marketplace…

Its all about making choices / eliminating unwanted options.
Each Dev works differently. Some like BSP / Greyboxing…
Others like me prefer to work with modular meshes solely.

But this should be quite a natural process, iterating the level…
So if you’re struggling early on why not team up with someone…
Maybe they’re the guitar guru and you’re really the singer etc.

Another thing you might want to do is get a notepad and play through some games that have similar themes/design to what you’re aiming for. Just make sure to look up whether the game you’d you’re thinking of studying has mostly positive opinions about the level design. For example, Dark Souls 3 is a MUCH better place to draw level design inspiration from than Dark Souls 2, both in terms of art direction and overall intuitive functionality.

Verticality is also extremely undervalued/underused in level design. Mostly because we typically form ideas and conceptualize is a rather linear manner, so often times our designs will reflect that.

Try to incorporate elevators and lifts that aren’t simply useful for progressing to the next stage/area, but make sense bi-directionally. Give the player a legitimate and justifiable reason to use these things. (I know I’m using Dark Souls 3 examples more than I should, but they game is an incredible example of intuitive level design.)

In DS3, there are very few savepoints in a level, but that’s because things like elevators or locked entrances are placed specifically throughout each area so that the player is more or less herded back toward the save point because the player may need to cross through it in order to enter the next section.

It’s also a good idea when planning your level to kind of mentally section it up into a sort of sub-level, perhaps at the end of each of these sub-levels is where the player may complete a required objective, and only after all of these objectives are completed is the player allowed to move forward. Of course, there are plenty of different things you can do. As long as the player has a rational reason to do it, then good.

But there’s so much you can do, which is the beauty of level design. Games like Dark Souls 1&3, Call of Duty: MW2, Legend of Zelda series, Monument Valley, Metro: Last Light