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How to design levels/adventures for video and tabletop games

Course Summary

How to design entertaining episodes for video and tabletop games: levels, stages, adventures, scenarios, missions . . .


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    Course Syllabus

    Section 1 - Introduction Lecture

    • Lecture 1: What you'll discover  02:13
    • Lecture 2: Introducing your teacher - needs replacing  02:33
    • Lecture 3: How this class works  03:59
    • Lecture 4: This is not about software, it's about DESIGN  04:36
    • Lecture 5: You'll understand this better if you know some game design  03:49
    • Lecture 6: Platformers? No.  02:24
    • Lecture 7: Start writing things down NOW  04:01
    • Lecture 8: Anonymous Entry Survey  Text

    Section 2 - What is level/adventure design?

    • Lecture 9: Why design levels/adventures?  04:43
    • Lecture 10: What are you trying to accomplish?  04:46
    • Lecture 11: Who is the audience, and what is the player going to DO?  04:00
    • Lecture 12: One page game design  1 page   
    • Lecture 13: The process of creating a level/adventure  04:40
    • Lecture 14: Level design documents (video games only)  02:31

    Section 3 - Questions you must consider when you make a level/adventure

    • Lecture 15: Originating a level/adventure  04:41
    • Lecture 16: Strategic or tactical?  03:10
    • Lecture 17: Overcoming obstacles, or solving puzzles?  02:03
    • Lecture 18: Open versus linear levels/adventures  02:58
    • Lecture 19: Story/objective  04:21
    • Lecture 20: The Role of story - from my "Learning Game Design" course  06:21
    • Lecture 21: Characterization and Role-playing  02:27
    • Lecture 22: Taking control away from the player (e.g. cut-scenes)  02:30
    • Lecture 23: Realism, fidelity, suspension of disbelied - not what it used to be  06:32
    • Lecture 24: Style and Mood  05:25
    • Lecture 25: Tutorials  01:51
    • Lecture 26: Player versus player/"Multiplayer"  05:53
    • Quiz 1: Self-assessment at the halfway point  10 questions
    • Lecture 27: Have you been writing things down?  Text

    Section 4 - Producing the design

    • Lecture 28: Obstacles animate and inanimate  06:44
    • Lecture 29: "The Map"  06:52
    • Lecture 30: Puzzles  04:25
    • Lecture 31: Quests  07:19
    • Lecture 32: "Bosses"  04:41
    • Lecture 33: "Loot"  03:20
    • Lecture 34: Practice: list the elements you'll use in a level/adventure  1 page   
    • Lecture 35: Map-drawing Practice  Text
    • Lecture 36: Pacing  02:53
    • Lecture 37: Phases, Acts, and the Hero's Journey - from my class Learning Game Design  05:56
    • Lecture 38: Game Balance  03:32
    • Lecture 39: Example of a fantasy game level overview  2 pages   
    • Lecture 40: Practice - write your own overview of a level/adventure  Text
    • Lecture 41: Co-operative play  05:39
    • Lecture 42: Dos and Don'ts, Part 1  09:23
    • Lecture 43: Do's an

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    Recommended Background

     You need to have some knowledge of game design, e.g. from my book or Learning Game Design audiovisual class.

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    Course Format

    Online audiovisual, self-paced, with questions answered by instructor.   The class is about design, not about learning particular level-creation software.  The focus is on how to put in the "right stuff", not on actuallyi programming a level.

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    Suggested Reading

    The level design chapter in "Game Design" by Lewis Pulsipher (McFarland, 2012) There are several video game level design books available, though much of their focus is on software.  Books about RPG adventure design do not exist.


Course Fee:
USD 19

Course Type:

Self-Study

Course Status:

Active

Workload:

1 - 5 hours / week

This course is listed under Development & Implementations , Operating Systems and Digital Media & Games Community

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