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Level Design for Games: Creating Compelling Game Experiences [Paperback]

Phil Co
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 57.99
Price: CDN$ 36.53 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Feb. 8 2006 New Riders Games
At the heart of any great computer game are expertly designed levels: the locales and stages that define gameplay. And at the core of any strong game development team are the level designers: the people who create the spaces and environments that you move through while playing the game. And because level design doesn’t require a fine arts or programming degree, it’s one of the best avenues into a career in game development. Level Design for Games: Creating Compelling Game Experiences is the definitive guide to level design, both for aspiring game developers, and for industry pros looking for practical, best-practice tips and advice.

With over ten years of experience with some of the industry’s top developers, Phil Co starts the reader at the very beginning of the
game development process, explaining the level designer’s role in the all-important preproduction phase. Co then moves into the
production phase, using a fictional level to demonstrate how to create and refine your level.

Packed with screenshots, diagrams, and real-world examples, this book gives you all the tools you need to build your own professional-grade
level, including level narratives, descriptions, diagrams, and templates. Chapter assignments help you practice what you’ve learned, and the demo of Epic’s UnrealEngine2 Editor (UnrealEd), included on the companion CD-ROM, gives you hands-on experience
with an industry-standard tool.

Phil Co has a degree in architecture from the University of Virginia but opted instead for a career in video games. Starting out as a tester at SEGA, he’s been a level designer since 1996 for some of the best-regarded game developers in the industry, including Cyclone Studios, Blizzard, and Valve Software, makers of the hugely popular “Half-Life” series. Phil lives in Seattle with his wife and son.
 

“Anyone interested in a level design career should read this book. Phil does an excellent job covering all
the aspects of level design across several game genres.”
—Rob Pardo, Vice President of Game Design,
Blizzard Entertainment

“An indispensable guide to the theory, process, and practice of level design.”
—Robin Walker, Designer, Valve Software

“This book contains a wealth of valuable information for anyone
interested in Level Design. It is one of the few books I would
recommend to my gaming students.”
—Todd Robinson, Game Design Instructor,
Academy of Art University, San Francisco

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Whether you’re a game developer or simply an avid player, you know that at the heart of any great computer game are expertly designed levels—the locales, stages, and missions that define game play and action. This easy, accessible guide shows you how to create them. By delivering the instruction in gaming terms—providing simple, concrete goals and then letting you explore the possibilities—author and master game developer Phil Co makes level creation easy. Manageable assignments with step-by-step instructions, loads of graphics, and sample games with stories and features let you learn as you build—until by the end of the book you’ve created a detailed final level. Whether you’re a student pursuing a career in game development, a game developer seeking a comprehensive reference, or simply an avid player eager to start creating your own levels using the editors that come with many of today’s games, you’ll find everything you need to create every element of a level—from geometry to textures, maps, export features, and objects.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good job! Feb. 5 2012
Format:Paperback
The book was delivered in the time allocated. It's in a perfect shape (new). Very happy with the service and glad to have it now!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book! May 20 2006
By Luke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book. It is straightforward and delivers very useful information. This book is devoid of the fluff, generalizations and pseudo-intellectual chatter so many books in the game development/design genre contain. This author speaks from experience, which is evident from his bio, but more so from the flow and genuine voice of his writing. I am particularly cynically and harsh on books in this genre so I didn't write this review lightly.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical take on level design Aug. 23 2008
By Ole Herbjørnsen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The book is practical and easy to read. It is clear that this book is written by somebody with experience from the games industry. Inside the book you will find several useful level diagrams and design examples to help you improve the way you work with, think about and document your level designs. The book is very focused which means that even though it is relatively short, it probably has more (relevant) content than other books which mix in a lot of other subjects (at the expense of level design). If you are a games design student you should read this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but pretty much the best around April 22 2009
By C. Proctor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As an experienced game developer, I found "Level Design for Games" to be a refreshing change, focusing as it does on real world level documentation, from brainstorming, to paper maps, to prototyping and final development. The processes provided are very similar to what you find in professional game development, with an eye to asset reuse and testing designs as early on as possible.

It's not perfect however, the text has a few inaccuracies, and some of the content has dated. The last third of the book is very focused on Unreal, so skip it if you're using another engine, but everything else is applicable to level design in general.

Regardless, I believe there to be no better introduction to level design, go buy it if you're interested in making level design your career, or if you're going to be involved in the level design process in any way (system designers, environment artists and producers take note).
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book on game level design I bought yet, and I've bought a bunch! Nov. 17 2013
By Bobby J Dabbs - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Older book but very knowledgeable on the subject. There are lots of clear explanations and example images. I have bought several books on the same subject much newer and more expensive and this book trumps them all.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative and highly recommended Dec 25 2012
By Shea T. Harvey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are interested in becoming a game designer... here's your text book, more like your bible. The layout is well done, the information is reasonably up to date (just a little behind the times) and full of ideas and suggestion in assignment format to really get you thinking like a designer. I recommend this one highly.
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