1.2: Ideas


Coming up with a good idea for your map can be very difficult; Especially when you are trying to be a bit original and not make the same sort of maps that everybody else is making.

In this article I am going to cover some of the ways to get inspiration for level designs and how to develop your idea’s fully.


Inspiration can be hard to find sometimes, it would be easy to fall into the trap of just making another level like your last one, set on the same idea. But to many similar levels will end up becoming very boring, very quickly. Variation is the spice of life, and that stands true of video games.

In reality, Inspiration can be found anywhere. If you take a walk, you will probably pass many possible inspirations for a really fun and original level design, and you won’t even notice. A great technique I have found is to take a camera out on a walk around a town or city; Even without taking pictures, just look through the viewfinder and keep an eye out for any interesting details, architecture or even colours. This can be enough to create some interesting designs.

Inspiration can come from Anywhere

Inspiration Can come from anywhere, even places you visit on a daily basis.

Another great source we have available to us now is the internet. There is a wealth of inspiring images on the internet which you can use to find an idea you like. Check out architecture photos, travel blogs, Flickr, Youtube and much more. just look out for any detail or places that grabs your attention.

You can also take a look at current video games and try to figure out where they are getting their inspiration from. Portal 1, for example, had a very clean and efficient style about it. Set inside clean and sterile environments makes sense for ‘Science test chambers’. but the really inspiring part comes when you escape and are exploring behind the scenes. It had this dirty, industrial feeling.

Read the rest of this entry »