Yesterday – or a few days ago, depending on how long I spend typing this up – I wrote about Flow in first-person games, and about using the shape of the level to guide and control how players move. This post is about how I used those principles when designing levels for Locomotion, which you may notice is not a first-person game.
Recently I’ve been playing a lot of Team Fortress 2 custom maps, and thinking about the Flow of them – with a capital F because it’s a specific concept. There’s a lot of tricks that level designers use to guide players around, but one that doesn’t get talked about much is the “flow” of the level – how a blank layout by itself can direct movement. I wanted to write a guide on how to use that – this is pretty heavily TF2-focussed because I’m also using it as a tutorial at tf2maps.net, but I’ve tried to keep it reasonably applicable to other first-person games.
I’ve already discussed my general thought processes for Locomotion levels, so in this post I want to do something a little different: today I’m working on a whole level from scratch, and I’m going to go through the whole planning process. Won’t that be fun? Don’t answer that, of course it will be.