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Level Design Processes and Challenges: A Cross Section of Game Development
University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, Informatics Research Environment. (Interaction Lab)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8061-7286
University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, Informatics Research Environment. (GAME Research Group)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9251-6554
University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, Informatics Research Environment. (Interaction Lab)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9972-4716
2023 (English)In: Games and Culture: A Journal of Interactive Media, ISSN 1555-4120, E-ISSN 1555-4139, Vol. 18, no 6, p. 821-849Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article examines level design processes and challenges at professional game stu- dios. Thematic analysis of data, recorded through field studies and semi-structured interviews, identify four key themes: level design as an interdisciplinary effort; who is the level designer; the role of narrative in level design; and challenges of managing creativity in the level design process. Results indicate that while the role called level designer is often assigned to specific disciplines, the process of level design is usually highly interdisciplinary. Furthermore, this interdisciplinary collaboration requires management to maintain both creativity and efficient pipelines, by distributing owner- ship and facilitating communication and planning. The level design process seems par- ticularly vulnerable to suboptimal interdisciplinary communication and planning, due to significant reliance on narrative design, game design, art, sound design, and tool development. While this article addresses level design specifically, most observations are comparable to previous findings on game development in general.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2023. Vol. 18, no 6, p. 821-849
Keywords [en]
game development, game production, game industry, interdisciplinary, level design, field studies
National Category
Interaction Technologies
Research subject
Interaction Lab (ILAB); GAME Research Group
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-22069DOI: 10.1177/15554120221139229ISI: 000890629600001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85142718871OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-22069DiVA, id: diva2:1712739
Note

CC BY 4.0

Corresponding author(s): Tobias Karlsson, School of Informatics, University of Skövde, PO Box 408, 541 28 Skövde, Sweden. Email: tobias.karlsson@his.se

The author(s) received nofinancial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication ofthis article.

Available from: 2022-11-22 Created: 2022-11-22 Last updated: 2023-09-25Bibliographically approved

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Karlsson, TobiasBrusk, JennyEngström, Henrik

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