U.S. & World
U.S. & World

Level Design for Games

By on February 26, 2013

Are you planning to start designing maps for your games or thinking of beginning the amazing journey of creating levels to play with your friends? Well, you have come to right place.

What is level design? People tend to forget that level designers have one of the most significant jobs while making a game. They are responsible for putting all together, from 2D/3D art to visual effects, and artificial intelligence, it’s up to the designer to make it all work.

Level design is one of the most amazing experience that you will have as a gamer.  Especially if you are creative and love learning new things, you will love to design maps for your current games.

Level design is something serious it takes time and lot of work.  When you are finally done with your map, you feel accomplished and extremely excited for people to play on it.

Where can I start?

There is a lot of games out there that lest you customize their user experience . Each game have different Game engines that will provide you with the framework that game designers use to create games.

Game Engine  definition

“The core functionality typically provided by a game engine includes a rendering engine (“renderer”) for 2D or 3D graphics, a physics engine or collision detection (and collision response), sound, scripting, animation, artificial intelligence, networking, streaming, memory management, threading, localization support, and a scene graph. The process of game development is often economized, in large part, by reusing/adapting the same game engine to create different games, or to make it easier to “port” games to multiple platforms.” – ( Engine)

Here are few examples of Games:

Games: Dota 2, Half Life 2 series, Counter-Strike: Source, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Left4Dead, Left4Dead 2, Portal 1 and 2
Game Engine: Source Engine

Game: Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Battlefield 3, Need for Speed: The Run
Game Engine: FrostBite 2

Games: Mass Effect Series, Dishonored, Bioshock Infinite, Batman: Arkham Asylum and City and hundreds more
Game Engine: Unreal Engine

Game: Crysis 2 and 3
Game Engine: CryEngine 3

Here are few Game Engines:

Source Engine

Source Engine

Source Engine has been used very extensively in the modding community with hundreds if not thousands of mods available. Source Engine is a bit outdated, yet still very powerful. It has been used to create games such as Half Life 2 series, Counter-Strike: Source, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Left4Dead, Left4Dead 2, Portal 1 and 2. Each game has a huge community behind it with new content always being released. I love using Source Engine because of its games. You can get your hands on the engine by downloading any of Valve’s released games on Steam. Features: Source Engine Features

Download: Use Steam to download SourceSDK and level editors for each of Valve’s games.

Unreal Engine 3

Unreal Engine

Unreal Engine 3 is the complete toolset to create your own games. It is a very widely used game engine in the industry. Unreal Engine is very versatile and has been used to create many triple A games such as: Batman: Arkham City, Gears of War Series, Borderlands Series. For a full list of Unreal Engine games go here: list of Unreal Engine games. Unreal Engine is one of my favorite engines to work with. UDK is a free educational version of the engine, with commercial license available if you want to take your project further and sell it.

Features: Unreal Engine features

Download: Download UDK

CryEngine 3

Cry Engine 3

CryEngine 3 has been used in games such as Crysis 2, Crysis 3 and Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2.  Just like Unreal Engine 3, CryEngine 3 is the complete toolset for game development. CryEngine 3 has been used as a benchmark for visual graphics for some time and it continues to push the limit what games are capable of. One of CryEngine’s features is its ability to produce huge beautiful, highly detailed landscapes. Free version of CryEngine 3 SDK is available with all the necessary tools to start creation your own worlds or your own game.

Features: Cryengine3 features

Download: CryEngine 3 SDK download



Unity3D has been a very popular choice among developers. Full pledge game engine featuring everything you would need to create full 3d or 2d games with multi-platform support right out of the box. Easy engine to get into and begin using. Unity has a free indie version as well as commercial license version. Latest version of Unity offers DirectX 11 support.

Features: Unity3D features

Download: Download Unity3D