Spatial principles of level-design in multi-player first-person shooters

Christian Güttler, Troels Degn Johansson
2003 Proceedings of the 2nd workshop on Network and system support for games - NETGAMES '03  
This paper outlines the basic spatial principles of level design in multi-player first-person shooters with special reference to Counterstrike, basing itself on experiment, analysis, and theoretical discussion In this manner, the paper addresses the following questions: What characterizes good level design in firstperson shooters? Which criteria are necessary in the level-design process in order to obtain quality? The thesis of the paper is that a consistent examination of a game's gameplay,
more » ... agents, and spatial components is necessary for the development of a design method that would lead to ultimate level design. Setting off from a theoretical discussion of the terms gameplay and emergence, the paper starts by establishing the basic characteristics of multiplayer shooters. The concept of emergence leads to a distinction of the unique features of multi-play and teamplay, and concepts of gameplay helps us map out the basic spatial properties of the game environment and its staging of player strategies and tactical choice. The key concept in the principles of spatiality in level design advanced here is the socalled collision point; the location that marks the clash of players and hence the set of relevant tactical choices to be made by the teams. To demonstrate the empirical basis and possible application in practical level design, the paper provides an analysis of a design and a re-design of a Counterstrike map (de_ type). These experiments demonstrate the pros and cons of various design solutions and point at the basic spatial principles outlined above. The paper affirms that it does make sense to regard level design as tool for controlling the gameplay and the game's progression. Also it affirms that it is possible to distinguish between good and bad level-design. Five heuristics are suggested as a set of guidelines that could lead to better level-design for practitioners.
doi:10.1145/963900.963915 dblp:conf/netgames/GuttlerJ03 fatcat:lizbbk2pc5gynikovd6mz6hxiy