General information

Subject type: Mandatory

Coordinator: Adso Fernández Baena

Trimester: Third term

Credits: 4

Teaching staff: 

Juan José Pons López

Teaching languages

All materials written during classes and activities are in English.


Specific skills
  • E1. Demonstrate knowledge of the history of video games and analyze the reference video games with arguments based on evaluation criteria contextualized in the historical and cultural framework.

  • E2. Design the mechanics, rules, structure and narrative of video games following the criteria of gameplay and balance to provide the best possible gaming experience.

  • E3. Identify the type of player and design the game experience according to its psychological characteristics.

  • E4. Design a game and its monetization, taking into account the different parameters and variables that govern the business model of the product.

  • E5. Write the specifications of a game and communicate them effectively to the team of artists and developers and other members involved in the creation and development of the game.

General competencies
  • G1. Demonstrate having and understanding advanced knowledge of their area of ​​study that includes the theoretical, practical and methodological aspects, with a level of depth that reaches the forefront of knowledge.

  • G2. Solve complex problems in their field of work, by applying their knowledge, developing arguments and procedures, and using creative and innovative ideas.

  • G3. Gather and interpret relevant data (usually within their area of ​​study) to make judgments that include reflection on relevant social, scientific, or ethical issues.

  • G4. Communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to a specialized and non-specialized audience.

Transversal competences
  • T1. Communicate in a third language, preferably English, with an appropriate level of oral and written communication and in accordance with the needs of graduates.

  • T2. Work as a member of an interdisciplinary team either as an additional member or performing management tasks in order to contribute to developing projects with pragmatism and a sense of responsibility, making commitments and taking into account available resources.


Level design prepares students for one of the most common and important professions in the video game development industry.

They will learn to generate quality playable content by meeting requirements previously designed in design documents.

Some specific faculties to highlight that will develop during the subject are:

  • Properly design each playable or aesthetic element that will shape a level or area of ​​a video game to be produced, taking it from the paper to the working editor.
  • Analyze and generate different pacings or rhythms of play according to the genre or specific requirement of each level or area of ​​the project to be developed.
  • Understanding, analysis, design and implementation of Scripting techniques that allow to give more life and feedback to the player throughout a level of game.
  • Ability and criteria to guide the player using basic visual resources such as lighting, differential aesthetic elements, etc., placing them within the artistic style required by the project.

This subject has methodological and digital resources to make possible its continuity in non-contact mode in the case of being necessary for reasons related to the Covid-19. In this way, the achievement of the same knowledge and skills that are specified in this teaching plan will be ensured.

The Tecnocampus will make available to teachers and students the digital tools needed to carry out the course, as well as guides and recommendations that facilitate adaptation to the non-contact mode.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students must be able to:

  • E2.2. Design levels including strategies, definition of the puzzle or mission to complete, so that the goals set by the script are achieved.
  • E2.4. Balance a game or game level considering all available parameters and variables and thus provide a satisfactory gaming experience at the required difficulty level of that level, part or all of the game.
  • E5.2. Communicate effectively to the team of artists and developers and other members the specifications of the project, from the GDD

Working methodology

The subject uses the following work methodologies:

  • Gaming Sessions, Video Capsules, Presentations, Debates and Forums, Case Studies, Problem Solving, Research and Critical Reading of Outreach and Research Articles


  1. Introduction to level design basics

  2. LDD (Preproduction Blueprint)

  3. 2D platform level design framework (CCST)

  4. 3D Combat-multiplayer LD

  5. Player guidance

  6. boss design

  7. Levels tutorial

  8. Puzzles

  9. Prototyping
  10. Balancing & Game feel (UX)

  11. Playtesting

  12. Structure, Pacing & Flow

  13. rewarding

  14. Architectural and theme park

  15. Secret places

  16. Procedural narrative 

Learning activities

With the aim of collecting evidence of the achievement of the expected learning outcomes, the following activities of an evaluative nature will be carried out (related to all the common competences):

A1. Lab Practice - Couples: Designing a "One Page Dungeon" Level (Evidence of learning outcome E2.2 and E2.4 and E5.2)

The student will be required to prepare a Whiteboxing prototype of a One Page Dungeon.  

A2. Lab Practice - Couples: Designing a Level "Movie Scene" (Evidence of learning outcome E2.2, E2.4 and E5.2)

The student will have to prepare a playable prototype, made with a level editor of a commercialized video game, of a scene from a film selected by the student.

A3. Individual work: Designing an "Unreal Iteration" level (Evidence of learning outcome E2.2 and E2.4)

The student will have to do the second iteration of the A1 or the A2 with Unreal and going from Whiteboxing to a playable level, illuminated, textured and modeled, applying all the knowledge acquired in class.

A4. Final exam (Evidence of all learning outcomes)


General criteria of the activities:

  • The teacher will present a statement for each activity and the evaluation and / or rubric criteria.

  • The teacher will inform of the dates and format of the delivery of the activity.

  • ALL deliveries (A1, A2 and A3) must be accompanied by a Level Design Document and a gameplay video of up to 3 minutes

Evaluation system

The grade of each student will be calculated according to the following percentages:

  • A1. Lab Practice - Couples: Designing a "One Page Dungeon" Level 20%
  • A2. Lab Practice - Couples: Designing a Level "Movie Scene" 20%
  • A3. Individual work: Designing an "Unreal Iteration" level 30% 
  • A4. Final exam 30%

Final grade = A1 0,2 + A2 0,2 + A3 0,3 + A4 0,3


- It is necessary to obtain a mark superior to 5 in the final exam to pass the asignatura.
- An activity not delivered or delivered late and without justification (court summons or medical matter) counts as a 0.
- It is the responsibility of the student to avoid plagiarism in all its forms. In the case of detecting a plagiarism, regardless of its scope, in some activity it will correspond to have a note of 0. In addition, the professor will communicate to the Head of Studies the situation so that measures applicable in matter of sanctioning regime are taken. .
- The notes of the activities will take into account the correct follow-up of the requirements, the spelling and the neatness at the time of transmitting the information.
- The delivery of activities in English will add score. However, if it is a level of English full of mistakes it will not.


- It is necessary to obtain a mark superior to 5 in the final exam of recovery to pass the asignatura.

- The mark of the resit exam will be applied only to the mark of the A4 activity.

- In case of passing the recovery, the maximum final mark of the subject will be 5.



Scott Rogers, Level Up !: The Guide to Great Video Game Design, Wiley; 2nd edition (April 28, 2014)

Tracy Fullerton, Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games, Third Edition, AK Peters / CRC Press; 3rd edition (March 5, 2014).

Level Design for Games: Creating Compelling Game Experiences; ADDISON WESLEY LONGMAN INC DIV PEARSON SUITE 300; 1st edition (February 16th, 2006)


Brenda Brathwaite and Ian Schreiber, Challenges for Game Designers, Cengage Learning; 1 edition (August 21, 2008)

Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Games (web).

Extra Life (web).

AnaitGames (web).