Minecraft Dungeons' Dev Diary Explores the Importance of Level Design

Crafting a functional world is harder than you might think.

The Minecraft Dungeons development team is back with another Minecraft Dungeons diary. This time, it's all about the dungeon-crawler spinoff's environments and what game designer Pontus Hammarburg and level designer Christian Berg hope to achieve with each area.

Hammarburg and Berg said the goal for environment design is bringing out all aspects of the gameplay and immersing the player in the world. It can be as simple as changing how the environment looks to indicate progress in the story or just adding enough specific shapes and design elements to make each experience feel unique.

However, the team has to keep in mind the playerbase. Minecraft Dungeons is a multiplayer and single-player game, and the environments — including hazards — have to be designed with that in mind.

Berg mentions that balancing is difficult, for example, and the objective is ensuring it's easy to recognize goals for a given area. Making them something groups can focus on together, even while the solo player can still make progress as well, is important.

Minecraft Dungeons' environments are unique in how they're put together as well. The team uses procedural generation combined with custom-made content to create a different environment each time the player jumps in. Each custom-made procedural part is combined with another like puzzle pieces, but in patterns the team specifies. The end result is random, but still tailor-made for a specific experience.

It's easy to see the team has put in a ton of effort for the Minecraft spinoff, from providing interesting gameplay to crafting the best auditory environment as well.

Minecraft Dungeons launches sometime in April for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Minecraft Dungeons news as it's pieced together.

Contributor

Josh Broadwell started gaming in the early '90s. But it wasn't until 2017 he started writing about them, after finishing two history degrees and deciding a career in academia just wasn't the best way forward. You'll usually find him playing RPGs, strategy games, or platformers, but he's up for almost anything that seems interesting.

Published Feb. 21st 2020

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