View Full Version : Metroidvania World Design

2013-05-15, 01:22 PM
Hey all-- I recently got a gig as a level designer for a Metroidvania style computer game. I'm a huge fan of Metroidvania games so this is an awesome break for me. I need to get a LOT of work done on the design in just a couple weeks, and I'm looking for any advice people have in:

Finding maps of powerups, keys, and locks of existing Metroidvania games
Reading articles on how to design this type of game

First impressions are really important and I'm new on the team, so I really want to work hard and make a good impression. I've designed platformers before (you can see King's Ascent in my sig, which I'm about to release), but this project is a lot more complicated than King's Ascent. The team has a level editor already set up and most of the upgrades in the game, but no ability to switch them on and off yet (they're all available by default right now). My plan is to make a list of important design questions (linearity vs nonlinearity, number of story checkpoints, examples of most similar games), make some tutorial levels that teach the gameplay, and then build some sample Metroid-ish progressions of abilities.

I remember when I played NES Metroid a lot, as well as some similar games like Aquaria, Castlevania II, Monster Tale, and whatnot. As much as I wish I had time to play them again and take careful notes and reconstruct them, I think it might be more time efficient to get a look at good maps of those games with the powerups listed, so I can think about how areas unlock section by section as you gain abilities.

2013-05-17, 11:58 PM
Ah, no bites on this huh? I dug up a few references so far, some nice maps from Metroids and Castlevanias.

This article is about what makes Super Metroid good is truly excellent. Awesome insights on what is good about the design and structure of it:

This one wasn't super relevant to world design, my professor recommended it. It has a lot of great stuff about the game mechanics of Mega Man X, though.

2013-05-18, 12:15 AM
This forum focuses more on d20 homebrew than videogame level design. I think you'd have better luck in the Gaming (Other) forum.

I'm glad you found Gamasutra, though. The collective musings of solid chunk of the videogame industry are an invaluable resource.