Level (game section)

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A level ( English 'level', 'level' from Latin libra = 'scales', 'weighed', 'unit of weight', article : the or that , plural : the level or levels) is a section of the game in computer games that the player has to overcome to get to the next section.


Different levels in the 2D game Drömfåret
In 3D games (here Nexuiz ) the levels are designed as three-dimensional complexes of space

The division of games into levels is usually justified for technical reasons, since no arbitrarily large number of resources (i.e. geometry , textures , environmental objects or effects) can be kept in the working memory at the same time . Therefore, when changing to a new level, there are usually waiting times during which the resources that are required for the next section are loaded and obsolete resources are released.

Despite the originally technically justified division of a game into several levels, these were also used early on as a means of structuring the content, so that in many games the individual levels are comparable to the chapters in a book or files in a play. The loading screen displayed during the transition can show information on the next level and the progress of the story in text and images. Instead of a loading screen also can cut scene or a full motion video can be used. If the player fails at a level, a game over screen is often used .

Newer computer games often break the classic level conventions by permanently redistributing resources during normal game operations using streaming techniques and so no or only a few loading screens have to be displayed.

The level design includes the design and construction of complex level in modern 3D games. A level editor or map editor is used to create a level .

In the case of computer games with a very simple structure, the successive levels can simply mean a gradual increase in the level of difficulty, e.g. B. In Tetris, when you reach the next level, only the speed is increased - with the same playing field and principle.

Further terms and delimitation

Other names are stage ("section", "stage"), often used in 2D action games , and the usual name for the multiplayer mode, map ("map", "site plan"), not to be confused with the Map designated overview maps in computer games).

Level referred to in the English language and the progress and development stage of a player character in role-playing games . In German, however, the word level is more common. Leveling isa game strategy,especially in online role-playing games , which aims to reach a high character level as quickly as possible.

The majority of levels are also called levels, but “levels” is sometimes used. In addition, the word is both masculine (the) and a neuter (the).

In an open world there is usually no or only one level, as there is only one game world. However, certain areas may have to be loaded in a partially open game world. Levels can also be created through story sections or a demarcated area for the gameplay through a quest system.

In strategy games, the level is often determined by the scenario .

A speedrun tries to complete individual levels (or an entire game) in as little time as possible.

Special forms of levels

A special level that the player can unlock or discover, but does not contribute to the actual course of the game and is optional, is also known as the bonus level . It often differs greatly from the normal level design and mostly rewards the player with special items. A secret level is a secret level that can be discovered as an Easter Egg or can be unlocked by a cheat and offers an additional level that often contains secrets about the game or is very different from the other levels. A secret level can also be reached in some games through a glitch in the game.

A dungeon level describes a mostly maze-like nested room and corridor system in the level design in which the player usually fights against monsters. An auto-runner is a level in a platformer in which the figure moves continuously and automatically. At the end of a level complex, the player often has to compete in a cordoned-off area against an end boss , sometimes in his own level.

In addition, many games have a tutorial level or a test level to familiarize the player with the game mechanics. Some games allow custom levels ( user-generated content ), through their own level editor or through the support of mods .

As OverWorld a place in the game is called, allows levels to other players to travel. A card on which the player can move can also be used here. In online games, this area is also known as the lobby or hub and enables fast travel to other game worlds or levels, as well as matchmaking and social interaction with fellow players.

A level with a persistent world changes even if the player does nothing.

Individual evidence

  1. a b Duden | Level | Spelling, meaning, definition, origin. Retrieved December 24, 2019 .
  2. ^ Imagine Publishing: Next Generation 1996-06 . June 1996, p. 15 ( archive.org [accessed September 23, 2019]).
  3. 25 Hidden Levels In Iconic Video Games (And How To Find Them). September 6, 2018, Retrieved September 23, 2019 (American English).
  4. What Makes a Great Tutorial? - IGN. Retrieved September 23, 2019 .
  5. You are the boss: In these games you change the world with a level editor. August 20, 2014, accessed September 23, 2019 .
  6. ^ Mark JP Wolf, Bernard Perron: The Routledge Companion to Video Game Studies . Routledge, 2014, ISBN 978-1-136-29050-3 ( google.de [accessed September 23, 2019]).
  7. Alyssa Aska: Introduction to the Study of Video Game Music . Lulu.com, 2017, ISBN 978-1-387-03713-1 , pp. 85 ff . ( google.de [accessed on September 23, 2019]).
  8. Werner Hoier: Conception and prototypical implementation of a social gaming platform using a multiplayer architecture and Ruby on Rails programming paradigms . diplom.de, 2008, ISBN 978-3-8366-1302-6 , p. 41 ( google.de [accessed on September 23, 2019]).