Investigating the Elusive Role of Level Design
In Proceedings of the 2020 IEEE Conference on Games (CoG), (To Apper), IEEE, Online, 4 pages.
While level design is a concept commonly used in western game companies, it is veiled in a lack of clear conceptualization. Many research papers on the subject describe the role of level designer as elusive, and there is a great variation in the descriptions used in job listings for the role. This paper aims to identify a set of characteristics for the field of level design, by reviewing literature and analyzing responsibilities and requirements in job listings. To obtain more inclusive and cross-cultural results, interviews were also conducted with Japanese game developers to explain the concept of level design in their industry. By combining the qualitative data from interviews and literature analysis, with the quantitative data from job listings (n=33), the research highlights common denominators for the role of level design, but also demonstrate cultural differences and discrepancies between academia and industry. Thus suggesting gaps in current research as well as culturally. The findings aim to elucidate directions for future research, and promote focus towards the needs of the industry.