1 big level or multiple tiny levels connected.

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  • Hey there,

    I'm working on a 2d platformer where you have to collect as much as coins withing a few minutes.

    Basically I want to know what you guys think plays better and fits more with this game:

    1 big level, or multiple small levels connected to eachother(a portal teleports you to the next level)

    And how do those two compare to eachother performance whise? Would 1 big level be easier because everything gets loaded on start, or are small levels better because a small level has less objects in it.

    And do small levels feel more linear, because the have to get to the portal/door to go to the next small level?

    I'm basically a bit lost at the moment, so some feedback would be great to have!

  • From a technical aspect, larger levels shouldn't be much more taxing than smaller levels if you employ some eventing tricks (i.e. don't update off-screen events if you can). From a game design perspective, it depends on the pace of the game you're trying to make.

    If you want to make a game with a certain amount of exploration ("Collect as Much Treasure as You Can in 3 Minutes!"), using a large level and a fair amount of time to find everything might be ideal. On the other hand, if your game goes along the lines of "Collect all 5 Coins in 10 Seconds!", then you want to make sure that the player knows exactly where the coins are and can figure out how to get to them fairly quickly. The easiest way to do this is to use a screen-sized level.

    In terms of load times, I'd only worry if you have to load many types of objects; that is, you have to load a lot of images from sprites or backgrounds at once. After an image is loaded, it's stored in the player's computer, so you only have to load an image once. This means that if you use the same assets from level to level, load times are extremely low.

    ... I think. Let's hope someone who knows the engine better than I do responds to this topic.

    Hope this helps.


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  • Derqs and TheBen : on desktop it won't make much of a difference, most of the time. Just as long as you know your basics (don't use too many large pictures etc.). On mobile phones though, even with optimized code, if you simply have to check the distance between the player and an AI to toggle it active, you will lose precious FPS as levels grow. It is particularly true for weaker phones.

    Apart from that specific case, it's all a matter of game design. I'd rather design the pace of the character, its feel and speed, and make this aspect of the game solid. This will most likely force you into choosing a specific approach. So don't worry too much about the technical side if you're making a desktop game!

    Good luck,


  • Thank you both for these detailed replies.

    I think what TheBen said was really what I was looking for: Collect as Much Treasure as You Can in 3 Minutes!vs Collect all 5 Coins in 10 Seconds!

    I think I'm going for the second one, but I'll let the player decide if he wants to collect all the coins in a certain room before he continues to the next. Because everything will be very fast paced, The player has to decide quickly if he goes for all the coins or go as fast as he can to next room and hope for easier to get coins.



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