Written by a game developer and professor trained in architecture, An Architectural Approach to Level Design is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. It explores the principles of level design through the context and history of architecture.

Now in its second edition, An Architectural Approach to Level Design presents architectural techniques and theories for you to use in your own work. The author connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with that space. It also addresses industry issues like how to build interesting tutorial levels and how to use computer-generated level design systems without losing the player-focused design of handmade levels. Throughout the text, you will learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory.


  • Presents case studies that offer insight on modern level design practices, methods, and tools
  • Presents perspectives from industry designers, independent game developers, scientists, psychologists, and academics
  • Explores how historical structures can teach us about good level design
  • Shows how to use space to guide or elicit emotion from players
  • Includes chapter exercises that encourage you to use principles from the chapter in digital prototypes, playtesting sessions, paper mock-ups, and design journals

Bringing together topics in game design and architecture, this book helps you create better spaces for your games. Software independent, the book discusses tools and techniques that you can use in crafting your interactive worlds.

chapter Chapter 1|50 pages

A Brief History of Architecture and Level Design

chapter Chapter 2|58 pages

Drawing for Level Designers

chapter Chapter 3|35 pages

Level Design Workflows

chapter Chapter 4|68 pages

Basic Gamespaces

chapter Chapter 5|43 pages

Communicating through Environment Art

chapter Chapter 6|41 pages

Building Exciting Levels with Dangerous Architecture

chapter Chapter 7|25 pages

Rewards in Gamespaces

chapter Chapter 8|54 pages

Level 1–1

The Tutorial Level

chapter Chapter 9|42 pages

Storytelling in Gamespaces

chapter Chapter 10|45 pages

Possibility Spaces and Worldbuilding

chapter Chapter 11|27 pages

Working with Procedurally Generated Levels

chapter Chapter 12|26 pages

Influencing Social Interaction with Level Design

chapter Chapter 13|26 pages

Sound, Music, and Rhythm in Level Design

chapter |2 pages