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Video: How architectural design can help you build better levels

At GDC 2016's Level Design Workshop, trained architect and game maker Claire Hosking gave a great talk about how architectural design principles can help level designers achieve their goals.

At GDC 2016's Level Design Workshop, graduate architect and game maker Claire Hosking gave a great talk about how architectural design can help level designers achieve their intended mood and add depth to their levels, particularly how spatial design can anticipate and complement art design.

Hosking shared some basic urban design principles and looked at how architecture (in both real life and games like Mirror's Edge) emphasizes mood as its main experience, and how it uses atmosphere rather than symbolism.

As a practical example, she points out than architecture doesn't communicate a regal space through crowns and thrones; it uses geometry, material, texture, color, lighting, construction, and so on to create a grand and formal space that sets the necessary tone for the audience before they encounter more direct methods of storytelling.

Hosking's talk was brief and fascinating, especially if you spend any time designing virtual spaces or just have a love of architecture. If you didn't catch it at GDC last year, now you can watch it for free via the official GDC YouTube channel!

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its accompanying YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.

Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC or VRDC already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.

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