View Full Version : Creating Your Level: The Four P's

01-09-2010, 01:32 PM
This is a simple set of guidelines and tips intended for new members or those who may be new to the creation process. Please feel free to add any tips you may have.



So, you've got an idea for a level? It's very tempting to dive straight in to Create Mode and start building. While there's nothing wrong in doing this, many creators find it helpful to plan ahead beforehand, as planning things out can save a lot of time later on.

You can plan your level how ever you feel most comfortable. Some people use simple sketches or drawings, others write out a list of things they want to include. There's no right or wrong way, and it can be as simple as you like, but planning of any sort can be a helpful way of organising what you need to do, and how you're going to do it. It may be that you're confident enough to go into Create Mode and start experimenting or practicing. Again, there's nothing wrong in doing this. Your plans may change, especially when you start to build. Don't worry about this, it's called 'development'!

Planning doesn't have to be boring, either. Get help from your friends, and check out the Help section and tutorials here on LBPC. Remember: no one can be expected to know everything, and there's no shame in asking!



When you're happy or confident enough, you can start your preparations. This is where the meat of your building and level design takes place.

You've got your plans? Good stuff. By this stage, you should have a fair idea of how your level is going to turn out. You should know what materials you want to use, and you should be at the point where you know what the player has to do, and how you're going to make them do it!

There's lots to think about - themes, lighting, sounds - and it can be overwhelming to think about everything at once. So don't! Organise your work into different areas if it helps you. One day, work on structure, the next day, work on some logic. A bit of variety will help you enjoy creating. Some people enjoy certain aspects of creating more than others, and therefore concentrate on what they enjoy doing more than what they don't. This is natural, so don't worry about too much. We can't be good at everything, and remember, you're doing this for fun - it's not an exam!

Like planning, don't be scared of asking for help, especially now as we have Online Create. Show people what you've done, or tell them what you want to do. If you have particular things that are causing you problems, there is nothing wrong with leaving it and having a good 'ole chill out.

Some of your plans may not come off. Whether due to your ability, confidence or LBP's limitations! Again, don't linger over impossibilities. If there are tools or advice at your disposal, USE them!



Playtesting your creation is something you can't do enough of! Believe me, ask any creator worth their salt and they will tell you the same thing. Playtesting is your chance to iron out any bugs, tweak any settings, and it will give you a very good picture of how other players will play it. Friends can help you. Play it with them, allowing them to lead and make mistakes. Things that are obvious to you may not be to someone who sees it for the first time.

If they seem to be going off track or round in circles, or they don't spot the switch/door/gap etc., then it could be it's not clear enough. Also, ask their opinion overall, and be prepared for some honesty! Don't take any criticism to heart - take it as constructive feedback on what you could change or what you could do better.

Tweak your level again, test it again. Rinse. Repeat. It is worth it in the end!



So, you've planned, prepared, playtested? And you're ready to publish?


There are a few things you can do to add that little extra something to your level's chances.

- Make sure you have a clear description for your level
- Try your best to make an interesting level icon/badge
- PSN message your friends to tell them when you're publishing
- Make a showcase thread on LBPC

Many creators produce videos to go along with their new level. If you don't know how to do this, see if there's a friend who'll help.

When you DO publish, bear in mind that not everyone will like what you've created. Harsh comments or criticism can sometimes be disappointing. But hopefully, you will get some constructive feedback, and you should be prepared to edit and continue to tweak your level.


Finally, throughout all the stages, try to remember that LBP is a game, and no matter how your level is received by the community, you must ensure that you have fun!

Creating is a brilliant thing, and the more you do it, the more you will be addicted.

Good luck, and go create!


01-09-2010, 01:44 PM
How excellent ^^*

01-09-2010, 07:10 PM
Great "plan" to think about when creating levels! I know whenever I have an idea for a neat level I jump right in and it fails. I will definitely be using the P's now (:

01-09-2010, 07:15 PM
nice guide :P

i actually don't plan though so maybe i should now...

01-10-2010, 02:17 AM
I just need some testers for a level im creating. Had help from qugz, PwnArtist, And centurion24. The overall feeling is dark, heavy, industrial,and eerie. You wont be dissapointed i promise, i just really want multiple testers. Thanks:)

01-10-2010, 02:33 AM
I just need some testers for a level im creating. Had help from qugz, PwnArtist, And centurion24. The overall feeling is dark, heavy, industrial,and eerie. You wont be dissapointed i promise, i just really want multiple testers. Thanks:)
Yeah... not really the right place for this... you'll want to go into the Find Other Happy Gadders (http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=43) forum.

EDIT: Oh yeah... and nice little tutorial Mrs SB! I'd agree with everything. Especially the playtesting. SO important. Also, the constructive criticisms... this is the chance to really improve your level, as well as gaining respect from the community. If someone has taken the time to post an entry in your level showcase thread, it's a sign of respect. And you can return that respect (and gain even more) by taking the criticisms to heart and implementing changes based on them (if it makes sense and will improve your level - sometimes, it won't or you may just disagree with them, and that's OK too).

01-10-2010, 02:28 PM
Good tutorial! Helpful as it is true. Thanks!

01-10-2010, 09:15 PM
Great guide MrsSB, there is a lot of wisdom here... and more importantly, illiteration.

I would also recommend the social aspect of creation.
Play other peoples creations
be polite and make pals.
Praise other peoples work prior to you asking them to peruse yours.

...and I've run out of words beginning with P.

01-11-2010, 11:45 AM
Great helpful advice.

when creating I now have a level called Workshop in which I create contraptions , test stuff etc.

Its good to keep new elements separate from your main level you are creating until they are ready for the main game - I found that if you try stuff in your main level it can upset it if u accidentally stick to the wrong thing etc not to mention it slows u down if your level is getting full up...:)

It also means u can play around without it paused all the time ( for those of us who have dissolves, prox switched everywhere! )

Then when ready just capture the whole lot as an object and fit it in where needed. Should also help not getting the "object becoming too complicated" message all the time...

01-11-2010, 01:42 PM
Great tutorial Spooky its so help full.

01-11-2010, 09:24 PM
Then when ready just capture the whole lot as an object and fit it in where needed. Should also help not getting the "object becoming too complicated" message all the time...

You know, it's interesting you should mention that.

I did a bit of experimenting building objects outside of the level it was to appear in, and I know of other creators who do it, too.

It certainly helps to stop some of the problems you mentioned, and it definately helps the 'over-complicated' messages.

Thanks for that!

10-01-2011, 10:31 PM
Very good tutorial, thanks Spooky.

11-23-2011, 11:22 PM
Those "4 P's" (Preperation, planning, playtesting, publicity) is really the key meat and cheese on your level, heres a little sum up following with your excellent referance!:

Think that your level is a hamburger...
THE MEAT AND BOTTOM BUN: Is the base ingredient for the hamburger < Level >
, without the base... You can not make a successful level or hamburger.

THE CHEESE: you need to perpare what your going to "drizzle" in your level, what are you go put inside your level? Lighting? Theme? Storyboard? Your choice, everybody has a different favourite "cheese"

Lettuce/Condiments: Now you are almost done, you finished making the meat and cheese. But you want to update and make your hamburger look more appealing and well excecuted, right? Thats why we put "condiments", to finish up the final touches of your hamburger (level).

THE BOTTOM BUN: Wrap it up! Your hamburger is finished and ready to be eaten (or played) but whoes going to eat it if no one knows its done?