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Does anyone have any help they can offer for top-down level design?

A topic by HFinch created 23 days ago Views: 99 Replies: 5
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Hi, I'm a student currently studying at Colchester Institute, and have been tasked with some primary research. I'm currently in the process of developing a top-down RPG, does anyone have any tips regarding level design? I'm really stuggling with it, as it is a gap in my knowledge at the moment.


I think you need to be a little more specific with what you need help with!

Level design is a wide umbrella, could you narrow it down to some pointed questions?  :)

An example of what I mean would be something similar to Chrono Trigger, as the overworld design is very intuitive and allows the player to explore it with reletive ease. I hope to achieve something similar.

Thanks for responding!

Do you have a version of your game up on

I don't know about much about Chrono Trigger unfortunately, but I could give you my thoughts on what you have so far.

It's unfortunately only in planning at the current moment, if there is nothing else that could help, could you please list some basic rules that you would use for any type of level?

Thank you so much!

If it's a really large overworld map that is going to involve scrolling, make sure the camera is centered on the player.

Creating an overworld isn't too different from making a regular top-down level. It just seems "different" because you're "zoomed out". 

Like on a regular level, hit detection will be important so your player doesn't walk through mountains/barriers/walls.

As far as distance goes, there needs to be a nice balance. Too far between Town A and Town B is going to get old really fast (especially if fetch quests are involved). Too short between Town A and Town B and people might wonder why you have an overworld map to  begin with.

Those are just a few ideas off the top of my head. Chrono Trigger is excellent! Another classic from that era (my fav) is Final Fantasy 6 (aka Final Fantasy III).