Post-GDC: Rainbow Six's Upton Talks Landscaping Game Worlds

The final session of the final day of last week's GDC 2007 was a cross-disciplinary take on level design. Brian Upton, a senior designer for SCEA and the lead designer for Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon, called on theme park design, landscaping, and city planning as parallels for level design, explaining that they all work under the same principles.

The main concern with all of these disciplines is human psychology – an understanding of how people orient themselves within, organize, and think about the space around them. Since theme park designers, landscapists, and city planners have been doing their job a heck of a lot longer than game designers, Upton suggested looking to these older fields not only for technique but for terminology with which we might describe and define level design.

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