Video Game Design and How It Relates to Urban Design


Video Game design is built in a whole new world, a world that does not have to deal with politics and social issues. Urban design is closely connected to the social issues in this world and many could argue that there would be no need for urban design without a social cause. None-the-less, the foundation of urban design and video game design are the same and that is to create spaces that have an effect on the interaction of people.

Urban design in a nutshell: Create places that encourage congregation and interaction. Some places will have more hierarchy than others while at the same time less used places serve their own purpose. Video game design is interesting because it too encourages congregation and interaction. The only difference is that these people (gamers) are congregating for a different purpose.

A successful urban design public area has many access points. It is usually centrally located and has different spaces that are more and less secluded. A successful video game design creates a public area that has many access points. This prevents a player from “camping.” (Camping refers to sitting at one spot and repeatedly killing players that pass by a certain area.) A successful video game design also has a centrally located public area. This allows for players from all over the map to know where the action is and easily access that space. If the place where everyone is congregated is not centrally located or is hard to access, players will get frustrated looking for it. This is similar to urban design. Good urban design creates places within walking distance of each other. Things that are too far away frustrate people and do not encourage environmentally friendly transportation.

When designing for a video game you have to think about something that you never have to think about when doing urban design. You have to think about the strength of a certain spot for defense and offence. If you design a level that has one spot that overlooks the whole level and you can stay there without being killed, the level becomes more-or-less worthless. Players will spend all their time trying to get to that spot and whoever is there has entire control.

Urban design and walking though a city street is an experience of walking through different spaces and experiencing different levels of expansion and compression. Streets open up to large public areas and more secluded corridors give a more human scale to the experience. Video game design requires the level to posses these same qualities. Smaller corridors serve as protected portals for navigating the level and large open spaces serve as battlegrounds and places where snipers can feast. As you can see the spaces that are necessary for urban design are also necessary for video game design, however, the spaces serve two completely different purposes.


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3 Responses to “Video Game Design and How It Relates to Urban Design”

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