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A Grammar of Procedural Platformer Levels

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Brief post this week linking to a couple of great articles about elements of platformer game design. I think these articles make great resources for a procedural platformer level generator. Brevity and procedural focus stem at least partially from the release of the captivating No Man’s Sky.

Platformer Level Design

Ken Bowen’s 2012 article covering 2D Sidescroller Level Design has some great tips. I especially like the section called Define your Building Blocks. I think this will require some revisiting in a future post.

Fundamental Physics for Platformers

Zachary Burke’s article about Platformer Physics is a nice resource that explains the fundamentals in great mathematical detail. It also provides inverse solutions for deriving physics based on descriptive parameters for jump height and timing.

Taken together these articles suggest, to me, that we could achieve a fully descriptive grammar of platformer games to generate a variety of levels constructed from basic building blocks, with constraints ensuring fun and responsive gameplay physics.