When it comes to level design, it's not enough to be able to do the work. Sure it's extremely important to be able to lay out a level and have it function, but you need to be able to go much further than that. You have to take great pride in what you are doing, always strive toward the best level possible, but even more importantly...you have to ALWAYS be thinking about the player's experience.
I've worked with a lot of level designers throughout my career and they varied in skill level to great extremes. But the best level designers are always considering how the player will feel about the level from moment to moment and desperately trying to create an experience that they will always remember. My buddy Steve nailed it on the head when he said: "level designers need to always be telling a story". Level designers that look to their lead for all direction and then implement from a checklist do have their place in game development, but they usually end up with "average" levels.
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