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Level design, Environment Designor game mappingis a discipline of game development involving creation of video game levels - locales, stages, or missions. This is commonly done using a level editor, a game development software designed for building levels; however, some games feature built-in level editing tools. Level design is both an artistic and technical process.
Level design is necessary for two primary purposes - providing players with a goal and providing players with enjoyable play experience. Good level design strives to produce quality gameplay, provide an experience, and sometimes, especially in story-based games, to advance the storyline. Skilled use of textures and audio is necessary to produce immersive player experience.
Maps' design can significantly impact the gameplay. For example, the gameplay may be shifted towards a platformer (by careful placement of platforms) or a puzzle game (by extensive use of buttons, keys, and doors). Some FPS maps may be designed to prevent sniping by not including any long hallways, while other maps may allow for a mix of sniping and closer combat.