How to become a level creator in 5 easy steps

Creating levels in Super Mario Maker is certainly the most challenging and rewarding part of the game. Once you figure out the mechanics, you can start churning out user-created levels almost immediately. However, if your objective is to become a level maker as opposed to just another player, there are some things you need to keep in mind.
To create good user-created levels requires practice and experimentation. It’s not something that happens overnight or even after a few days of playing around with the editor. If you want to take this seriously and be able to create high-quality user-created levels, you need to invest time into it beyond just playing through other people’s creations.
There are many articles on how to become a skilled level designer in Super Mario Maker but most of them require extensive reading time and might not be for everyone. We have distilled everything you need to know about becoming a professional builder into five easy steps:

Topic Index
  1. Step 1: Read the manual, understand the fundamentals and experiment with existing levels
  2. Step 2: Learn how to use the tools by creating your own levels
  3. Step 3: Understand what makes a good level and keep practicing
  4. Step 4: Use your best creations as portfolio pieces
  5. Step 5: Network with other builders and find ways to continually learn and improve

Step 1: Read the manual, understand the fundamentals and experiment with existing levels

The first thing you need to do as a budding level designer is to actually learn how to use the tools in the first place. Reading the manual is a must and you should also check out the official user guide and tips from Nintendo's Japanese website too. These articles will help you get acquainted with everything you need to know about the editor in great detail.

As you go through the guide, make sure you understand the fundamentals of level design. You should know how to make your level challenging, how to use the tools and what the various menu options do. After all, you can’t create something if you don’t know how the tools work in the first place.

Before you start creating your own levels, you should also take some time to explore some of the existing user-created levels in the game. You can do this by browsing the level directory or checking out the featured creations. You should also explore the top creations of the week and month.

Step 2: Learn how to use the tools by creating your own levels

Now that you have a basic understanding of how to use the tools and the fundamentals of level design, it’s time to start creating your own levels.

The best way to learn how to become a skilled level designer is to actually practice. This means spending time tinkering with the tools in the editor and experimenting with different concepts. You don’t need to create complicated levels right off the bat. Start small and create simple and easy-to-complete levels.

The best way to do this is by creating and playing your own levels in small batches. Create a few levels every week and play them as much as you can.
As you create more and more levels, your skills will improve over time. You will learn what works and what doesn’t and you will start to see improvements in your level design skills.

Step 3: Understand what makes a good level and keep practicing

As you keep experimenting with the editor and creating your own levels, you will come to a point when you start seeing improvement in your overall level design skills. After a few weeks of creating and playing your own levels, you should have a better understanding of what makes for a good user-created level.

As you keep experimenting and creating user-created levels, you will also realize that not all creations are equal. Some levels are designed better than others and some level designs are clearly more complex than others. You will also notice that some level designs are more challenging than others.

You should aim to create levels that are equally challenging and well-designed. You don’t want to create something that is too easy or too difficult. You can also check out the featured creations and top user-created levels to see what level design is all about.

Step 4: Use your best creations as portfolio pieces

Now that you have a better understanding of what makes a good level and you have spent some time creating and experimenting, it’s time to put the best creations you have into a portfolio.

As a budding builder, you will likely encounter people who are looking for level designers to hire. You can use your best creations as portfolio pieces that show off your skills as a builder. However, creating a portfolio of your best levels isn’t enough. You also need to be able to promote and showcase your work.

If you want to get noticed as a level designer, you need to find a way to get your creations in front of as many eyes as possible. You can do this by uploading your best creations online and sharing them on social media. You can also use online services like Thiffla to publish your creations online and try to get the attention of people from the Super Mario Maker community.

Step 5: Network with other builders and find ways to continually learn and improve

The final step in becoming a level designer in Super Mario Maker is to network with other builders and find ways to continually learn and improve.
There are several ways you can do this such as joining Discord communities, forums and groups on social media. You can also start participating in live streams and engaging with other level designers.
These platforms are great places to learn and network with other people interested in level design. You can also show off your skills and perhaps even get hired as a level designer by companies that are interested in hiring level builders.

Creating user-created levels in Super Mario Maker is certainly the most challenging and rewarding part of the game. Once you figure out the mechanics, you can start churning out user-created levels almost immediately. However, if your objective is to become a level maker as opposed to just another player, there are some things you need to keep in mind.

To create good user-created levels requires practice and experimentation. It’s not something that happens overnight or even after a few days of playing around with the editor. If you want to take this seriously and be able to create high-quality user-created levels, you need to invest time into it beyond just playing through other people’s creations.

There are many articles on how to become a skilled level designer in Super Mario Maker but most of them require extensive reading time and might not be for everyone. We have distilled everything you need to know about becoming a professional builder into five easy steps: Read the manual, understand the fundamentals, learn how to use the tools, understand what makes a good level, and use your best creations as portfolio pieces.

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