I've been talking a lot about the importance of molecular design patterns in level design.

(It's imperative to consider molecular structure when working with open-world content, various degrees of variety in thematic and gameplay); however, I have not talked about why working with them is essential.

What is the core…


My situation:

I’ve been playing Breath of the wild for a couple of months now. I just hit my 40-hour mark.

I was very sceptical initially because I didn’t seem to wrap my head around its simplicity, but it is starting to grow on me as of late.

I was sceptical because…


I decided to return to Night City.

Building space, in some ways, can lead to confusion if we ignore the fundamentals of orientation.

I think that’s what makes Night City so interesting. It’s committed to breaking all the rules to support the narrative of the game.

I am not going…


This entry explores the relationship between player and environment in natural spaces.

It applies to most open-world games that offer a naturalistic approach to their world (Far Cry Series, Death Stranding, Zelda Breath of the wild, → I am looking at you)

Affordances — Player and Environment


A look at Liberty City — Portland Island

Paths, Nodes, Landmarks, Syntax.

It has been some time since I played this game and I must admit, my relationship with the GTA franchise has never been very strong. …


And how to make it compelling

The 40 Second Rule

When thinking about the scope, size and distribution of your encounters in the open world you will have to consider the time between encounters. This tends to vary from game to game.

This matter is highly dependent on Player speed and Map Size, since…


A look at New Bordeaux — Downtown District.

It’s no secret I love Mafia 3. It’s one of my favorite open world games out there.

In this article we will discuss a few details about how the Downtown district is composed and why I think it’s an excellent study case for open world design in terms of orientation…


I am going to start this entry with a quote from Whitelight, from one of his videos about Watch Dogs 2 (4 years later) available bellow.

“If we associate fun with decision making and we understand that depth is the sum of balanced choices the Watch Dogs 2 is…


So I have been playing a bit of Cyberpunk 2077 lately and it made me think about some things.

My issues with it are simple:

  • I feel lost in it and not in a good way;
  • It feels claustrophobic and unfriendly;
  • I can’t shake the feeling of being trapped in…

I think we might have reached a point where outposts exist to support gameplay rather than being built directly to reinforce it.

I said this many times, and I will say it again: Level Design is supposed to facilitate gameplay rather than enforce.

I have been playing a lot of…

Iuliu-Cosmin Oniscu

As a level designer I am not a creator, I am a facilitator. Senior Open World Designer @MassiveEntertainment. #Leveldesign #Open World #Design @notimetoulose.

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