What makes a good level?
The answer to that question can both fill volumes, and be answered in a single line: A good level is a fun level. Victor Hugo wrote "If a writer wrote merely for his time, I would have to break my pen and throw it away." That is to say, don't design just for the simple sake of designing a level. Rather, design a level to be used. Give the level purpose, motion, and character, and it will be a good level. All aspects of design will contribute to that, and must be balanced against each other. In the end, people are going to judge the level on whether or not they liked playing it.
"A building is alive, like a man. Its integrity is to follow its own truth, its one single theme, and to serve its own single purpose. A man doesn't borrow pieces of his body. A building doesn't borrow hunks of its soul. Its maker gives it the soul, and every wall, window and stairway to express it." - (Roark) Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead
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