Ever since being told my writing was ‘pompous’ 5 years ago during my English Literature A-level, I’ve had a bizarre interest for the real meanings of particular words, so I can ignore them and use them how I like. The best example of this is a Software Engineer a creative, technical, nice person who builds things versus a Computer Scientist an analytical, pessimistic and downright evil person who works out why what the Engineer built fell down.
I like to think a similar comparison exists between ‘Mappers’ and ‘Level Designers’. They’re most often used interchangeably, despite what I believe is a considerable difference.
A person who makes a map/the act of making a map. A map is considered as an environment in some sort of computer game, but the act of ‘mapping’ does not suggest there is any kind of sensible thought behind the decisions. The act of mapping could result in a map of amazing quality, or it could result in a random collection of structures and geometric nightmares.
Level Designer/Level Designing
A person who designs a level/the act of designing a level. A level is considered as an environment in some sort of computer game, accounting for the progression and behaviour of the user in order to produce a result meeting particular specifications or requirements. The designer may consider themselves as a ‘Gameplay Engineer’, ensuring that their level has particular qualities that were thought out in advance to enforce and encourage certain gameplay situations.