How To Write A Level
Hazard Classes

survival.png
Level Survival Ratings:

A lower rating means
the level is safer.

Class 5 levels are
the most dangerous
to encounter!

Welcome to the Level Guide!

This guide will detail what levels are and how to write them, with tips on style and mindset. It is encouraged to read the entirety of this guide before writing one.

Levels make up the environment of the Backrooms, and often capture our imagination the most with captivating images and ideas. On the Wiki, the MEG has encountered and documented hundreds of them.

What is a Level?

A Level is an extended area of the backrooms which follows a unifying, consistent theme. Most levels are very large - some are even infinite due to the strange nature of non euclidean space - while others are confined to the size of a handful of rooms or hallways. Levels connect to one another, sometimes abruptly and other times merging subtly as you wander.

They can also connect in strange ways. A doorway on level 9 may lead to a room on level 57, for example. The Backrooms are interconnected in a tangle of levels and entries and exits - and sometimes these connections shift and change; moving entries and exits to new locations or blocking them without apparent cause. If you would like to know more about how the Levels of the backrooms manifest in strange ways, read further here.

Some levels are safer than others. Hazards include Entities, radical environments, hostile factions, and some are paranormal where the rules of reality as we know them do not apply. Due to this some Levels are considered habitable - able to sustain colonies of humans - while others are almost certain death to encounter. These factors of danger have been classified into a simple scale of survivability ranging from 0 to 5, seen to the right. A class 0 rating is a level which is deemed safe - with few or no Entities and little danger. As opposed to a class 5 - the most dangerous class - which are levels deemed acutely and lethally hazardous to travel. There is also a class "Unknown", which is saved for levels that are not fully explored or exhibit strange or supernatural hazards which cannot be explained. Generally, levels given this classification should be treated as cautiously as a class 5 due to the unpredictable nature of their hazards.

We organize our levels into four categories. Some go into the negatives - reflecting strange realities and properties. Other levels are written to be purposely elusive to find. It's really up to you to decide how to make your Level. The categories are explained below:

- Normal levels

Normal levels connect to each other more often than other level types, and are the easiest to discover. Tonally they are a mixed bag. However, they often follow traditional aspects of horror, loneliness, strange familiarity, and liminal emptiness compared to negative levels.

- Negative levels

Typically are extremely dangerous or unlivable. Meant to embrace the horror and paranormal aspect of the Backrooms in any way possible. Some Negative levels inverse or flip the rules of physics, others influence how our very senses interpret the world around us.

- Secret levels

Levels intended to be mysterious and hard to find. These levels typically have different meanings behind face value, and may even be an allegory for a certain experience or emotion. Some of them are dead ends with no further exits or entrances, others open many doors.

- Sub levels

Sub Levels are intended to add lore to an already written level. Think of them as spin offs of the level they can be found in, or levels within a level, or a level between two other levels which shares the characteristics of both. Sub Levels are usually smaller, however more detailed - but not always. All sub layers are listed as positive decimal places - starting at n.1 and going upwards from there. For example: If level 4 has fourteen sub levels, they would be listed as 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 … 4.13, 4.14, and so forth. There can be multiple sub layers to any level as long as they are different enough to warrant a separate page.

But what's the secret to writing a great level? It's in the mindset and approach. Generally speaking, your level should follow the vibe or “feeling” of the Backrooms. Most levels follow the vague guidelines of being oddly familiar or nostalgic. However some of them break the mold in fresh, new ways - which can make for a memorable read. You can never go wrong trying to capture a feeling of something being slightly off. Something you can tell is strange - but can’t quite place your finger on why. Lastly, if they aren’t regarded in any of these categories, fret not! There’s some levels that don’t match this at all, and are still highly appreciated. Levels like these can expand the lore and shift the identity of the Backrooms in new and exciting ways. Don't be afraid to get your ideas out there and have them peer reviewed!

A note on writing style: The levels on here are meant to be written out by people who speak factually and of what is known. We call this the Clinical Tone. They don’t go off on hypotheticals or put incorrect information. If something isn’t confirmed, it’s disclosed as such. It’s meant to look like it’s written by someone who’s job it is to inform people of the truth. Along with that, these entries are served as warnings. Remember: the Wiki is written by wanderers, for wanderers. The lives of your fellow comrades are on the line, so clarity and facts are key. If you don’t fancy this writing style, maybe create a tale instead - which can incorporate more personal writing styles. We've provided an example below of what it looks like to write a sentence clinically vs. personally.

Personal: “This level is really scary because it has a lot of entities and is super dark. It’s really big so you can get lost very easily!"

Clinical: "This level is highly dangerous and to be avoided at all costs. Numerous amounts of entries inhabit this level, along with it being pitch black, so a personal light source is required. This level is vast and confusing. It’s quite easy to get yourself lost if you do not know your way.”


A Level Template

Due to Wiki's coding we cannot display this 100% properly: you will need to add an additional square bracket "[ ]" to each end of the "image-block" component in order for it to function in your sandbox.

[[>]]
[[module rate]]
[[/>]]

[include :backrooms-wiki:component:level-class
|class=1
]

[include component:image-block
    name=filename.jpg|
    caption=filedescription
]

**Level n** is the (n+1)'nd Level of the Backrooms

+ **Description:**
Lorum Ipsum

+ **Colonies And Outposts**
++ Colony 1
* Detail Bullet 1
* Detail Bullet 2

+ **Entrances And Exits:**
+++ Entrances
Lorum Ipsum

+++ Exits
Lorum Ipsum

------

[[>]]
[[collapsible show="Author(s)" hide="Hide author"]]
(Your author info here)
[[/collapsible]]
[[/>]]

[[div class="footer-wikiwalk-nav"]]
[[=]]
<< [[[Level Minus -0|Level -0]]] | Level 0 | [[[Level 1]]] >>
[[/=]]
[[/div]]

Creating and Managing your Level

Often newcomers to the wiki want to jump instantly into creating a Level — usually multiple — with little to no experience within writing for the Backrooms. A lot of time these writers haven't even read a single wiki article.

It's encouraged to read a lot of articles before you start writing, and avoid writing a Level as your first.

If you're ready to Level up (hah) the info you need to create any page is detailed in the contributions guide, but level specific details are all below.

You can use the Level Template on the right to make sure your level is properly formatted first. Copy and paste the entire thing into your sandbox and you'll be on the right track!

Keep these in mind as you're filling out the template:

  • Put your level number at the top, corresponding to the page number. Often you will see this displayed as "n+1", as Level 0 was the first level of the backrooms.
  • Edit the level's survival difficulty from Class 0 through 5, or designate it as Unknown / Mysterious using the code below. For instructions on how to customize the survival class further, see here:
Class 0 :
[include :backrooms-wiki:component:level-class
|class=0
]
Class 1:
[include :backrooms-wiki:component:level-class
|class=1
]
Class 2:
[include :backrooms-wiki:component:level-class
|class=2
]
Class 3:
[include :backrooms-wiki:component:level-class
|class=3
]
Class 4:
[include :backrooms-wiki:component:level-class
|class=4
]
Class 5:
[include :backrooms-wiki:component:level-class
|class=5
]
Class ?:
[include :backrooms-wiki:component:level-class
|class=unknown
]
  • Add a description - A good description is brief enough to show all the information, but in depth enough to paint a picture of it in your reader's mind
  • Add the Colonies And/Or Outposts - An outpost is a base of operations for a group, a colony is a collection of survivors. This is optional. If adding a human settlement, consider the logistics of how a group of people survive there. Details such as accessing food and water and supplies can turn a level from good to great by grounding it in to the lore.
  • Add the Entrances and Exits - how to get in an out of a level. You may think about writing an inescapable level without an exit… but then remember - how could we have heard about this level if no one is able to tell us about discovering it!
  • Place an image for your Level. This is optional, but strongly recommended (unless your level, because of how it fundamentally operates, can't have images be taken of it)
  • Make sure your image is in line with our Image Policy!

If you're making a normal level, go to Normal Levels I, select a blank level, and create the page and fill it with your level. If you're writing a level under a different category follow the links to get to the hubs of Sub Levels, Negative Levels, and Secret Levels.

For a great example of a Level page, please take a look at Level 0 - "The Lobby".


Receiving Feedback

Alright, you've written a draft! Amazing!
But wait, you can't go ahead and post it just yet - you need to get some community feedback and critique.

The Backrooms Wiki follows a Greenlight Process before content can be displayed on the website. All submissions must go through community peer review and receive staff approval before you can post to the website. We want everyone to have equal opportunity to add their work to the Backrooms, but there is a level of quality that we uphold as a community. Don't worry, there are many places you can go to submit your work for review.

The most active peer review platform is our Discord Server! discord-ico.png

We have active staff and a growing community there who love to read new community content.

If you don't do Discord, we got you covered right here on the Wiki. Head to our forums for:

> Our front line Draft Critique
> The brainstorming lab, our Ideas Critique

Just be aware peer review might come a little bit slower on the forums. Head to Discord for real time engagement! As well, make sure you're a Wikidot Member first, or you can't add anything to the site.

Its quite a bit, but if you're serious about contributing, we're serious about seeing it. Happy writing, and if you still have questions, head over to our FAQ or message a Staff Member anytime!

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License