Development Info

Genre: Endless Adventure/Runner
Team Breakdown: Appx. 33 (Dev Team) | +48 (Business, QA, Other) | Appx. 71 Total
Engine: Unity
Time on Team: 12 Months

Responsibilities

Role: Level Designer

  • Level design and gameplay for multiple levels and game modes
  • Weapon stat and cost balancing
  • Enemy scripting and stat balancing
  • In-game item, powerup, and upgrade costs

Design Challenges

Multiple Game Modes: Relic Run is more than just endless running, with rail shooting, vehicle, and alternate run sections that all had to be designed and fit together.

Making Sense of Chaos: While working on Relic Run, I had to devise gameplay sections that could be pieced together in random or pseudo-random order while still being fun and fair.

Fair and Balanced: My responsibilities on the game included working on weapon balance and the costs of items, powerups, and their upgrades.

Game Summary

Lara Croft: Relic Run is a free-to-play endless runner (and then some) developed by Simutronics Corp. for Square-Enix and Crystal Dynamics for multiple mobile game platforms including iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. The game was designed to consist of core endless runner gameplay enhanced by other modes such as combat, vehicle, and alternate run stitched flawlessly into an endless adventure. Lara Croft runs, jumps, slides, and parkours her way across the globe in a search for relics and clues as to the whereabouts of fellow archaeologist Carter Bell. Her adventures take her from the jungle to the desert to the peaks of the Himalayas as she's pitted against nostalgic enemies and terrifying boss monsters.

My Role

As one of just two or three Level Designers that have been on the project, my responsibilities were varied and many. I began by working on the design for parts of the standard 'run' mode of the Desert Ruins level and have contributed to the design and creation all other modes for that level as well as the forthcoming Mountain Pass level. Here are some concrete examples of my daily work:

Run Modes:

  • Designed and blocked out sections ('tiles') of gameplay of varying sizes (from 18m to as large as 52m or 74m) to be pieced together in an 'endless run'
  • Mode gameplay includes traps and obstacles in the player's way, as well as coin trails, collectibles, and powerups with varying spawn locations used to create multiple critical paths
  • Balanced tile difficulties and appearance rates to ensure consistent gameplay difficulty progression
  • Set up triggers for camera adjustments, special mechanics, and animations such as wall runs and parkours

Combat and Boss Modes:

  • Hand placed enemy spawn groups, movements, and attack timing
  • Balanced enemy health, attack damage, and advancement (stat scaling)
  • Balanced weapon stats including damage, accuracy, rate of fire, ammo capacity, and upgrades
  • Designed attacks and abilities of forthcoming Mountain Pass boss and miniboss
  • Placed spawn groups for shootable health, ammo, and coin crates

Vehicle Modes:

  • Designed and blocked out sections ('tiles') of gameplay of varying sizes, taking into account increased speed of vehicle modes
  • Mode gameplay includes obstacles, critical path objects (coin trails, collectibles, powerups), and vehicle-specific gameplay mechanics (motorcycle destructible objects)
  • Balanced tile difficulties and appearance rates
  • Set up triggers for camera adjustments and special mechanics and animations

Alternate Run Modes:

  • Designed and blocked out sections ('tiles) of gameplay for the Desert Ruins level 'slide' mode, taking into account slide-specific mechanics (speed slide)
  • Mode gameplay includes obstacles, critical path objects (coin trails, collectibles, powerups) and slide-specific gameplay mechanics
  • Balanced tile difficulties and appearance rates
  • Set up triggers for camera adjustments and special mechanics and animations