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March 2021, 4 weeks   |   Team Size: 6   |   Designer

In this 2D platformer, you play as the explorer Carter, in his attempt to escape a crazy undiscovered cave, with avalanches following you down danger ridden tunnels. Made in Game Maker Studio 2.


  • Worked with peers across multiple disciplines (design, art, programming)

  • Met three times a week with team to plan sprints, check in on progress, and give feedback

  • Worked in Redmine to track and coordinate work using scrum principles

  • Worked with another designer in developing basic gameplay mechanics

  • Designed and implemented three full levels

  • Created a Visual Design document that breaks down the essential parts of the gameplay


The main idea behind the game was that nothing kills you except the avalanche that is ever approaching.  Obstacles will just slow you down, most oftentimes by stunning you, closing the distance between you and the avalanche behind you.  Even failing a jump results in falling down below the main course onto a sticky floor, where the player moves slowly, cannot jump, and must use a rope to recover from, giving the avalanche time to catch up. Players will have to deal with a variety of obstacles while running, jumping, latching to walls and then jumping off them.


I am pretty happy with how this project turned out. However, looking back at development, we definitely over scoped this project. We originally planned for each designer to make 4 levels, as well as a hub level and a finale level that would be longer.  Artists definitely were overworked doing 3 different tile sets so we would have 3 unique zones, and we still had a few bugs at the end of development that could have used some polish.

Development Process: Level Design

When we first started off development, I drew up a VDD to illustrate the key components of the game.

I did a lot of my work for this project on sticky notes. After getting the basic gameplay down, I drew up ideas for hazards the player would encounter.

Not all of these hazards were in the final game. The two images separate what obstacles you would see in what zones.

After talking with the team to see if these obstacles would work, I spent time designing levels. Doing this on paper allowed me to better show what a level should be like sooner and get a feel for the desired flow of player actions for a level. I used two obstacles in each level. The fourth level didn't end up getting implemented because we didn't have time to program those obstacles nor implement another level. Admittedly, these photos aren't the best, but making these drafts were important for planning the player's experience going through the levels.


Level 1 (Temple): Stalactites +


Here are what the levels ended up looking like after I implemented them in engine. Most levels saw some minor changes, but the one that saw the most was level 1, as instead of stalagmites, I used crumble blocks.


Level 1 (Temple): Stalactites +

Crumbling Blocks

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