Crash Bandicoot: On the Run
Overview
Crash Bandicoot is back, but this time he's on the run and on mobile! Meaning high speed battles across all of the most iconic Crash worlds fighting against Neo Cortex's henchmen.
My Roles
Project info
  • Seeing 'Runs' from prototype to publish
  • White-box Level Concepts
  • Liaising with Environmental Artists + VFX
  • Ideation of Mechanics + Enemies
  • Improve monetisation through curated difficulty adjusting and level pacing 
  • 1.5 Year Project
  • 120 Team Members
  • Unity
  • Operating as a Live Game
  • +40 Million Downloads
  • Pocket Gamer 2021 Finalist
Level Design Objectives
  • Allow the level to accomodate for a vast range of different player skill levels

  • Promote fluid traversal across multiple routes whilst minimising unfair deaths

  • Provide a sense of exploration and progression through risk versus reward design

Accommodating for Different Skill Levels
(1) - Intertwining Linear with Non-Linear Design
Presenting players with the option to take multiple routes opens up the problem on them potentially missing out on key, tutorialised sections.

To represent how to combat this issue it's best to picture a helix shape, where players proceed through low intensity 'forced' moments to learn a mechanic, followed by optional areas which will test the mechanic just learnt in different ways.
(2) - Skill Checks
At given points we need to separate skilled players from non-skilled players so we can design certain areas with the appropriate level of difficulty. Doing so we ensure low skilled players are not given too much of challenge whilst at the same time making sure skilled players are being engaged enough. 
Promoting Fluid Traversal
When allowing players free roam of different routes available we need to have key things in mind before designing the area, asking questions such as:
  • Is the area easily digestable to figure out so players understand how to get from point A to B?
  • At any given moment are players able to exit their current route and continue on safely? 
  • How can skilled players make the most out of a given area?
     
Digestable Areas
The balance between static and animated objects is used here to draw attention to the optional route
 
Making Failure Safe
The main aim here is to provide a safe but engaging experience for the lower skilled players that would often be on the bottom route. At the same time making sure players who drop off from the higher route aren't unfairly and abruptly killed by an instant obstacle
 
Skill Utilisation
Here is an example of where we can make skilled players feel even more skilled by allowing the possibility for them to reach additional routes if they are quick enough.