Game Info

GENRE: Arcade Adventure
PLAYERS: Single Player
PLATFORM: iOS
RELEASE DATE: August 2018

Contributions Game & Level Designer

Designed approximately 70% of the 40 Final Levels
Responsible for the core game progression and narrative sequences
Joint Responsibility for Player Feedback and UX Design
Co-Designed in-game economy, progression system, and various meta-features
Worked with other designers to collate and present analytics reports
Co-Designed and Implemented First Time User Experience tutorial content
Worked with other designers to create and maintain Design Documentation



Doodle Jump Galaxy is the next title for the Doodle Jump franchise, originating from the world famous Doodle Jump (2009) by Lima Sky, Doodle Jump Galaxy offers players a new gameplay experience in this unique arcade adventure game.
My responsibilities when I joined the project in October 2017 was solely level design, however once the core 45 levels were created after a few months I progressed into a game designer role, focusing on helping establish the core progression, gameplay mechanics, narrative, metagame, FTUX, and soft launch analytics. I was presented with a unique opportunity in the level design to adapt a somewhat traditional adventure game with an unconventional control scheme into a casual F2P environment.


<

Level Design

Employing Rational Level Design theory was a crucial component for creating the levels for Doodle Jump Galaxy. Our approach to the level design was formulaic, as we want to cater the game for a large audience, which is difficult to do in a casual adventure game, which meant we first identified our gameplay and narrative beats as well as the factors that dictated excitement and difficulty. Following this the levels were divided on paper into a list of beats and moments the play was going to experience, which was the followed up with some rough top-down whiteboxes of some challenge sections. Because the game controls were in a constant state of flux, the levels had to be iterated on consistently to accommodate the latest direction. Once the first few levels were created, we established a level design ruleset for future content to keep the experience consistent.
 

Ideal Player Experience

In order to tailor the casual gameplay experience for a wide range of players with a variety of skillsets we had to ensure that the multiple routes through each level fell into categories of easy, medium and hard difficulty based on the level design rules in the documentation. These routes were signposted through pickup types available on the routes as well as through the environment art and level composition. Harder routes were less signposted and often fell into the secret route category as well, however the easiest routes were always the obvious and most visible choice.
 

Hero Moments

In order to create a large amount of levels in a short amount of time, we had to recycle a fair amount of content, then altering it to make it feel and look unrecognisable from the original. However this still presented us with the challenge to make the levels feel iconic and recognizable on their own. In order to accomplish this we incorporated various heroic moments as well as art and story beats into the level design process. Most often I would create areas with dynamic objects to establish a small cinematic sequence or play with space by juxtaposing narrow spaces alongside open plan art beats. To accomplish this with gameplay I broke up the pacing on occasion by either having the player fall down into large caverns or climb the side of cliff face with trampolines.