Game Info

GENRE: Arcade Endless Runner
PLAYERS: Single Player
DOWNLOADS: Over 5 Million

Contributions Gameplay & Level Designer

Ownership of all level templates
Designed and implemented new obstacles
Creating and maintaining all Game Design Documentation
Responsible for Player Feedback and UX Design
Designed and balanced the in-game economy, progression system, and various meta-features
Collated post-launch analytics reports
Designed and Implemented First Time User Experience tutorial content
Established Crafting System Design based from specifications
Coordinated and managed Localisation

My primary responsibilities included creating level templates using our existing endless runner framework on Unity3D. My time on the project was split between both Hugo Troll Race 2 and Kick ‘n’ Run, both endless runners using the same framework, but incorporating different mechanics and IP’s, though my role and contributions were the same between both projects.
An endless runner is a procedurally generated game wherein the track pieces or cells are stitched together at runtime based on production rules, which essentially creates a unique and infinite world for the player to explore. The player character automatically moves through the world, meaning the player is limited to swipe inputs to jump, strafe, and duck to avoid oncoming obstacles for as long as they can. This presents a unique opportunity as a level designer, with consideration of the free-to-play model, each game session needs to be a consistently tailored experience yet contain sufficient variation in every playthrough.

Level Design

Levels had to be approached from a Rational Level Design (RLD) perspective, meaning that the design process had to be done so objectively in order to create a consistent experience. This is especially true when designing for free-to-play as players need to be pushed through the core game loop in order to be monetised at designated points. Identifying factors of difficulty, such as a gradually increasing velocity of the player character, I was able to tailor levels to specific milestones during a playthrough. I designed all 50 level templates, each consisting of multiple configurations to ensure the level template enough variety to minimize repetition. There are a total of 140 configurations, which is a considerable challenge when trying to ensure that every hand-crafted level template is unique and exciting.

Set Piece Levels

When creating a level template it’s important to encourage a strong cognitive flow, the middle ground between tedium and boredom that drives the enjoyment from each playthrough. Merely making the playthrough progressively difficult by increasing the frequency of obstacles and player speed over time is not enough, there are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration, one of most important ones being rhythm in movement. By playing with a sense of rhythm in the player’s actions through the composition of the level templates, invites an element of familiarity that’s intrinsically enjoyable to engage with. However it’s important to maintain a balance between rhythm and random experiences, as despite their inherent contradiction of one another, work well in conjunction to create variety and excitement. Most importantly, the introduction of new content over the course of a playthrough, such as dynamic obstacles and set pieces evokes a sense of exploration and progression that ultimately makes each playthrough feel like an adventure.


In order to give the game a light hearted and comedic ambiance, I was responsible for creating and implementing a few vignettes within a few of the level templates. These usually took the form of the enemy minions trying to outrun rolling boulders, trains, or mine carts to establish some slapstick humour in the game. I strongly believe that small details such these are imperative in making the world feel populated, and to a greater extent feeling alive.


Another one of my responsibilities included designing the mission system which acted as the core progression mechanic in the game. By structuring each session around completing missions it gives each playthrough its own unique sense of purpose and direction, by having the player accomplish short term goals outside of the inherent premise of running as far as they can. The design goals for the mission system were to encourage the player to engage with the game differently in every playthrough, as well as being a long term reflection of their progress.


I was responsible for designing the crafting system based on specifications which predominantly included allowing players to collect materials to craft powerups to use at the start of a playthrough. My main goal for the crafting system was to encourage exploration through the worlds, which I solved by assigning each world its own unique crafting resource, which could only be obtained within that world. Eventually this system became a means to distribute timed cosmetic content by allowing the player to craft a specific currency that unlocked a new character.


During the soft-launch phase, the role of a game designer starts to change, as each update needs to incrementally improve the game’s user acquisition, retention, and monetization (ARM). I was responsible for establishing what metrics we would track, which predominantly included factors that affected our acquisition, retention, or monetisation as well as other KPI’s. Player retention has many influences, including but not limited to onboarding and difficulty balancing; both of these need to be perfected during soft launch so that the challenges confronted by the player are appropriate for their skill level. Once I have identified problem areas and potential for improvement, I would then compile the findings into a formal report that would then be implemented in a following update.
I was incredibly fortunate to be given the opportunity to employ both metric driven design in conjunction with rational design methodologies. By approaching the design process objectively and having it eventually be led by user data, I was able to refine our players’ experience and acquire actionable feedback for the future.