Snowball Scramble has been my favorite design challenge yet. Normally I work with progressive difficulty on early levels using a familiar toolset. But on this I got to play with a new asset, the snowball, and design the hardest level we have so far. The change of pace had me nothing short of enthusiastic.
My first decision was to cut the filler but have more gauntlets than the average level. I wanted to weave simple puzzles together with skillful play to create a series of experiences that rewarded a smart player as much as an agile one. Because the velocity and interval of the snowballs created windows of only a few seconds to move, breadcrumb paths basically made themselves. I then took those bread crumbs and added bees. When in doubt, always add bees.
Overall, it’s the level I’m most proud of at this point. I’m sure that I’ll change my mind two weeks from now once my honeymoon period is over, but I stand by its design and what I’ve learned from it. In particular, I fell in love with seeing how far I can push making puzzles akin to stealth games while maintaining the speed rush of traditional platformers.
-Jake, Level Designer