Role: Designer, Level Designer, QA
Students at FIEA participate in projects called Rapid-Prototypes, short 2 week themed games made on teams that fill in the time between regular classes. Crystal Caverns was in the category for just making a game for fun, so it let the team really experiment with game mechanics.
Our main mechanic in Crystal Caverns was that our protagonist, Rocki, could fire physic lines to surfaces and use them as grappling hooks to swing around a level. While the creation of that mechanic was a ordeal and a half, we eventually nailed their implementation - which opened up a door to level designing possibilities.
Grapple hooks are fun, and momentum is fun. Using the hook to swing from crystals and fling boulders at walls was a cathartic experience, and creating levels to fully embrace that catharsis was fun and engaging. Verticality is always a challenge to design for, but with iteration attempt after iteration attempt, a fun level were you swung from the ceiling and avoided lava was born.