Life is Strange: True Colors

General Information

Role: Lead Level Designer

Duration: Mar 2018 - Jun 2021 (Includes DLC)

Genre: Narrative Adventure

Engine: Unreal Engine 4

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Stadia, Nintendo Switch

Developer: Deck Nine Games

Team Size: ~80

Publisher: Square Enix

Release Date: September 10, 2021


  • Golden Joystick Awards 2021 - "Best Storytelling"
  • The Game Awards 2021 - "Games for Impact"
  • Nominated for "Best Narrative" at The Game Awards 2021



I served as lead level designer over the entire production cycle of Life is Strange: True Colors. At the start of the project I did research into other narrative adventure games, programmed tools as the team switched from Unity to Unreal, and identified potential places for pipeline improvements. Once we got into the swing of creating levels I worked with production to prioritize tasks and create the team’s schedule and gave feedback to the level designers on the team at various stages. As a working lead I was also responsible for levels of my own. In addition to our level design work the team also designed various unique gameplay experiences and puzzles throughout the game. I worked closely with the environment, narrative, and programming teams to ensure levels and gameplay met experience and quality goals. I also served as the point of contact for the team and communicated regularly with our client.


Managed the level design team:

  • Collaborated with production to prioritize tasks and create schedule for level design team
  • Served as point of contact for other departments
  • Ran team stand-up and organized team meetings
  • Reviewed and gave feedback on levels at various stages
  • Managed and distributed bugs assigned to level design team
  • Administered yearly performance reviews for the team
  • Managed the hiring of a new level designer
  • Organized the onboarding process for new designers

Created and maintained documentation:

  • Level design documents
  • Episode pacing documents
  • Tracking documents for various features
  • Unique gameplay system design documents
  • Process documentation

Took levels from concept to polished final product:

  • Created and iterated on graybox levels
  • Collaborated with environment and narrative teams to achieve level goals
  • Designed puzzles
  • Implemented and polished interactive and miscellaneous game systems
  • Built collision geometry for cameras and navigation
  • Managed the flow of levels using in-house tools
  • Polished all interactable aspects of the level
  • Responsible for fixing a wide variety of logic and content bugs

Performed research and developed tools:

  • Researched techniques and patterns used in other narrative adventure games
  • Developed a tool to assist with tuning interaction points
  • Developed a tool to assist with tuning camera collisions
  • Developed a variety of small tools to assist with the creation of levels

My Levels

I was responsible for close to half the levels over the course of the game. Three of my favorites are included below.

Chapter 1: "Side A" - Searching for Ethan

During the Searching for Ethan level Alex (player character), Gabe, and Ryan have traveled to an old mine to search for Ethan. While there they discover Ethan has based an issue of his comic series on the mine. The player must use the comic to follow Ethan's path through the mining equipment and determine where he has gone. (1:45:00 – 2:00:40)

Chapter 3: "Monster or Mortal" - Thaynor, Monster Slayer

During the Thaynor, Monster Slayer level Alex and Ethan play through a LARP created by Steph. During this section of the game the player makes their way through a JRPG-like experience where they battle or outwit monsters played by Ryan, visit a magical store staffed by Steph, and face a final boss played by Jed. (36:40 – 1:39:02)

Chapter 5: "Side B" - Nobody Picked You

During the Nobody Picked You level Alex experiences a warped version of an orphanage she stayed in growing up. The highly atmospheric level has the player exploring that aspect of Alex's life ending in having to face the feelings of potential parents who Alex was rejected by. (28:48 – 38:25)