Riverboat Miner


Riverboat Miner is a adventure game, heavily inspired by The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the past, set during the gold rush in USA. The point of the game was to gather coal as fuel for a riverboat to take up the riverbank. You had to get off the boat at certain sections to gather more fuel, but you could also gather gold to buy upgrades for the character.

This project was made during only 6 weeks. Two weeks less that the other projects. Making a adventure game in with so little time was a challenge. We had to have a inventory-system, which required a certain amount of depth.

The Team

  • Me (Level Designer)
  • Fredrik Sjö (Level Designer)
  • Clara Lindblad Åman (Graphical Artist)
  • Jonathan Persson (Graphical Artist)
  • Johan Ernstsson (Graphical Artist)
  • Robin Wide Gren (Programmer)
  • Olle Hagman (Programmer)
  • Vincent Wipp Ekman (Programmer)
  • Christian Forsberg (Programmer)
  • Patrik Krogell Hansson (Programmer)


  • Adventure Game
  • Created in 6 weeks half-time

My Contributions

  • Level Design
  • Game Design
  • Propping
  • Playtesting

Design Philosophy

We decieded to have a pretty open world for our game. It would encourage exploring so that the player could fully upgrade the character. At the start of the project we also wanted multiple endings, which counted the amount of gold gathered during the game. If the player had picked up a high amount, they would get the best ending. We didn’t have time for that, so the gold-gathering was soley for upgrading the character.

With the open world, we had to have the character have chances to go back to the riverboat, without backtracking too much.

We solved this with dungeons that made the player circle around to the entrance multiple times, so that they could go back to the boat to load off what they had gathered.

To make sure the player didn’t have to backtrack to search for a missing coal-piece, we made sure to have more coal in the game, than was required to gather.

Working as a team

This was the first time I worked in Tiled. The rest of my team were used to the software, and helped me get up to date with it. In level design, we had two different kinds of maps to work with – The overworld and the dungeons. We switched who worked on what all the time, so that the overworld would flow well with the dungeons.

Because of how closely the graphical artists worked with us, we had a very easy time to build the levels. It got so easy, that we had to remove sections, because it was too easy for us to build, and we had made a game that was much too long. That doesn’t happen very often!

Early build and final build for comparison

Closing Thoughts

I am still surprised by the amount of content we actually managed by make with only six weeks. What we should’ve done to make the game even better was to shorten it even more.

As mentioned before, it was so easy for us to build levels that we went a bit overboard. That said, I still think this game is something to be proud of. That we had to cut levels because we had too game that was too long still makes me laugh.