Traffic Panic: Boom Town

Traffic Panic: Boom Town is a free-to-play game for iOS and Android devices. Building on the basic arcade gameplay of the earlier Traffic Panic games – in which players tap to control the traffic lights at a busy intersection, steering traffic across while averting crashes – we added a city-building metagame to create an improved sense of long-term progression. Players who complete the traffic management minigame are rewarded with coins and building cards; players spend these resources to build and upgrade new buildings around their town, which earns XP; when players hit certain XP milestones their town expands, they unlock new building types, and so on.

My role on the project was mainly to design and balance the metagame economy, integrate the minigame in a way that made sense, and devise a timed-limited event system that would drive spending. I also had a lot of input into the design of our analytics system – this was the studio’s first big game release in some years, and I drew on my previous experience to update our studio-wide approach to metrics.

Personal highlights include:

  • Shipping the game! This was my second big game launch, and the first one I could easily thrust into people’s hands
  • Devising an economy model that could forecast player progression much more accurately than anticipated
  • Finding UX problems by watching streamers play the game on YouTube (leading to observable improvements!)