Ben Stoddard Download Resume Email me My LinkedIn Profile

Tomb Raider

Level Designer - 2010-2012

I was hired at Crystal Dynamics as a Level Designer and scripting work became the bulk of my daily duties. The very quick iteration time resulted in having at least some work in nearly every level of the game. Here are four main areas that I worked on, along with a video of other miscellaneous work I performed on Tomb Raider.

Chasm Stronghold

The rough block in for Chasm Stronghold was already provided, as well as the general narrative of the area, and I was teamed with an artist, a writer, and an animator for custom animation work. A particularly challenging area to script for, as we had to simulate dozens of NPCs marching into the area.


• Full ownership of entire area except for rough blockmesh which was provided.

• Heavy script work, custom animation setup for enemies, creating custom lightweight AI-less enemies for area. Script hooks connecting in/out of cinematic in middle of area.

• Custom camera work and projectile setup for exit hallway run.

Geothermal Caverns

The design for Geothermal Caverns was largely controlled by an artist, and everything scripted was largely solely by me. My team consisted of an animator and a writer, for all the custom prisoner animations and audio. I was also working with a combat designer and artist from another team who owned the area. Chasm Stronghold was the prototype level that dictated all systems design related to the stealth aspect of the game. This level drove the games AI awareness systems as well as the detection range of Lara's movement and actions.


• Narrative support for NPC interactions in an existing combat space. Hooking up custom animations and audio.

• Needed to collaborate with combat designers since combat can be initiated at any point so scripting needed to be passed off to combat script.

• This area was the initial 'stealth gameplay' area that set global metrics for all stealth related systems.

Solarii Fortress

The layout for Solarii Fortress was mostly complete, but small edits to the design was supplemented as the narrative of the area was written by our writer. Teamed with an animator, writer, several artists, and a combat designer. This area was one of the first major NPC performance showcases worked on, as prior to this there was no instances of enemy AI not instantly and actively attacking Lara.


• First area actually worked on as part of the narrative team. Drove NPC behaviors when not engaged in combat with player character, as it had not been done before.

• Collaborated with FX artist, as it is heavy with FX, to ensure areas are within FX budgets.

• Created multiple one off pieces specifically for the area such as the exploding tower and the enemy on fire (which needed special case due to AI limitations).

Cliffside Bunker

Cliffside Bunker was largely owned by the combat design team, but our narrative design team was tapped for this pre-combat scenario. I did all the scripting for the audio, animation, and NPC interactions, as well as the necessary script hooks when Lara transition into open combat.


• This was another combat space where the narrative team was tasked with a 'pre-combat' scenario.

• Full scripting setup of NPC behaviors, animations, audio and associated props. Support scripting for hooks when Lara transitions into open combat.

• This setup exposed the need for a cross scripting call system due to timing of audio that syncs up when an enemy fires their weapon. Normal time delays would not work as it would vary based on machine performance, so an animation system call to script was created to support setups like this one.

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