Rushdown Rainbow
a joke game mode built as an april fool's joke

2021 & 2022
Work Project
Design & Implementation

Rushdown Rainbow was an series of joke game modes I concepted and built along with one other designer for April Fools 2021 and 2022.

In the months leading up to April 2021, a lot of talk was going on amongst the team about releasing a joke update for April Fools on the 1st. After tossing around several ideas, we decided we would “rebalance the whole game” in a very sloppy and nonsensical manner. This would be especially entertaining for invested players, and by intentionally committing to a very low set of standards, we ensured we wouldn’t sink too much dev time into the project.
An appropriately low-effort logo to set the tone.

During the last week of March, myself and one one other designer went through the entire cast and added ridiculous and extreme properties to every move in the game, making a special effort to convey the appearance of sloppiness and absurdity wherever possible. The end result was a goofy limited-time event featuring wacky physics, characters who could intentionally glitch through terrain, moves that would instantly win the game if they landed, etc. The mode, which we named Rushdown Rainbow, was a hit with our regular players, enough to set expectations for its return the next year.
Come the same time in 2022, several of us on the gameplay team were eager to meet players' expecations with April Fools game mode. But deadlines were tight at the time, and a lot of important strategic milestones loomed on the horizon. After some negotiation with upper management, I managed to secure a greenlight for the mode, under the condition that all the work had to be done over the course of one weekend. It was a frantic (but fun) weekend, and in the end we shipped a system we dubbed "Infinite Loadout", which allowed players to customize their characters with wacky procedurally generated moves and build a unique moveset of their own. The experience was as janky as it was fun, and landed firmly as a satisfying followup to the original Rushdown Rainbow experience.

The loadout UI was put together in about 5 hours.