Hello! My name is John Koolen and I am a game designer experienced in gameplay design and visual scripting.



Enemy/Encounter Scripting

  • Implement and balance AI and enemy encounters/behaviour.

Level Design

  • Create layouts and blockouts for single player and multiplayer maps.

  • Determine pacing using gameplay and narrative beats.

Iron Harvest is a real-time strategy game (RTS) set in the alternate reality of 1920+ where World War 1 was fought with mechs.

Role: Level Designer

Genre: RTS      

Team size: ~60

Engine: Unity (+ inhouse tools)

Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Duration: June 2020 - Present

Company: King Art Games

Awards & Recognition:

  • Best Game Design - German Developers Award 2020

  • Best Game - German Developers Award 2020

  • Nomination Best Strategy Game - Gamescom 2020

  • Nomination Best International Game - Académie des Arts et Techniques du Jeu Vidéo



Combat Design

  • Concepted several moves for a DLC boss.

Encounter Design

  • Designing, implementing, and iterating on enemy encounters.

Quest/Mission Design

  • Implementing and iterating on quests, dialogues and NPCs look and behaviours.

The Surge 2 is a hardcore action RPG with an unique limb targeting system and is set out to improve on its predecessor with more variety in its level and enemy design.

Role: Associate Game Designer

Genre: Action RPG      

Team size: ~70

Engine: Fledge Engine (Visual Scripting, LUA)

Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Duration: February 2019 - August 2019

Company: Deck13 Interactive GmbH

Awards & Recognition: 

  • Best RPG Nominee - Brazil Game Awards 2019

  • Best Sequel 2019 - Gamegrin


Retro Rockets

Retro Rockets is an objective based 3vs1 multiplayer FPS set in the Sci-Fi 70s.

Role: Technical Designer

Genre: Multiplayer FPS

Team size: 7

Engine: Unreal Engine 4

Platform: PC

Duration: September 2018 -  January 2019

Company: Emissive Games


Combat System Design

  • Design, implementation and iteration on a core combat action for the Destructo character.

  • Design, implementation and iteration on a stamina system for the Retronaut character.

Technical Design

  • Design, implementation and iteration on interactible gameplay elements.


Other Projects


Arboreal is an open-world farming & adventuring game where you save the world and its ancient giants from a spreading corruption.

Role: Lead Designer/Game Designer

Genre: Action Adventure       

Team size~35

EngineUnreal Engine 4


Duration: September 2017- July 2018

Awards & Recognition: 

  • IGAD Awards Best Game Design Third Year Project


Combat Design

  • Designed and iterated on combat systems and feel.

  • Designed and implemented enemy and boss fight behaviours.

Lead Design

  • Designed and iterated on combat systems and feel.

  • Designed and implemented enemy and boss fight behaviours.

Narrative Design

  • Created several NPCs with different backstories and possible functions.​​

I Am the Eye in the Sky

I Am the Eye in the Sky is a first person puzzle-platformer where the player can absorb colours to transmit different properties to objects.

Role: Technical Design/Level Designer

Genre: First Person Puzzle-Platformer

Team size: 4

Engine: Unreal Engine 4

Platform: PC

Duration:  48 hours

Awards & Recognition: 

  • Invited to showcase the game at the Gaming Horizons 2020 Conference in Breda, The Netherlands.


Technical Design

  • Implementation of gameplay functionality.

Level Design

  • Design, implementation and iteration of left field and mastery puzzle levels

When Angels Die

Role: Technical Designer/ Gameplay Designer

Genre: Survival Horror

Team size: 9

Engine: Unreal Engine 4

Platform: PC

Project year: February 2017 - March 2017

Easy Wave Spawner

Role: Technical Level Designer

Genre: Tool

Team size: 1

Engine: Unreal Engine 4

Platform: PC

Project year: February 2019 - April 2019

Exiles of Auriga 

Role: General Designer

Genre: RTS (VR)

Team size: 17

Engine: Jackal (in-house)

Platform: HTC Vive

Project year: May 2017 - July 2017 


Role: Level Designer

Genre: Multiplayer FPS (Unreal Tournament)

Team size: 1

Engine: Unreal Engine 4

Platform: PC

Project year: 2016

Software & Tools

Unity 3D

Unreal Engine 4

Tortoise SVN



Microsoft Office


Hack n Plan



  • Combat Design

  • Gameplay Design

  • System Design

  • Visual Scripting

  • Level Design

  • Technical Design

  • Self-Motivation

  • Responsibility

  • Communication

  • Scrum Development

  • Dutch (native)

  • English (Fluent)


Games have been a big part of my life and through them I have been able to enjoy a divers amount of experiences. From the fantastical world and characters of Final Fantasy IX to the more gameplay focused Halo: Combat Evolved and the more unconventional mechanics from Shadow of the Colossus. Games have been a big influence on my interests and the person I am today.

As a game designer I strive to create engaging and interesting experiences that I hope people will enjoy as much as I did when I played those games. Besides games I also enjoy reading, movies and learning new things.

If you've read this far I'd like to thank you for your time. If you have any feedback or just want to chat then please contact me via email or Linkedin. Feel free to contact me by clicking on the mail icon or send an email to contactjohnkoolen@gmail.com