Rescue Tactics (2018) is a 3D turn-based puzzle game that teaches school students about the causes, dangers and effects of floods. Using a “Hitman:GO”-like mechanic, the player has to escape a level in a fixed number of turns until the area is flooded while avoiding broken electric boxes as enemies. This prototype was developed in collaboration with the Institute for Geography Didactics of the University of Cologne.
I was responsible for game design, level design, measuring the educational impact and the overall project coordination.

Genre: Serious Game, Educational Game, Turn-based Puzzle
Platform: PC, Mac
Engine: Unreal Engine
Team Size: 9
Production time: 7 weeks

The game prototype can be downloaded here (Windows):

Game Design:
I worked on the following game systems in detail:
• player character (movement, abilities)
• enemies (behavior)
• items (type, attributes, usage)
• winning & loosing
• integration and user flow between worldmap and level areas

An excerpt of my Game Design Document can be downloaded here:

Level Design:
An insight into my level design process:

We were generally playing around with the idea of including different natural disasters as themes for the level maps, since this game aims to enhance the geography education at german schools – as part of the teaching unit “natural disasters”.
We ultimately settled for floods as the main theme for our game. In earlier sketches I was exploring sandstorms and draughts as well.

Design tools I used:
• Scribus (for sketches and level plans)
• Unreal Engine 4 (for playtesting)

A final level in the game
3D Art by Tatjana Engels ( and Alicja Ossowski (

Rescue Tactics

• A fully turnable model of the earth to learn about the occurance of floods on a global level
• A knowledge quiz that teaches early signs, causes and effects of floods as well as the appropriate behavior during floods
• Four levels featuring an exciting turn-based puzzle mechanic in which the player must think ahead to navigate through a city that is threatened by a flood
• Didactic usage: the game is recommended as
introduction to the topic of floods, peak interest
through an interactive medium or to enhance
further discussion about the subject in the classroom

Team: Design: Andreas Gefken | Art: Tatjana Engels, Anna Rosenkranz, Alicja Ossowski, Caterina Böhm | Programming: Felix Schoeller, Dmitry Borovikov | Geography Experts: Frederik von Reumont, Lucie Rickert

Game Design, Level Design, Project Management