12 July 2015

Just before E3, I did an interview with Jeff Wajcs, Senior Designer at Crystal Dynamics about TOOOOOMBS!

The interview was part of a guest post planned for the Official Tomb Raider blog following the event in Los Angeles. As part of the E3 program, each ambassador was provided with a topic and an interview opportunity. Over the past few days there has been a series of incredible pieces which focus on a Rise of the Tomb Raider, and there's still plenty more to come!

I started work on my piece as soon as I got back from E3. It was an exciting but also pretty scary experience, especially as it's about a topic and an element which many fans want to see in the upcoming game annnnnnnd it's also going to be an official blog. It was a little hard to write while distancing away from what the reaction would be. I did such a great job on distancing that I spent a few days just focusing on the introduction *shifty look*. Fortunately everything fell into place just before my deadline.

Following feedback from the previous game, one of the things which Crystal wants to focus more on with Rise of the Tomb Raider was puzzle areas and tombs. Check out the teaser below to learn more about these areas and read the full piece on Crystal's blog, here!


 [E3 Ambassador Blog] A Return to Tombs

Author: Rachel - Guns and Grapple, UK 

For Lara Croft, her journey across Yamatai was one of survival, which tested her determination and strength to their limits. The struggles she faced through the game shaped her, turning her into the character that many of us grew up with. Her experiences made her more determined, and kindled an interest to learn more about the secrets of the world. The next game, Rise of the Tomb Raider, continues Lara’s story and takes her to new locations in search for new truths, new challenges, and excitingly, new tombs.

Community feedback from the previous game highlighted an interest for bigger and more complex tombs, an element which Crystal Dynamics seems eager to deliver on for Lara’s next adventure. To understand Crystal’s vision for tombs in the upcoming game, I recently spoke to Jeff Wajcs, Senior Designer at Crystal Dynamics.

Instead of encountering tombs as a means to escape enemies or as an optional puzzle, in Rise of the Tomb Raider, Lara will be intentionally and actively seeking out these areas. As Wajcs explains, “besides just having more tombs in general, we have a new philosophy for critical path tombs.  Every critical path tomb throws one ‘big problem’ at Lara.  She needs to solve a series of puzzles in order to chip away at the ‘big problem,’ bit by bit. We also refer to these as ‘nested puzzles.’” These areas combine elements of puzzle solving with traversal and combat challenges, which enables Crystal to “balance the pacing without compromising the puzzle theme of the level”.

Read the rest of the article on the Official Tomb Raider blog!  


A huge thank you to Jeff for doing the interview. The answers were really in depth and informative!  



  1. I reblogged this on Tumblr but also wanted to leave a quick note thanking you for the great article. I'm so excited to see they're focusing more on tombs, traps, and puzzles in Rise. I enjoyed the last game, but something was definitely missing. Also, a big thank you to you and the other ambassadors for braving the wilds of L.A. to bring us such great coverage. :D

    1. Aww! Thank you for your kind comment and for the reblog, Stella. You're the best! :D