Darksiders Warmastered Edition was the third project I was involved in at KAIKO and definitely the biggest one so far. The game is a remaster of the original Darksiders from 2010. It’s available on Windows, PS4, Xbox One and Wii U. The publisher, THQ Nordic, describes the game as follows:

Deceived by the forces of evil into prematurely bringing about the end of the world, War – the first Horseman of the Apocalypse – stands accused of breaking the sacred law by inciting a war between Heaven and Hell. In the slaughter that ensued, the demonic forces defeated the heavenly hosts and laid claim to the Earth.

Basically, Darksiders Warmastered Edition is an action adventure that is heavily inspired by the Legend of Zelda games, but with a more mature, biblically-inspired setting and story.

Considering this project was our biggest one to date (as of February 2017) and considering the fact that, in 2016, we were mainly just two programmers at KAIKO (with a few freelancers and part-time programmers along the way), I had a lot of responsibilities during the game’s development. So many, in fact, that I don’t even remember every single thing I did. Some of the things I DO still remember include:

  • Porting a good portion of the game to our own engine/technology
  • Porting an old version of Scaleform to all of the game’s platforms
  • Implementing streaming install/PlayGo into the game on Xbox One and PS4
  • Adding dynamic text and audio language switching to the game (original game had both hard-coded to the system language)
  • Implementing a good chunk of missing features into our engine for the Xbox One version (and a few less missing features for other platforms)
  • Implementing full native Steam controller support into the game post-release
  • Working on many aspects of the build & asset pipelines
  • Fixing many, many different bugs (including some critical bugs inherited from the original game code)
  • Recovering and inserting the game’s lost Russian voice overs, as well as some other localization-related tasks (such as inserting the Chinese localization into the game)
  • Drastically reducing the load times in the Xbox One version (other platforms were probably affected as well)
  • Fixing a few other minor annoyances in the game that probably noone ever even noticed aside from me

It’s hard to overstate the importance this game had on my career as a game programmer. Not only do I consider it a big honor to have had the ability to work on a big and well-known title like this, with a run-time of over a year and me being involved in many parts of it, it was also a project that majorly contributed to me making the leap from being a passionate, but inexperienced programmer to being a routined and more reliable programmer, willing to take even bigger tasks.