HITMAN 2

We have worked closely with various teams in Copenhagen supporting new and existing technologies for IO Interactive’s proprietary 2nd generation Glacier Engine, as well as developing services, UI- and gameplay systems.

Rather than enter into a traditional outsourcing agreement, we have successfully established a mode of work we refer to as “Embedded Teams” (GDC Slides). Not only are we fully integrated into IOI’s organizational structure, processes and technical decision-making - We also extend the talent pool available to our partner with our refined hiring pipeline. We have identified, screened and rapidly on-boarded numerous highly effective software engineers. We also continuously provide a work environment in which people can self-develop and graduate towards greater expertise and responsibility. Some people on our team have been providing their skills to IOI for more than five years.

Our Contribution

Initially supporting IOI’s Engine and Pipeline Team, our programmers quickly demonstrated the technical prowess and interpersonal skills to augment many other teams.

Doing so, they contributed to efforts towards extending, maintaining and documenting an enormous code base consisting of mostly C++ (run-time code) and C# (pipeline and service infrastructure). Our team is directly responsible for:

Gameplay Systems

  • Context-sensitive third-person character and interaction controls
  • Character locomotion and collision
  • Robust, forward-compatible game state serialization in a live-service game
  • Deep data-driven, modular game-item system
  • Time- and release-critical bug-fixing and optimization in low-level engine systems including run-time entity creation and memory management

Pipeline Systems

  • Tools and systems for modular sandbox design (GDC Slides)
  • Asset organization system covering two million individual assets and making their meta-data full-text searchable with sub-second speeds
  • Pipeline tools distributable to third parties, significantly improving outsourced workflows
  • Fully-featured text & audio localization suite, covering text authoring, integrated IVONA text-to-speech audio synthesis, recording, legal approval and import/export to various exchange formats for outsourcing
  • Maintaining and extending every kind of content creation tool and almost every single asset pipeline - most of them hot-reloadable during run-time

User Interface Systems

  • Fully-featured in-game browser for User Generated Content
  • Visualization of player-progress on more than 1000 unique challenges and animated scoring screens
  • Maintenance, optimization and extension of the game’s rich menu system that handles the in-game display of web-served content for weekly patch-free updates

Online Services

  • Service lifetime management of Microsoft Azure-based Services for patch-free content distribution, metrics and player scoring - including architecture, design, implementation, deployment and monitoring
  • Stress testing and optimizing of game services for several hundred thousand concurrent users
  • Service scaling strategies for minimal cost and maximal availability

Game as a Service

One of HITMAN (2016) and HITMAN 2 (2018)’s defining features is the World of Assassination. From 2016 onwards, numerous content updates for both games have been published.

We have participated in that effort not only with robust systems design and implementation but also reliable and punctual on-demand support and bug-fixing for 38 individual release certifications on the two major platforms. Some of these submissions were as little as four weeks apart.

Glacier Engine 2

Developed to potentially become the technical foundation for IOI’s then parent company Square Enix’ western game productions, Glacier aims to not only deliver cutting edge simulation and rendering features, but also provide the tools for large scale and high fidelity game creation. Debuting on HITMAN Absolution, it went on to become the technical foundation of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, HITMAN (2016), HITMAN 2 (2018) and most recently HITMAN 3.

Read more about HITMAN or IO Interactive.

All images © IO Interactive