How we helped to create AAA-game Ori and the Will of the Wisps

6 min read
How we helped to create AAA-game Ori and the Will of the Wisps
By Pavel Klymentenko
September 30, 2021

Pavel Klymentenko, co-founder of the Ukrainian company KAPPS has shared his experience of working as a part of the Moon Studios team, which developed iconic Ori and the Will of the Wisps. 

We have never set ourselves the task to work on a AAA-game. But by coincidence, it was us who became the Kyiv development team that has been working on the Ori and WotW project for over 2 years. We became a part of the legendary game dev studio Moon Studios, with Microsoft as a game publisher.

What has brought us to Moon Studios? One of our co-founders Stanislav Osipov had been creating plugins (assets) for several years. He was publishing them on the Unity Asset store. The high level of the created assets was confirmed by a large number of downloads and positive reviews. This naturally has started spreading the word of mouth. And so in 2018, Mood Studios and their CEO approached us with a proposal to work on their project. At that point, they were looking for developers who could deal with tools to customize the editor. They loved our plugins and the quality of coding, and this is how we began our joint collaboration.

Our main goal was to create tools that helped reduce the time of artists and other developers, thus speed up their work. Actually, people (players) don’t literally see these kinds of tools, but they feel the results of our work.

One of the tools we created was performance telemetry. This tool helped to calculate the measurements of how well the game runs on different platforms (determine FPS, frame time, GPU time, CPU time, etc.). With their help, developers could understand at what levels the performance of the game went low and why, and eventually eliminate these problems.

We also created an art optimizer. The trick of the tool is that it analyzed the game scene and determined how significant a particular object is and how it affects the overall visual image. We have automated this process because it would be impossible to go through thousands of objects manually – it would take thousands of hours.

Our workflow with Moon Studios started with the formation of a common development vision and discussions. Those things were one of the most important for both parties. Of course, technical skills and capabilities were vital, but the way of communication, the ability to hear each other’s needs were incredibly valued during our work. In fact, we were the only Kyiv team who was writing code. The development process lasted over 2 years.

A big difference between Mood Studios and other companies is that this one works remotely. That’s why it is easy for them to hire the best specialists from all over the world: from South Africa to the US. After the pandemic, many companies switched to this mode of operation and now it only increases the chances of developers to work from any country.

By our own example, we were able to prove that working remotely with AAA projects and large companies is also possible for Ukrainians. We have enough self-discipline to work with such companies for a long time. Regardless of the country where you live, you can work with companies of this level if you show your dedication and skills. 

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about the author
Pavlo Klymentenko
CBDO, Tech Lead, Co-founder
Pavlo is a Co-founder, CBDO and Tech Lead of KAPPS. Pavel has solid skills and 6+ years of experience in Unity development. He has a passion to making cutting-edge core features, architecture design, Editor Tools for any purposes and optimizing the development process. His team added to the creation of optimization tools for the Ori Will of the Wisps project under cooperation with Moon Studios. He worked on exciting projects with Roomful and cooperated with such a game dev leader as Rogue Sun.

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