Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch

Warhammer 40,000 Deathwatch is a turn-based tactics game set in the Warhammer universe, which was originally released on iOS and later Windows in 2015, before Magic Media lent its game porting services to bring it to other platforms. Deathwatch tasks players with fighting the Tyranid alien race, and its combat involves completing actions such as movement, shooting, and overwatch, all of which cost action points, a limited resource that players need to spend wisely to find success in battle.

tianco 26Problem

Our client sought Magic Media’s game porting services to bring Deathwatch to PlayStation 4 in Unreal Engine 4. Porting Deathwatch from its native iOS and Windows necessitated examining several aspects of the original game, including the version of Unreal Engine 4 used, input methods, shaders, and more. As with all game porting projects, this wasn’t as simple as compiling the game for a new platform, and it required intricate work to optimize it for PS4.

tianco 26Solution

The first step of this game porting project was to update Unreal Engine 4 to fulfill the requirements for porting to PlayStation 4. This was challenging because the original version of Deathwatch was developed using a modified version of Unreal Engine 4, so upgrading the engine while retaining those modifications wasn’t straightforward.

This presented another issue – upgrading the engine changed the lighting and, therefore, the game’s look and feel. To address this, we worked from the ground up to fix the lighting and emulate Deathwatch’s original lighting as best as possible. This also negatively affected the game’s shaders and presented visual issues. We resolved this by using different yet similar shaders and modifying some existing ones. We needed to resolve the shader and lighting issues to preserve Warhammer’s grim tone.

The original version of Deathwatch didn’t support controllers, which presented a significant issue for our game porting project. To resolve this we needed to develop controller support for our port as the Windows and iOS versions didn’t support it whatsoever.

tianco 26Result

Our client was extremely pleased with our game porting services and Deathwatch’s launch on PlayStation 4. As a result of our game porting work, we continued to work with our client on another project after our work on this concluded.

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