Dead Island 2 was the direct sequel of Dead Island, one of the most successful new IPs released in the past years. This franchise sold more than 8 million units around the world and this new title was going to be released on PC and next gen consoles under Unreal Engine 4.
My first steps into Dead Island 2 happened right after finishing Spec Ops: The Line, back in 2012, when the game was entering pre-production. By then, the studio was pretty experienced using Unreal Engine 3, and we crafted most of the features in a few months using this engine. My role during preproduction was to design instanced competitive multiplayer game modes and maps involving 3 factions: both human teams and the zombies, which would be used as neutral tools during the whole match.
In 2013 we switched to the recently announced Unreal Engine 4 and, due to the absence of many basic multiplayer and online features in the editor in that moment, I was forced to join the main campaign team as Level Designer for a while. As the editor improved and the multiplayer code started to work slightly better, I was assigned the task of designing new MP competitive events for the game, which were embedded into the main “seamless” Single Player experience.
Unfortunately, in July 2015, Dead Island 2 was cancelled by Deep Silver due to differences on the game’s vision.
In June 2020, a build corresponding to the latest version of the game (following a huge redesign that was very distant from the seamless open world concept we worked on for many months) was unexpectedly leaked to the Internet.