I was at Io Interactive from January 2004 until early 2010 doing texturing and modeling on Hitman: Contracts and Hitman: Blood Money, although the majority of my work at the studio was as a level designer on Kane & Lynch: Dead Men and its sequel Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days. While both those games were flawed, the concepts, stories and characters are some of my personal favorites.
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men — The Mizuki Club
This level was ambitious. I loved the tone, characters and setting and took the initiative to write dialogue for it, some of which shipped. Some was rewritten, and not to my liking I'm sad to say.
When the GameTrailers review talked about the game having moments of great characters and storytelling, and showed what I had written and blocked out, I was ecstatic. My moment 15 minutes as a writer/director.
The club level was packed with people, a first, and it was all a bit too much for the tech available. I always thought that the second run-through — an afterthought to make the level last longer — cheapened the whole. That said, it's still a pretty unique experience in computer gaming.
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men — Retomoto Heist + Street
Lots of fun working on this one with my buddy Rasmus who did most of the concept art, and probably a lot more models and textures than me. Setting up the gameplay on this one was a lot of fun, for both parts. It was meant to have been the E3 2005 demo for the game, until the announcement was delayed last-minute (although not until after Rasmus and I had worked through our Easter vacation to get it ready).
These two levels started as one, and were cut in half due to system constraints. I luckily didn't have to deal too much with the optimization of this level since I moved away from it before that stage, but it took a lot of effort to get that street to render at reasonable speeds. The graphics artists did a stellar job, considering the restrictions.