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Diablo IV

"The endless battle between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells rages on as chaos threatens to consume Sanctuary. With ceaseless demons to slaughter, countless Abilities to master, nightmarish Dungeons, and Legendary loot, this vast, open world brings the promise of adventure and devastation. Survive and conquer darkness – or succumb to the shadows."

I joined Diablo IV as an Associate Technical Artist embedded on the VFX team in 2020.  At that time, my role was to support our VFX artists with shaders, look-development, and performance analysis and optimization.  This included maintaining our VFX shader library, informing VFX artists about best-practices for performance, and building performance budgets game-wide.  

In early 2022, through internal reorganization the Graphics Tech Art team was formed--a sub-team of the tech-art department focused solely on shader development, client performance, and look development.  I was one of two founding members of the team and helped to steer the direction of the team and our standards as we increased in headcount from our original 2 to 7 before shipping the game the following year.  

In 2023 I served as interim-lead for the team and was promoted to Senior Technical Artist I, Graphics, and even after shipping I am continuing to drive graphical initiatives, maintain performance standards, and prove what's possible with our tech and shaders.  

My Tasks

  • Worked for 1.5 years as an embedded tech-artist on the VFX team, directly serving VFX artists with VFX shader updates and support.

  • Created exciting and visually interesting shader effects for VFX, monsters, character armors, and environments.

  • Maintained our shader library for all disciplines through naming conventions, documentation, and enforcement of development standards.

  • Helped to define performance budgets, direction, and testing strategies.  

  • Worked with artists across disciplines such as environments, VFX, characters, and props to optimize their art in preparation for launch.

  • Established the Design Perf Ambassadors--a group of designers who helped monitor and correct performance issues for design content.

  • Met with performance directors to triage performance issues and establish testing and production strategies for handling performance bugs.

  • Served as interim lead of the Graphics Tech Art team for 2 months at the beginning of 2023.

  • Drove the creation of a new shader system for handling dynamic player/monster status conditions that allowed us to delete hundreds of mb worth of assets and drastically sped up creation time of future status condition shaders.

  • Mentored junior artists in shader development and engine-systems for the project.

  • Regularly participated in bug triage and sprint planning for scheduling the team's workload.

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