Here’s our trainee Niko, out of the cellar to write about his experiences with us. Did I say trainee? Think we’ll call him a proper kiwi soon enough… -Kharan


Hello there. My name is Niko but people on the internet call me spicy, or trainee (especially in Twitch chat.) I’m currently half way through my internship here at Mekiwi and I’ve been working on Cave Digger 2 for ten weeks now. Mostly I’ve been doing programming and other game development related stuff in Unity.



In my short time here I’ve had the chance to work on lots of different things, perhaps the most visible feature is the recently added subtitles. The biggest feature I’ve worked on is hands down the localization of the game. For a game to be localized, every piece of text in it needs to be added to table of strings, from where we pull the correct translation for language the player has chosen. Currently we have almost 700 different entries on the table, each being a word or a sentence that needs to be translated for every language we want to support. Some challenges of localizing a game include the varying grammar rules of languages. The order of words and numbers may vary, plurars need to work and some languages are written from left to right and others from right to left. All these things need to be considered, and it can get really brain twisting fast trying to get dynamic translations with variables in code.


Preferably you would want to think about localization right from the get go when starting a new project, because when the game has grown to contain hundreds of pieces of text, finding every hard coded string and replacing them with localized strings or otherwise making them support localization can be huge undertaking. After that it’s just managing a database (read, spreadsheet :D) of all the translations.



My first weeks here I spent mostly programming triggers for new Clayton voice lines. There’s currently almost 200 different lines you may hear from him and more are coming. And trust me, there’s some really cool and fun ones coming!


You may have also seen or heard some injokes about shovels. It started when I was configuring new hand poses for grabbing all the ingame tools. The basic work flow with the system we have is setting positions on the  tools where you want the player to be able to grab and then posing the hand and fingers to look good in those positions. Then you need to set the conditions or angles the players hands need to be in order to be able to grab those poses. Problems started to arise with the shovel when I was trying to add more grab points. I was struggling for a day or two, not getting all the poses to work or to be able to be grabbed.

I must have struggled for a total of two days and in the end it was caused by something super simple that I had missed. Live and learn, but most importantly, players are able to grab the shovel a bit better now 🙂 For the past few days I’ve been adding new particle effects to their proper places, that’s been nice, everyone likes particles, right? The next content patch is also going to bring the players a lot of cool content I’ve had the pleasure to work on, you’ll see later. I’ll see you in the mines, or Discord, or Twitch, or at the office.TLDR: I am experienced in the art of shovels, ask me anything.


Random development quote: “Ok, get me LSD and a recorder“.