Hi, I’m Zhi Kang. A game developer who specializes in Unreal Engine C++ programming with 7 years of experience in the field. My passion is programming and code planning for game projects.

In my opinion, one of the most common challenges of game development is to maintain productivity in the later stages of development and not be bogged down by technical debt in the form of unclear code, bugs and lost knowledge. My experience as lead programmer for 5 years from start to finish on Maelstrom (2019) lets me write code, design systems and plan development for myself and/or a small team to avoid these pitfalls. This and my experience as developer in other indie and enterprise teams lets me contribute in healthy discussions with creative directors, management, artists, other programmers and end users.


I am a freelancer and provide engineering for Unreal projects and consulting for Unreal programming topics like replication. One of my strengths is the ability to study and understand code independently, so I can on-board in your project while keeping distraction to other programmers to a minimum yet follow your project's existing coding style and naming conventions. The following topics are within my expertise with shipped games to show for it:

  • Replication - multiplayer networking including responsiveness and late-join
  • Gameplay systems - movement, weapons, interactions, inventory, quests, etc
  • AI programming - path finding, tactical positioning, weapons aiming
  • UI programming - HUD, menus, minimaps, in-world UI, localization readiness
  • Game services development - accounts, inventory, quests, progression, rewards
  • 3rd party services integration - Steam, Epic, PlayFab, GameLift, Photon, Sentry
  • Performance profiling and optimization - framerate, memory, bandwidth

My primary focus is Unreal Engine development work, but I can adapt to proprietary engines. I'm an Unreal Engine source contributor, marketplace seller and Epic MegaJam 2020 VR category winner.

I am happily based in the Netherlands and for non-Netherlands based clients I prefer to work remotely. If you would like to hire my services but prefer me being on-site, I'm open to working on-site internationally for periods of up to two months per year.


I graduated in 2014 with a Master's Degree (MSc) cum laude in Computer Science from Utrecht University, the Netherlands. My master's thesis was researching the potential use of facial animation for multiplayer games. One tangible output of this thesis was a mod I made for Garry's Mod. FlexPoser combines face tracking technology with Valve's Source Engine animation and replication, providing multiplayer webcam-driven facial expressions in Garry's Mod. According to Steam stats 40000+ people have installed it at some point on their Garry's Mod server.

In 2012 I obtained my Bachelor's Degree (BSc) in Computer Science at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands, with a collaborative bachelor's thesis in computer graphics.

Work Highlights

These are highlights of my previous work. For a more complete resume, please see my LinkedIn profile or throw me an email.

Maelstrom (2019) by Gunpowder Games

2014 - 2020 | Lead Programmer, Gameplay Systems | I joined Gunpowder Games as one of their first programmers and worked on Maelstrom as lead programmer from its prototyping phase in late 2014 to its release in 2019, and post-release updates. Maelstrom is a gorgeous fantasy naval action PvP and PvE game. I contributed code planning and programmed networked gameplay features, UI, AI, backend scripting, game services integration, build machine configuration and build scripts. Additionally, I was technical contact for third parties such as localization teams, port studios and in several publisher talks.

Realworld One

2020 - 2021 | VR Programmer | Realworld One is a company that develops start-of-the-art virtual and augmented reality software solutions designed for the life sciences, analytical and diagnostics, pharmaceutical, chemical and processing industries. As a contractor I worked on graphics profiling, replay replication and serialization, voice chat optimization and VR interaction.

Babel Builder (2020)

VR Programmer | Hobby work: my 4-person team won the VR category of the Epic Games (Unreal Engine) organized Epic MegaJam 2020! Teams submit games made in one week. The game we made, Babel Builder, is a god-sim and RTS resource management game that is playable in desktop and VR mode. You pick up units and optimize resource gathering and construction of the Tower of Babylon by throwing them towards their task, Pikmin style.

Technically, the combination of RTS and VR offered an extra challenge of keeping framerate high while rendering thousands of moving characters twice because of VR. We solved this by animating units as instanced static meshes with material driven vertex animation, achieving thousands of animated units on-screen with no framerate impact.

This edition was sponsored by Microsoft and won us a HoloLens 2 per developer. Please watch the video below to watch Epic and Microsoft staff discuss our submission during the MegaJam live stream.

Days of War (2017) by Driven Arts

2016 - 2017 | Gameplay Systems Programmer | Although I joined in the latter part of development, my contribution to this beautiful WWII FPS includes a netcode overhaul of their weapon system for responsive but synchronized 1st and 3rd person weapon animations, ammo counts and hitscan detection. FPS gamers are incredibly picky about responsiveness, 50-200ms latency between input (mouse click) and result is unacceptable, so networked weapon features requires local simulation of audiovisual feedback that is later synchronized with server confirmation or rejection of events.

Design by Sylvia Strijk