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How Quill Defined Polyarc's VR Character Design Process


Brendan Walker (Engineer, Polyarc)

Location: Room 3005, West Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 21

Time: 9:30am - 10:30am

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference - Get your pass now!

Topic: Design, Production & Team Management

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

When Polyarc set out to make its first VR game using tracked controllers they established player comfort and approachability as their highest priority. The Polyarc team built their world from diorama sized puzzles you interacted with in 3rd person while respecting real world scale. This naturally lead to the creation of a mouse as a main character that the player would use to traverse the puzzles. Ployarc hoped to make their main character appealing to the player, but did not expect the amount of emotional attachment players expressed during playtesting. This lead Polyarc to double down on player interactions within as many places as they could while building out their puzzles. This talk will outline all the things they learned along the way in creating compelling 3rd person character interactions in VR as well as the autonomous things your player's character can do to make them more believable.


Combining thoughtful world building with small, intimate spaces for player-character interactions provides an amazing way to build a strong emotional bond between the player and key characters in VR. Iterating and playtesting are essential for determining if all of these elements form a cohesive and engaging experience.

Intended Audience

Anyone that is interested in VR game or character design should enjoy this talk. This session will go into a few technical details about designing character interaction feedback, but the heart of this talk concentrates on crafting believable and engaging VR characters and gamespaces.