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Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, time, pass type, topic, and format. All registered attendees will be able to build their personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021. All times are listed in Pacific Time.

Bringing Allies to Life in the 'Last of Us Part II'

Bryan Collinsworth  (Game Designer, Naughty Dog)

Michal Mach  (Lead Animator, Naughty Dog)

Date: Wednesday, July 21

Time: 2:30pm - 3:00pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

Topic: Design, Visual Arts

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: N/A: I prefer to present live on-site but I am open to delivering a virtual presentation

In the Last of Us Part II, Naughty Dog sought to push the performances, behaviors and combat of the player's NPC allies to new levels of realism. This session will use standout player-NPC interaction moments from the game -- such as Ellie and Joel's visit to an abandoned museum, Abby's Seattle explorations with Lev and Yara and combat with Ellie and Dina -- to illustrate the principles, systems, and technologies that made TLOU2's characters feel dynamic, alive, and engaged in moment-to-moment gameplay.


Attendees will gain insights on developing more lively, responsive, and engaging non-player characters during exploratory and narrative beats. Attendees will learn how designers, animators and programmers can collectively harness leading edge-technologies to advance NPC behaviors.

Intended Audience

Designers, animators, and programmers can all gain insights from this session. The presentation will be grounded in real gameplay examples from The Last of Us Part II and will focus on high-level concepts, systems, and implementation, so general game development knowledge is the main prerequisite.