GDC + VRDC 2019 Session Scheduler

View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by pass type, track, and format. With this Session Scheduler, you can build your schedule in advance and access it during the show via export or with the GDC Mobile App, once live. Sessions do fill up so please arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend. Adding a session to your schedule does not guarantee you a seat.

Design Before Sound

Stephen Hodde (Audio Director, Polyarc)

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

Topic: Audio

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

When Polyarc started showing the VR 'Moss' demo at trade shows and playtests something fascinating started happening: people fell in love with the game's protagonist, Quill. Some even cried with joy. This player experience emerged from the accumulation of subtle design choices aimed at reinforcing the player's bond with their tiny virtual reality companion. In this session, attendees will learn why compelling sound design starts with design and ends with sound. Using 'Moss' as a case study for this method, learn how player comfort, immersion, scale and mixed perspective, fluid character design, nostalgic narration, and emotional sound all supported the formation of an emotional bond with Quill.


Think about sound as a designer and use the game's central message to establish your aesthetic.

Intended Audience

Anyone interested in the intersection of game design, sound design and emotion will appreciate this talk. Any technical concepts are supported by visual aids and brief overviews of concepts, but the heart of the talk is a discussion about creative perspective.