GDC is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

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.

Rope Simulation in 'Uncharted 4' and 'The Last of Us 2'

Jaroslav Sinecky  (Game programmer, Naughty Dog, Inc.)

Date: Friday, July 23

Time: 1:20pm - 2:20pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

Topic: Programming

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

For Uncharted 4 a new rope technology had to be developed to allow for Drake's grapple rope and jeep winch to bend and wrap around collision while setting a new high bar for grapple rope presentation in games. In The Last Of Us 2 this technology was taken a step further to support rope puzzles where the player has the freedom to throw 14m of rope into the environment and pick it up at any point. This presentation will go over the history of development of this technology and the major challenges encountered on the way. Then it will dive into the details of the soft body simulation as well as the technique used to solve the problem of taut rope wrapping around collision.


Attendees will get a glimpse into the long history of developing the rope technology at Naughty Dog. They will learn about all the major pieces of algorithm we used for dynamic rope simulation: position based dynamics with bending stiffness, friction and collision constraints; how we used GPU to speed-up the simulation. Also the algorithm for poly-line wrapping and sliding on collision that we used for taut rope will be outlined.

Intended Audience

This presentation is targeted towards game programmers but should be accessible for any technically oriented developers interested in the subject. Some basic math and a notion of elemental mechanical laws will be helpful for understanding details of some of the techniques but are not essential.