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View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, time, pass type, topic, and format. With this Session Viewer, you can view session and speaker details for Game Developers Conference 2024.

You will be able to build your schedule with the GDC Mobile App. The GDC 2024 app will be available for download in Apple Apps and Google Play late February 2024.

Sessions do fill up and seating is first come, first serve, so arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend. Adding a session to your schedule does not guarantee you a seat.

The Strange Within the Familiar—— How 'Once Human' Designed its Supernatural Open World (Presented by Starry Studio)

Peng Sun  (Senior Copywriting and Planning Specialist, NetEase Games)

Location: Room 2000, West Hall

Date: Monday, March 18

Time: 2:40 pm - 3:40 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass, Summits Pass, Expo Pass, Audio Pass, Indie Games Summit Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Design

Format: Sponsored Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

NetEase Games

Once Human received positive reviews in the beta test that ended in January, thanks to its unique art style for monsters and scenes. The most talked-about aspect of the game is the unique design of the "living machines" monsters and abnormal environment. This presentation will break down the design process of some most popular monsters and points of interest in Once Human, and elaborate on how we use the "familiar + strange" design approach to systematically and agilely move forward with the design process, and portray the high-level world and narrative design through visual and interactive experiences. Additionally, we will showcase specific examples of incorporating player suggestions into the game content and discuss the importance of the "collaborative design" in game development.


Employing the "familiar + strange" approach, the artists and designers in Once Human combined and transformed ordinary objects into inspirations, creating a design breakthrough that brought about abundant monsters and environments with unique supernatural and strange style. These designs also enhanced player's immersive exploration and ultimately creating a distinguished open-world experience.

Intended Audience

2D and 3D artists and concept artists focusing on monster and environment design may find the content of this presentation intriguing. Also, game designers who are interested in monster design, points of interest design, and high level, stylized world design may also benefit from this presentation.

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