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'Until You Fall': Building Satisfying VR Combat on a Budget

Dave Bennett  (Senior Game Designer, Schell Games)

Patrick Jalbert  (Advanced Game Designer, Schell Games)

Pass Type: Conference Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Production & Team Management

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

Until You Fall is a VR melee action game that doubles down on the concept of juicy, over-the-top combat in the form of hitting monsters with swords and crushing gems to absorb their power.

Because the game was built by a small team during a relatively short development cycle it was important to make tough calls about which interactions were truly central to making an awesome sword fighting game, and which interactions could be cut without compromising the sense of presence in VR.

In this talk, Dave Bennett (Project Director) and Patrick Jalbert (Design Director) walk through the challenges encountered during development, key design decisions made, and some of the systems that sold the fantasy of VR action-combat while still controlling scope.


Decide consciously if your VR game is building 'wide' or 'deep' on features upfront. Identify your player fantasy early and use it to guide feature development. Don't build monolithic super-systems when a few smaller systems might work just as well.

Intended Audience

Developers looking for insight on designing a melee combat game, anyone looking to create a VR game/experience on a limited timeline and budget, or anyone looking for stories from the trenches of VR development in general.