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'Horizon Forbidden West' GDC Session Covers Studio's Switch to Open-Source Physics Engine

Guerrilla Games is back with Horizon Forbidden West, the highly anticipated follow-up to its 2017 video game about fighting robot dinosaurs in a post-apocalypse future. At GDC 2022, the studio will be covering everything from character faces to storms and bunkers—as well as the studio's exciting switch to an open-source physics engine.

Join the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this March to check out "Architecting Jolt Physics for Horizon Forbidden West." During this session on Friday, March 25 from 10:00 to 11:00am PT, lead game tech Jorrit Rouwe will describe Guerrilla Games' switch from a commercial physics engine to Jolt Physics, an open-source physics engine that was born as a personal hobby project. By switching to this new engine, the studio saved memory, executable size, and were able to double their simulation frequency while using less CPU time.

Jorrit will cover how they use a physics engine at Guerrilla, how their previous physics engine caused bottlenecks while streaming in data and while interacting with the multi-thread game object update. Jolt was architected specifically to help solve those two problems, so be sure to check out this session to learn about two of the systems that made this possible. 

"Architecting Jolt Physics for Horizon Forbidden West" is a must-see event available for All-Access and Core pass holders. 

This is just one of several Horizon Forbidden West talks happening at GDC 2022! Here's a few standout sessions to check out (visit our Session Viewer for more):

For those wanting to dive into the new robots and characters, there's "Evolving the Horizon Series: Animating Believable Robots and Characters." In this session on Friday, March 25 from 1:30 to 2:30pm PT, gameplay animation director Richard Oud takes an in-depth look at the supporting animations and systems that drive Aloy's new adventure—ranging from player mechanics, robotic creatures, and human enemies defining the core gameplay experience.

Real-time Volumetric Cloud systems in games have seen increasing adoption by devs in the past few years. In the session "The Real-time Volumetric Superstorms of Horizon Forbidden West" on Wednesday, March 23 from 2:00 to 3:00pm PT, VFX artist Andrew Schneider explains how Guerrilla expanded its Nubis cloud system to include tornadic superstorms, internal lighting and lightning flashes, a solution to render faster moving clouds with temporal upscaling as well as visual enhancements—all without using expensive simulations or lighting calculations.

Folks attending the Level Design Summit should definitely check out "Knocking on Death's Door: Designing a New Bunker for Horizon Forbidden West." on Tuesday, March 22 from 9:30 to 10:30am PT. Senior quest designer Blake Rebouche goes in-depth explaining the creation and iteration process of the new Horizon Forbidden West quest "Death's Door."

"Knocking on Death's Door" is available for All-Access and Summits pass holders, while the other sessions mentioned are available for All-Access and Core pass holders.

Be sure to check out all the amazing sessions Guerilla Games has to offer. Register for GDC 2022 today! 

GDC returns in-person to San Francisco, March 21-25, 2022—registration is now open! For more information on GDC 2022, including our virtual options, be sure to visit our website and follow the #GDC22 hashtag on social media.

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