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Video: The physics of proper pole control in Super Pole Riders

June 29, 2015 | By Staff

June 29, 2015 | By Staff
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More: Console/PC, Indie, Design, Video, Vault



How do you design a real-time physics-based multiplayer game that's both satisfying to play and fair to all players?

At GDC 2015, QWOP creator Bennett Foddy took the stage during a "Game Design Case Studies" session to talk about the problems he faced in designing the physics of the pole-vaulting and ball-kicking mechanics in his fiendish multiplayer game Super Pole Riders, one of many packaged into the 2013 game Sportsfriends.

Chief among them was the obvious problem of defensive players using their virtual poles to block their goals, effectively stalemating the game.

"This is super-embarrassing to admit in front of a crowd like this, but my attempt to solve it was to make the defending player have really weak arms if he was standing near his own goal, so he couldn't lift up his pole very well," said Foddy. "Not a very good solution, and it doesn't work anyway."

To find out what did eventually work, watch Foddy's 15-minute talk -- a snippet of the full panel -- over on the GDC Vault's YouTube channel. It's free!

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its new YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.

Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC Next already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.

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