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September 26, 2018
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Video: The physics behind Blizzard's character controller

March 1, 2018 | By Emma Kidwell




A physics programmer needs to understand constraints, which Blizzard Entertainment's Erin Catto argues are just as fundamental to game physics as shaders are to a graphics engine.

Constraints are an area where physics programmers can share their knowledge and creativity. 

In this 2014 GDC talk, Catto discusses how to write and implement a character controller using swept collision and an iterative solver.

Catto also goes into how the iterative solver naturally handles collision priorities using Lagrange multipliers, a strategy for finding local maxima and minima of a function subject to equality constraints. 

Physics programmers may appreciate that they can now watch the talk completely free via the official GDC YouTube channel!

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its accompanying 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 or VRDC 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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