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Evolving Combat in 'God of War' for a New Perspective

Mihir Sheth  (Lead Combat Designer, Sony Santa Monica Studio)

Location: Room 2005, West Hall

Date: Friday, March 22

Time: 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference - Get your pass now!

Topic: Programming, Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

The hallmark 'God of War' combat has been genre defining for more than a decade. With the latest entry into the franchise, the change in direction along with a much more intimate and player-controlled camera would fundamentally change the combat experience... and it had to be better. The old tricks of the past decade wouldn't work anymore, the GoW developers needed new ones. By exploring the balance between reinventing combat and retaining their core identity, Mihir Sheth will cover how the Sony Santa Monica Studio approached the design and technical challenges of implementing combat systems to deliver a bold new action experience that evolves yet stays true to 'God of War'. Jeet Shroff will join him at the end of the session for Q&A.


Attendees will learn of a process used to evolve the gameplay of a franchise through a massive change without losing its core identity. Guiding principles along with technical/design solutions for common combat systems will be shared, with an emphasis on solving the difficulties associated with a close third-person camera.

Intended Audience

This talk is aimed at programmers and designers who are interested in combat, camera or AI development in the 3rd person action game genre, or those that are interested in the process of shifting a well-known franchise in a new gameplay direction.