Herding Rocks: Procedural Animation in Shape of the World

SideFX invited me to give a quick talk at their booth during GDC 2017. I had already shown most of the work I'd done for Gears of War in a webinar the previous year so I wasn't too sure what I would show. Thankfully game designer extraordinaire and ex-colleague Stu Maxwell asked me to help out on his indie game, Shape Of The World. He needed a way to animate a monument made up of 100's of rocks that would form around the player. There's nothing ground breaking here but I show some of the failed attempts at creating this moment and the final method in a little more detail. If you're interested in controlling rbd simulations with custom forces, using the sop solver to create a simple particle system or layering procedural animation then check out the video.

Also, check out all the other awesome talks organized by SideFX at GDC 2017. There should be something for everyone.