Destiny animations are designed to reduce motion sickness

By Brenna Hillier
6 March 2015 01:17 GMT

Destiny developers worked hard to avoid one of the common pitfalls of first-person games – motion sickness.


Destiny senior animator David Helsby gave a presentation at GDC 2015 in which he discussed the challenges of animating first-person games.

The problem with fist-person perspective is that if the camera bobs naturally as your head does, some viewers will get sick.

“Even if your camera motion is going to make just 10% of the population sick, if you’re selling a million copies of the game then you just lost 100,000 people,” Helsby said, as reported by Polygon.

On the other hand, if the camera is very steady, the game doesn’t feel especially immersive.

Helsby tried all sorts of things to nail down what works best, including looking at GoPro footage taken from a jogger’s perspective – which didn’t work. In the end, he found the answer in boxing.

“With most violent actions that a boxer makes, they have intent. The head leads the action,” Helsby explained.

As an example of how he used this observation in-game, Helsby broke down the Hunter’s knife strike animation: the character’s view moves toward the target and then away again.

The same learning was applied to other animations like reloading and grenade throwing.

The full article through the Polygon link above is good reading if you’re interested in development.

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