Destiny Character-Animation System and Lessons Learned

Tuesday, 12 August 2:00 PM - 5:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Rooms 211-214

This course discusses the practical challenges in creating the animation system for Destiny plus solutions, lessons learned, and future development. 
Bungie's upcoming title Destiny is a multi-player persistent-world action game that requires responsive character animation as a foundation for core game play. The course summarizes how that goal was achieved in Bungie's new game engine, emphasizing interaction with the networking model and distributed AI, under a tight CPU budget and memory constraints. Topics include:

• Integrating dynamic-object-update time slicing, performance gained. and challenges encountered.

• How research-project solutions for locomotion evolved to suit the constraints and needs of a practical game pipeline.

• Examples of Destiny’s character-action features.

• Content workflows and improvements in data specifications and verifications that delivered a more robust and efficient system.

This in-depth presentation of real-world problems will help researchers and game engineers avoid mistakes and achieve better systems in less time.

Course Schedule

2 pm

2:10 pm
Design Goals and Constraints

2:40 pm
Action System

3:20 pm
Runtime Rig and Animation Layers
Armstrong and Spataro

4 pm
Networking Models for Animation

4:20 pm
Performance Challenges

4:40 pm
SIGGRAPH Publication to Games

5 pm
Conclusion and Future Work




Basic understanding of character-animation concepts, such as playback, interpolation, and layering. Understanding of locomotion mechanisms, AI path finding, networking, or object-update loop helpful but not required.

Intended Audience

Researchers and engineers interested in game animation, especially for multi-player action games. The course delivers in-depth presentation of real-world problems to researchers and is designed to help other game engineers avoid mistakes achieve better systems in a shorter time.


Yongjoon Lee
Bungie, Inc.

Tam Armstrong
Bungie, Inc.

Joe Spataro
Bungie, Inc.