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Oddfellows: Character Design the Oddworld Way’ was a panel held by Paul O’Connor, Chris Ulm and Farzad Varahramyan at GDC 2001.


Abe, his sadistic Slig tormenters, and the slick Glukkon businessmen of the Oddworld game series have become worldwide game icons, appearing on dozens of magazine covers, in a music video, and in a short theatrical film. Abe and the other inhabitants weren’t created by accident; they resulted from a painstaking process that defined every aspect of their look, behavior, and in-game function. This panel examines the Oddworld character design process, from initial conception to finished creation. What does it take to elevate a game character from simple player avatar to a multidimensional, empathic individual inspiring a fan following transcending the game itself? This presentation shows examples from past games and provides a glimpse at what Oddworld Inhabitants is creating for their next game: 'Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee.

Takeaway: Attendees will learn how solid character design informs all aspects of the game, including visual appeal, character Al, and patterns of play.

Prerquisite: This panel is for anyone interested in the process of character design as an integral part of a cohesive game design. The panel addresses the craft of character design from the production design, game design, and project-direction points of view.



  1. Game Developers Conference (20/03/2001). Event program. GDC 2001.