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Game Mechanics for Storytelling in 'Monument Valley 2'


Lea Schonfelder (Senior Game Designer, ustwo games)

Location: Room 25, North Hall

Date: Thursday, March 22

Time: 3:00pm - 3:30pm

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

Topic: Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

'Monument Valley 2' tells the story of a mother and her child, a relationship that evolves over the course of the game. This session explains how ustwo games used changing character mechanics to communicate story progression. 'Monument Valley 2' will serve as a case study to identify narrative elements that are specific to games and differentiate them from other media like books and movies. In games, systemic elements like controls, mechanics and character dynamics can be used to tell a story, in addition to more traditional methods like dialogue and scripted sequences. The 'Monument Valley 2' approach to interactive story telling is just one of many, and it will be compared to how other games use medium-inherent tools to express ideas, tell stories or provoke emotions.


In this session, Lea will discuss the specific ways games tell stories and use 'Monument Valley 2' as a case study to identify some of the tools designers have at their disposal. Using examples from 'Monument Valley 2' and other games, she will provide attendees with a toolset to experiment with interactive storytelling.

Intended Audience

This session is ideal for game designers interested in combining mechanics and storytelling. Experience in writing for games would be beneficial but not required to follow the talk.