GDC + [email protected] 2018 Session Scheduler

View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of GDC sessions by time, pass type, track, and format. With GDC Session Scheduler, you can build your schedule in advance and access it during the show via export or with the GDC Mobile App. Sessions do fill up, so please arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend. Adding a session to your schedule does not guarantee you a seat.

In order to best utilize Session Scheduler, please use the login credentials you've set up on this page as your login credentials on our GDC Mobile App. Your login credentials are the same as your registration login. You can download the app on iTunes or Google Play.

'Heaven's Vault': Creating a Dynamic Detective Story


Jon Ingold (Narrative Director, inkle)

Location: Room 2001, West Hall

Date: Friday, March 23

Time: 1:30pm - 2:30pm

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

Topic: Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Intermediate

Inkle's latest game, 'Heaven's Vault', is an archaeological adventure game, but plays out as a detective story with the player following a chain of leads from one ancient ruin to another. However, inspired by designs like 'The Last Express' and 'Blade Runner: The Adventure Game', the path the player takes is fully dynamic, with no prescribed path, few bottlenecks and no fail state. In this talk, Jon will outline the strategies inkle have adopted to achieve this, building on previous work in 'Sorcery!' and '80 Days'. He'll demonstrate how the game design mixes adaptive authored content and procedurally generated "glue" content to ensure players are always making progress and making new discoveries regardless of which scenes they play, in what order, and what they manage or fail to discover. He'll also discuss how automated testing has been integrated into the writing workflow to empower greater freedom of action.


This talk will demonstrate practical strategies for creating a tight, adaptive storyline from limited components to provide players with unique playthroughs. It will show how inkle's team used procedural content to glue dynamic sequences together, and how they adapted a prototype into an automated testing framework for exploring the narrative space.

Intended Audience

This talk is intended for technically-oriented narrative designers looking for practical solutions to creating more dynamic storylines out of authored content.