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Helping Players Hate (or Love) Their Nemesis


Chris Hoge (Lead Systems Designer, Monolith Productions)

Location: Room 2014, West Hall

Date: Thursday, March 22

Time: 4:00pm - 5:00pm

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

Topic: Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

'Middle-earth: Shadow of War' expanded on the award-winning Nemesis System, which is a key innovation used to create powerful long-term relationships between the player and procedurally created Orc characters. The design intention was to create Orcs that you loved to hate and Orcs you hated to love. This talk will describe philosophies and features that were used in the design of both 'Middle-earth: Shadow of War' and its predecessor, 'Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor', including the goal of maximizing players’ positive and negative emotions. The session will show how these features have been effective, while highlighting philosophies and techniques for making Orcs more memorable, designing exceptional moments and keeping the player-Orc relationships going.


Gain insight into the design of the Nemesis System, as well as inspiration and techniques for evoking strong emotions in games.

Intended Audience

Intended for anyone with experience playing (or interest in) the Nemesis System.