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Weaving 13 Prototypes into 1 Game: Lessons from 'Edith Finch'


Ian Dallas (Creative Director, Giant Sparrow)

Location: Room 24, North Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 21

Time: 5:00pm - 6:00pm

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

Topic: Design, Production & Team Management

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Intermediate

When you make a game that's got 13 different stories in it, each with its own unique art style and gameplay mechanic, you spend a lot of time working on (and throwing out) prototypes. In this session the speaker will talk about how he and his team approached prototyping where the goal was for each mechanic to be something players had never seen before, but also intuitive enough to grasp without tutorials. He'll also discuss the challenge of blending these radically different mechanics into a cohesive experience along with the production process his team evolved to try and keep the whole team informed in the face of nearly constant, frustrating, exhilarating change.


New approaches for creating and tuning gameplay mechanics you've never seen before and how to do it in a somewhat reliable, repeatable way. Also, an appreciation for the challenges this sort of development creates for a team, along with suggestions for ways to keep everyone informed, productive and happy.

Intended Audience

Developers interested in creating novel gameplay and in the challenge of making something you don't fully understand yet, but that you plan to discover as you go, especially when you're doing it as a team.