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Writing Modular Characters for System-Driven Games

Speaker:

Tanya X. Short (Director, Kitfox Games)

Location: Room 2005, West Hall

Date: Thursday, March 22

Time: 2:00pm - 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

Making the paradigm shift from linear to system-driven thinking can be difficult, especially when it comes to delivering good writing. Using examples from the speaker's own system-driven writing ('Moon Hunters', 'The Shrouded Isle'), as well as from games like 'Civilization', 'Darkest Dungeon', 'Dwarf Fortress', or the 'Middle-Earth' series, this talk will explore ways modular thinking can help your storytelling, diving deep into character writing specifically as a metaphor for all system-driven writing. "Orthogonality" proves the name of the game, in terms of character traits, in how those traits express themselves, and even figuring out how to prioritize many types of character information. This session will define the tools that are available to narrative designers to help your player find both satisfaction and surprise in your rich yet responsive world.

Takeaway

Attendees will be better-equipped to create and write content for system-driven games, including attention to narrative design, writing, and production considerations.

Intended Audience

Game writers who feel uncomfortable or nervous about moving from simple choice-based plots or quests into more system-driven game writing situations. Someone who has written at least a game or two will benefit most from the material. However, no deeply technical knowledge will be required.