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Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, time, pass type, topic, and format. All registered attendees will be able to build their personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021. All times are listed in Pacific Time.

Board Game Design Summit: Creating Resonance with Thematic Design

Sarah Shipp  (Game designer, Independent)

Date: Monday, July 19

Time: 9:40am - 10:40am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass

Topic: Board Game Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: N/A: I would like to deliver a virtual presentation only

What makes games resonate with players? How can game themes be tweaked to be more resonant? Resonance can be achieved using a simple to remember formula, which can be extrapolated out to an array of tools that can be used to make game themes more resonant and more integrated with their mechanisms.


Whether designing an abstract game in need of a theme, re-theming a game, or just looking to improve on an existing theme, designers will gain tools to help them think more creatively about theme and its implementation, improve their hooks, and tell better emergent stories.

Intended Audience

This talk is geared towards designers of all experience levels who are at any stage in the design process.