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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.

Breaking Design Bottlenecks with Dialogue Stubbing

Carrie Patel  (Senior Narrative Designer & Writer, Obsidian Entertainment)

Date: Thursday, July 22

Time: 10:50am - 11:20am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

Topic: Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Authoring polished dialogue is a time-consuming process that may require weeks of work from writers. An efficient dialogue stubbing workflow can help the design team get content to a progressible state early, facilitate the eventual writing pass, and signal the size and complexity of a conversation.

However, while a good dialogue stub can streamline design and writing, a weak stub can hamstring these processes. This talk will explain what a dialogue stub is, including the information that does (and does not) belong in it. It will cover best practices for stubbing as well as the pitfalls that arise from uninformative or overly detailed stubs.

By the end, attendees will understand how to get the most from dialogue stubbing workflows on their own teams.


Attendees will understand how a good stubbing workflow can facilitate the process of authoring dialogue and will learn how to implement this process on their own teams.

Intended Audience

This talk is primarily intended for writers and designers who work on dialogue-heavy games and for producers who want to understand how to schedule teams with narrative elements more efficiently. The information in this talk is non-technical and will be of use to novices as well as experienced developers.