GDC + VRDC 2019 Session Scheduler

View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by pass type, track, and format. With this Session Scheduler, you can build your schedule in advance and access it during the show via export or with the GDC Mobile App, once live. Sessions do fill up so please arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend. Adding a session to your schedule does not guarantee you a seat.

'Cultist Simulator': Designing an Experimental Game for Commercial Success

Alexis Kennedy (Creative Director, Weather Factory)

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

Topic: Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

'Cultist Simulator' was an experimental project which used consciously unusual design decisions to create an unconventional and even divisive game. It hit #1 on Steam and sold more than 50K copies in the first month - a lot of that was luck, a lot of it was marketing, but some of it was also the result of conscious design decisions. Furthermore, 'Cultist Simulator' was a relatively low-budget game with its total production costs being less than $200K USD, and total production time was less than a year. This imposed specific challenges and constrained the design in fundamental ways. This talk will discuss the challenges and the advantages of the decisions the Weather Factory team made, how they steered a straight course, and what they'd do differently next time.


Attendees will hear how Weather Factory balanced the constraints of vision and commerce on a very restricted budget, with particular reference to the crossover of system and narrative design.