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View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by pass type, track, and format. With this Session Viewer, you can view GDC 2023 session details, speakers and share your favorites via social media. You will be able to build your schedule and access it during the show via export or with the Mobile App, once live. Sessions do fill up and seating is first come, first serve, so arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend.

'DEATHLOOP': Designing Trinkets for Freedom, Choice, and Emergence

David McClure  (Lead Game Designer, Crytek)

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

Topic: Design

Format: Lecture

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: Intermediate

Items in DEATHLOOP are designed to give players freedom and choice, and to allow for emergence. This is the story of how the team at Arkane Lyon worked together to try and achieve this goal, and why they felt it was worth pursuing. The topic is shown through the lens of Trinkets (socketable modifiers) and Weapon Perks (fixed modifiers).

Key design decisions are discussed, and the reasons why specific choices were made are explained. Practical production topics are also covered, including the biggest problems and their solutions. Finally, the outcome is discussed: Were the goals reached, and could the path have been made any easier?


Attendees will learn how to design items to promote player choice, freedom, and emergence—both in theory and in practice. Practical ways to balance a large number of interacting items with a small team are explained. Mistakes that were made are described, so they can be avoided.

Intended Audience

This is for designers who want to add player choice, freedom, and emergence to the games they are working on—especially if they are working on progression systems and gear. It isn't necessary to have played DEATHLOOP to enjoy the talk, but it will contain some spoilers.