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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.

Designing for Healing: 'UnearthU'

Kara Stone  (Designer, Independent)

Date: Friday, July 23

Time: 3:40pm - 4:10pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

Topic: Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: I acknowledge GDC 2021 is an all-digital event and commit to participating virtually.

This presentation will detail the design process of UnearthU and the way its durational narrative is used to create a space for self-reflection, care, and healing for the player. How can we design games that foster wellbeing while showcasing the realities of mental illness and disability? In this talk I reflect on the design process, aesthetics, and narrative that are built around creating a companion character for the player to watch go through a healing journey, while providing life-sustaining activities. UnearthU is about the intersections of capitalism and mental illness; the way overwork has become internalized and burn-out the norm. Audiences can expect detailed takeaways on best design strategies and practices for creating games oriented towards healing.


Attendees of this talk should expect to come away with a new perspective of how they can approach health and wellness in designing games, both in term of design elements within games as well as best practices used to create them.

Intended Audience

The intended audience for this talk is game designers, writers, and producers. No prerequisite knowledge is required to attend this talk.