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View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, pass type, topic, and format. With this Session Viewer, you can view GDC 2023 session details and 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 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.

Developing 'Terra Nil': A Strategy Game About Nature, Not Expansion

Sam Alfred  (Game Designer & Programmer, Free Lives)

Location: Room 2014, West Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 22

Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

Topic: Design

Format: Lecture

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

Terra Nil is a strategy game that eschews many of the mainstays of its genre. Lead designer Sam Alfred offers a look at how the team drew inspiration from the natural world to make a strategy game that's not about the exploitation of natural resources, but about balance. This talk on the design of Terra Nil illustrates how, by looking outside established boundaries, old genres can be reinvigorated.


Attendees will leave with an excellent notion of the design philosophy behind Terra Nil, and hopefully be inspired to draw inspiration from unusual sources (particularly the natural world) for their own games.

Intended Audience

This is for game designers and anyone interested in how nature can be used in games. Prior knowledge is not required.