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Game Narrative Summit: Conflict, Mystery, and Connection in Casual, Free to Play Puzzle Games

Lisa Brunette (Owner & Head Writer/Designer, Brunette Games, LLC)

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

Topic: Game Narrative

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

Most casual developers in our experience shy away from conflict under the wrongful assumption that anything that isn't light and happy will turn players off. But what we've seen is that player audiences can handle much more pathos than we give them credit for, and without the lows, you simply cannot appreciate the highs. You need both to tell a good story. Many players are drawn to games because they like to solve problems, and mystery provides a narrative problem to solve. This goes beyond the detective genre to include an element of mystery in any literary genre. Finally, connection is why players crave a populated world in their games. And they want the connections between characters, as well as between themselves and the characters, to be meaningful.


Audience members will gain techniques for assessing their own games for story and narrative design in ways that integrate story and gameplay for the casual player through conflict, mystery, and connection.

Intended Audience

This talk is perfect for writers and narrative designers tasked with creating game stories for casual audiences. The "CMC" technique, covering conflict, mystery, and connection, can be applied to any game project, and concrete examples help developers design better stories in their games.