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Game Narrative Summit: Making Player Choices Feel like They Matter in Your Narrative

Tony Howard-Arias  (Co-founder, Black Tabby Games)

Location: Room 3016, West Hall

Date: Tuesday, March 22

Time: 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm

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

Topic: Game Narrative

Format: Session

Viewing Experience: In-Person

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: No

Despite your best efforts, it can sometimes feel like decision-making and dialogue choices don't have an actual impact on your game's narrative. In this session, Tony Howard-Arias (Game Designer and Co-writer of Scarlet Hollow) goes in-depth on how they and their partner tackled (and continue to tackle) these challenges on both a micro and macro level. On the macro level, they'll discuss how Scarlet Hollow is intentionally written to build towards a number of discrete endings whose thematic relevance is a reflection of how players have chosen to interact with their narrative. And on the micro level, they'll talk about their game's complex relationship-system, and how minor changes in dialogue and art can make a given playthrough feel personalized and uniquely tailored to its player.


Attendees will come away with one more perspective on how to tackle complex branching narratives in a way that's sustainable, nuanced, and that validates player choices.

Intended Audience

This presentation is for anyone who's interested in player-focused narrative design and crafting interactive fiction!