GDC is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

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.

Game Narrative Summit: Respecting Player Fantasies in Dating Sims

Betty Robertson  (Senior Narrative Designer, Survios)

Location: Room 2006, West Hall

Date: Monday, March 20

Time: 1:20 pm - 1:50 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass

Topic: Game Narrative

Format: Lecture

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

In this talk, Betty Robertson, BAFTA-nominee and Senior Narrative Designer at Survios, explains the ins and outs of player fantasy and expectations in the Dating Sim genre. The talk highlights player types, romance styles, and the importance of character design matching player expectations—incorporating experiences from time working on, and consulting on titles from Lovelink to Boyfriend Dungeon to Romancelvania.

Betty takes time to weigh in on popular romance archetypes and tropes, and player reactions to subverting these expectations. Fun facts and hard truths about writing for romance games will be paired with anecdotes about player reactions, and the dev disappointment that comes from designing a character that flops. This tell-all talk provides a guide to navigating the rough waters of in-game romance.


Attendees will gain insight into the experiences of players and developers in the Dating Sim genre, and how best to harmonize developer intent with player expectations. This talk will teach writers how best to write and design characters with the audience in mind, while still having fun.

Intended Audience

The is for game writers and narrative designers looking to learn more about writing for the medium of Dating Sims, and for developers interested in tackling their own Dating Sim but are curious about some of the narrative pitfalls.