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Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by pass type, topic, and format. You will be able to build your personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021.

Game Narrative Summit: The Theatrical Narrative Design of Amazon Explore

Bridget Schiffler  (Lead Narrative Designer, Amazon)

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass

Topic: Game Narrative

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: N/A: I would like to deliver a virtual presentation only

Bridget Schiffler (she/her) shares the curious challenges of using game narrative design principles to design the hundreds of live, interactive, virtual experiences of Amazon Explore. Amazon Explore uses a unique and strange combination of games, personal walking tours, performance theatre, live-streaming, and television. These formats mix to maximise "presence" - making a participant feel like they are invested and connected across the world, losing themself in the experience.

First, she will talk through the creation of the prototype "vertical slice" at Pike Place Market, as well as how initial presence-building tools were developed. Then, she will talk through how she wrote the scripts, drew the storyboards, and trained the live hosts to create the first fully-formed experience in Asakusa, Japan. She will then cover what it means to scale a live interactive experience, and will speak to where the unique and strange world of Amazon Explore is at now.


Attendees will have a unique glimpse behind-the-scenes at one of the strangest and most delightful new kids of interactive online experience, from a transgender narrative designer who has been there since the beginning. They will also learn what it means to practice narrative design for live, theatrical, virtual experiences.

Intended Audience

This session speaks to all narrative designers with an interest in the new emergent field of online presence-based live experiences. No prerequisite knowledge is required, but a basic understanding of game design is helpful to learn how it is applied to this new, strange, exciting kind of digital experience.