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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.

How to Build a Home: Designing Narrative for Sindri's House in 'God of War Ragnarok'

Harleigh Awner  (Technical Narrative Designer, Santa Monica Studio)

Location: Room 2001, West Hall

Date: Friday, March 24

Time: 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

Topic: Design

Format: Lecture

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

Home bases in games have long been a player-driven experience: Supporting characters lack agency and believability.

In this session, Harleigh Awner, Technical Narrative Designer at Santa Monica Studio, describes an approach to creating a home base that is character-driven: What it means to give characters the independence to act, why it’s important, the challenges the team faced, and the solutions they found.

This talk will break down two visits to Sindri’s House by describing, in detail, the structure of each visit and how the team approached balancing the goals of character autonomy and unrestricted player control.


Attendees will learn how to create narrative-focused spaces with a focus on independent NPC behavior and character interaction through examples from Sindri’s House in God of War Ragnarök, and how to evolve on the home base framework established in previous popular games.

Intended Audience

This is for designers creating home bases or other hubs in their games, or anyone interested in narrative design.