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How To Keep Your Team From Destroying Your Game

Susan O’Connor  (Founder & CEO, The Narrative Department)

Location: Room 3014, West Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 23

Time: 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass, All Access Online Only Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Production & Team Management

Format: Session

Viewing Experience: In-Person/Virtual

Vault Recording: Video

One of the fondest hopes of any game studio is to create a player experience that is unforgettable; something that will win awards, break sales records and stand the test of time. One of the most powerful ways to deliver that kind of experience is to ship a game with a great story. But story development in games can be expensive boondoggles, as player agency crashes into the team’s crafted narrative. Are studios destined to struggle and suffer in order to bring gameplay and story together? Or is there a better way? In this talk, game-story fixer Susan O’Connor (BioShock, Tomb Raider, Far Cry franchises) breaks down the three snakepits game-writing teams fall into, over and over - and shares three ladders that studios can use to help teams escape those snakepits, once and for all.


If games are going to evolve as a storytelling medium, we have to rethink our approach from the ground up. The teams and studios that start bucking conventional wisdom and start innovating are the ones that are going to have a license to print money. Audiences are starving for deep emotional experiences. Games can deliver that when they bring story and gameplay together - and as an industry, we've barely scratched the surface of what's possible. This talk is designed to spark new ideas for creative directors and studio heads, so that they can lead their teams in new directions.

Intended Audience

Studio heads, creative directors, and executive producers at game studios - anybody who is responsible for helping teams deliver a great game with a great story.