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Independent Games Summit: The Secret Lives of NPCs: 'Wayward Strand'

Georgia Symons  (Narrative Co-Director, Ghost Pattern)

Jason Bakker  (Co-Director, Ghost Pattern)

Location: Room 2005, West Hall

Date: Tuesday, March 21

Time: 10:50 am - 11:50 am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass, Independent Games Summit Pass

Topic: Independent Games

Format: Lecture

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

In real life, people don't wait around for you to interact with them—so why do non-player characters do this in video games? The team behind Wayward Strand have created an intricately detailed real-time narrative adventure where all the NPCs are just as busy as the player.

In this talk, narrative co-directors Georgia Symons and Jason Bakker talk about their process for structuring a world of simultaneous stories in a way that feels nourishing to the player. They also discuss the genesis of the concept, the values at the heart of the game, and the way that their studio practices of care influenced the game's development.


Attendees will walk away from this talk with new ideas about how video games can tell stories. The speakers share some technical insights into making real-time narratives flow for an audience, and they will leave you with some tools to use when thinking about how values can inform people's projects.

Intended Audience

This is for game narrative professionals, players of narrative games, and anyone with an interest in unique video game forms.