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Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, time, pass type, topic, and format. All registered attendees will be able to build their personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021. All times are listed in Pacific Time.

MORTIS 101: 'FAITH's' Horror Design Toolkit

Mason Smith  (Indie Game Developer, Airdorf Games)

Date: Thursday, July 22

Time: 2:30pm - 3:30pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

Topic: Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

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

Mason Smith, founder of Airdorf Games, reveals the horror design toolkit he used to create FAITH, his debut retro-inspired horror game. He details eight horror design tools that helped him craft an effective horror experience despite its basic visual style, including how to embrace minimalism, how to treat the theme of vulnerability, how to turn game mechanics against the player, earning the player's trust (and then betraying it), and why it's okay to tell the player exactly what's going to happen. Each tool is illustrated by examples from FAITH and examines reactions and feedback from players and fans.


Attendees gain insight into how FAITH was designed and learn from specific examples of how FAITH's design toolkit was put into action. They can upgrade their own design toolkits by learning how FAITH's design supported the game's narrative, mechanics, and affect.

Intended Audience

Anybody wanting to learn more about FAITH's design and upgrade their design toolkit are welcome. Horror and non-horror devs alike will find something valuable because not all of FAITH's design tools are strictly horror-based.