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Planning for Change: How Telltale Games Developed Their Modern Writing Pipeline (Presented by Backlight Gem)

Zac Litton  (CTO, Telltale Games)

Stephen Stanford  (Product Manager, Backlight Gem)

Location: Room 3009, West Hall

Date: Thursday, March 23

Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass, Summits Pass, Expo Pass, Audio Pass, Independent Games Summit Pass

Topic: Production & Team Leadership

Format: Sponsored Session

Vault Recording: Not Recorded

Audience Level: All

Backlight Gem

Developing a modern and effective narrative pipeline that empowers writers while facilitating iteration and production tracking can be challenging and daunting. Between the wide array of available tools and the ever-present option of custom development, it can feel the pitfalls outnumber the possibilities. But there is another path.

In this presentation, Zac Litton (CTO, Telltale Games) will illuminate his approach to narrative tool implementation. Along with Stephen Stanford (Product Manager, Backlight Gem), he will cover how his team integrated Backlight Gem – the narrative design system for interactive media creators – with Unreal Engine and custom intermediaries to successfully deliver Telltale's current writing and design pipeline. Zac will also explore practical issues in narrative tool development and illustrate how good planning, evaluation, and feature rollout can alleviate these challenges.


Attendees will leave this session with a practical understanding of how Telltale chooses its creative tools. They will gain insight into Telltale's process of evaluating, developing, and integrating narrative game content workflows through scriptwriting, design visualization, and production tracking.

Intended Audience

The audience for this presentation is anyone involved in the decision-making or evaluation group for narrative tools and pipelines, including creative authors, tool developers, technical leads, and producers.