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View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, time, pass type, topic, and format. With this Session Viewer, you can view session and speaker details for Game Developers Conference 2024.

You will be able to build your schedule with the GDC Mobile App. The GDC 2024 app will be available for download in Apple Apps and Google Play late February 2024.

Sessions do fill up and seating is first come, first serve, so arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend. Adding a session to your schedule does not guarantee you a seat.

Player Mythologies

Alex Jaffe  (Game Design Manager, Riot Games)

Location: Room 3016, West Hall

Date: Friday, March 22

Time: 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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

Topic: Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

Designers build games around player fantasies. These typically concern something the player "pretends" to be inside a game. But another kind of fantasy is often overlooked: "Player Mythologies". These are the narratives through which players view themselves as players. Explorer, spy, collector, artist - these archetypes don't just describe a character in a game. Remarkably, they sometimes describe the actual players, and how a specific game or genre fits into players' lives. By understanding these narratives, designers can gain profound insight into their players' mindset and motivation, reshaping traditional ideas of "good" and "bad" design.

In this talk, Alex Jaffe introduces player mythologies, showing their impact and their root causes in subtle design choices. He then presents a case study on the player mythology of fighting games. He shows how this lens unlocked his work on Riot Games' 2XKO (formerly Project L), and illuminates the beauty of the genre along the way.


Attendees will learn a new design framework for understanding what makes their players tick - to reveal player motivation and preferences, and to help drive design decisions large and small. Examples and a case study will prepare attendees to apply the framework to their own games.

Intended Audience

This talk concerns the broadest questions of what games are for, but connects these questions to detailed design decisions and consequences. As such, every game designer (or design-curious developer) should find something of interest, whether they're responsible for strategic product decisions, fine-grained tuning changes, or anything in-between.

Connecting the Global Game Development Community

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