GDC + VRDC 2019 Session Scheduler

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Social Depth of Location-Based Play in 'The Walking Dead: Our World'

Markus Montola (Senior Game Designer, Next Games)

Sulka Haro (Game Designer / Developer, Next Games/Nightscout)

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Summits - Get your pass now!

Topic: Mobile Summit

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

The 'Walking Dead: Our World' is a simple location-based game about shooting walkers in your real environment. As the player learns the ropes, however, seemingly small layers of decision-making depth are added on the simple core loop. As the map location provides players with opportunities, and resource limitations restrict their choices, the players need to balance opportunities and risks to optimize their gameplay. Several novel social mechanics create this smart depth, including player-created buildings persisting in location, complex 25-player challenges where players need to play their strengths, and flares that allow players limited movement on the map.


The design analysis shows how social and location-based elements can be used to create emergent smart depth to your core loop. In this kind of gameplay, casual players will have easy time getting quick rewards, while advanced players will face the constant emergent puzzle on how to optimise their progress.

Intended Audience

This talk is aimed for mobile game designers and producers interested in adding social and location-based depth to their metagame loops.