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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.

Storytelling Fundamentals Workshop: Session 2

Evan Skolnick  (Game Writer & Narrative Designer, Independent)

Date: Monday, July 19

Time: 2:00pm - 4:00pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass

Topic: Game Narrative

Format: Workshop

Vault Recording: Not Recorded

Audience Level: I acknowledge GDC 2021 is an all-digital event and commit to participating virtually.

This dynamic presentation on the fundamentals of story development is designed for anyone and everyone interested in improving the narrative quality of their games. Hosted by game writing veteran and Video Game Storytelling author Evan Skolnick, this two-part online tutorial covers narrative structure, vibrant character development, storytelling best practices, and more.

Nearly every member of a development team ultimately contributes to the implementation of the game's narrative, and so becomes, to one degree or another, a storyteller. But without a shared language of story spoken by all team members, an unfocused narrative result is almost inevitable. These virtual sessions are designed to provide that common frame of reference, so that everyone on the team is driving the game story in the same direction.

Attendees of the onsite version of this long-running tutorial (a broad mix of designers, artists, engineers, producers and writers) have called it "engaging", "informative", and "absolutely amazing".


Attendees will gain understanding of narrative's place in games and some of the main theories of story. They will also learn vital principles and tools related to characterization, exposition delivery, believability, and impact on the audience. Concepts are reinforced via insightful lectures, entertaining examples, and skill-building exercises.

Intended Audience

This tutorial is mainly intended for game developers with limited fiction writing experience. No prerequisite knowledge is necessary to understand the content of this session. However, familiarity with foundational "nerd culture" movies (Star Wars, LOTR, Aliens, Terminator, etc.) and landmark story-centric games (BioShock, Portal, Half-Life, Uncharted, etc.) will enhance the experience.