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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.

System-Centric Puzzle Design in 'Patrick's Parabox'

Patrick Traynor  (Game Developer, Independent)

Location: Room 3005, West Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 20

Time: 11:30 am - 12:00 pm

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

Topic: Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

The designer of the IGF award-winning puzzle game Patrick's Parabox shares a collection of puzzle game design techniques used and learned during its development. These include: heuristics for iterating on mechanics, strategies for creating puzzle levels, and things to look out for when playtesting. These techniques are illustrated with examples from the development of Patrick's Parabox, and are also tied into the core design pillar of the game: showcasing the recursive puzzle system. The talk is framed as a mini-postmortem of the game, focusing just on its design.


Attendees can take away a number of heuristics and techniques about puzzle mechanics design, creating puzzle levels, and playtesting, and a design pillar of "showcasing a system." These are aimed at puzzle games but could also be applied in other contexts. A few other puzzle design resources are also recommended.

Intended Audience

Anyone who has an interest in making puzzle games, or making games in a similar mechanics-focused vein, or who is interested in accumulating some techniques and heuristics to apply in mechanics design and level design.

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