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View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by pass type, track, and format. With this Session Viewer, you can view session and speaker details for the 2024 Game Developers Conference. New sessions are regularly added leading up to GDC, and all dates and times will be announced about 4 weeks before the event. Once live, you will be able to build your schedule with the GDC Mobile App.

Sessions do fill up and seating is first come, first serve, so arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend.

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

Patrick Traynor  (Game Developer, Independent)

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

Topic: Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

The main developer of the IGF award-winning recursive puzzle game Patrick's Parabox shares a collection of design techniques used when developing the game. These include heuristics when designing mechanics, strategies for creating puzzle levels, philosophies for running playtests. These are all illustrated with examples from the game itself. The talk is framed as a mini-postmortem, focusing just on design. The techniques are all in support of the game's core design pillar of showcasing the puzzle system.


Attendees can take away a "showcasing a system" model of how to think about making a puzzle game, and a nubmer of practical puzzle-genre-specific techniques for mechanics ideation, rules iteration, level design, and playtesting. These are aimed at puzzle games but can be applied in other contexts too.

Intended Audience

Anyone who has an interest in making puzzle games, or making games in a similar vein that are very mechanics-focused and level design-focused, or who is interested in seeking more perspective and techniques for level and mechanics design.

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