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Technical Tools for Authoring Branching Dialogue

Carrie Patel (Narrative Designer and Writer, Obsidian Entertainment)

David Szymczyk (Technical Director, Obsidian Entertainment)

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

Topic: Game Narrative Summit

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

Strong dialogue tools are crucial to developing games with branching narrative. A good conversation editor should allow designers to shape and view the structure of dialogue files, seamlessly write and edit text, and easily integrate dialogue with game scripting.

This talk will address how narrative designers and game writers can get the most use out of conversation editors and how tools programmers can design software that allows for robust conversation design. The presenters will refer to OEI Tools, a proprietary dialogue editor that Obsidian Entertainment's writers have used for eight years to develop conversations for several acclaimed RPG titles.


Attendees will be able to use the information from this talk to design internal conversation editors as well as to evaluate third-party conversation editors and integrate them into their development teams.

Intended Audience

This talk is primarily intended for writers, narrative designers, and programmers working on games that involve branching dialogue and reactive narrative. The concepts in this talk will be most useful to active industry professionals, particularly those with an intermediate or advanced level of experience.