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View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, pass type, topic, and format. With this Session Viewer, you can view GDC 2023 session details and speakers, and share your favorites via social media. You will be able to build your schedule and access it during the show via export or Mobile App, once live. Sessions do fill up and seating is first come, first serve, so arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend.

The Language of Gameplay and How to Speak It

Jakub Stokalski  (Game Director & Design Director, 11 Bit Studios)

Location: Room 2010, West Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 22

Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

Topic: Design

Format: Lecture

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Intermediate

Stories in games are often delivered alongside gameplay, not through it—yet in the player's mind, there is only one "story": the experience of playing the game as a whole. To make our games say things we want, we often lean on linear media storytelling toolbox, and it works. But all games (intently or not) also speak through player actions and the content they operate on, framed by the designers' intent. It's only fitting we develop our design toolset to power this language.

This talk aims to explore conceptual foundations for thinking consciously about designing meaningful experiences in games, spoken through gameplay and systems, not only words and pictures.


Attendees will learn conceptual tools for creating gameplay and systems that convey specific, designer-intended meaning.

Intended Audience

This is for intermediate-to-advanced game designers looking to expand their mindset, as well as project leads or directors that would like their games to say meaningful things. While not directly touching on art, art directors may benefit from insights in this talk. At least specialist-level knowledge of game design concepts is recommended.