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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 Looker': The Art of Parody Against the Menace of Goofiness

Bradley Lovell  (Game Developer, Subcreation Studio)

Location: Room 2001, West Hall

Date: Thursday, March 23

Time: 5:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

Topic: Design

Format: Lecture

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

Why would anyone care about the parody of a game that came out seven years prior? As it turns out, there are some solid reasons why.

In this talk, Bradley Lovell, developer of 2022's The Looker, a parody of the 2015 open-world puzzle game The Witness, discusses what it takes to make a high-bandwidth parody that goes beyond obvious audio-visual gags to tell jokes through gameplay, as well as engage deeply with the source material. This discussion touches on the core appeals of parody games, as well as the unique opportunities for humor that games afford.

Bradley also discusses the importance of maintaining internal consistency so a game's humor and subversion of expectations do not cause unintentional damage to its core design.


Attendees will receive a concrete understanding of what features distinguish an engaging and fulfilling parody from a cheap and unsatisfying one. The session will explore the design constraints that allow a game to subvert expectations and show a sense of humor without destroying its fundamental gameplay.

Intended Audience

This is for designers of any experience level who are interested in parody or humor in games, or in maintaining a game's sense of internal consistency. Having played The Looker or The Witness is helpful, but not necessary to understanding the context of this talk.