Game Developers Conference 2014 organizers have revealed a few new Game Narrative Summit talks for their March conference, including sessions explaining how to best tell meaningful stories about real events through games, best practices for prototyping your game’s narrative, and more.
The following talks are presented as part of the Game Narrative Summit, one of eight that will take place Monday, March 17 and Tuesday, March 18 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA during the first two days of GDC 2014.
Papa & Yo creator Vander Caballero made a game that explored his own feelings about his experience growing up with an alcoholic father, and believes that in doing so he may have sparked the rise of the empathetic game as a meaningful genre. In his Narrative Summit talk, provocatively titled Empathetic Games Are Here to Stay! What’s Next?, Caballero — who serves as creative director of Minority Media — will share advice on how his studio respectfully navigates the complexities inherent in telling stories in games about complicated, emotional subjects.
Disney Digital Publishing’s Jamie Antonisse is also taking part in the GDC Game Narrative Summit with a talk about how taking the time to prototype your game’s narrative can help meaningfully improve the final product at a low cost, early in development. Antonisse — who also worked on games like The Odd Gentlemen’s The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom — will give a talk titled Paper Tales: A Guide to Narrative Prototyping that walks you through the steps necessary to build out a compelling narrative structure, test your game as an interactive story, and improve the final player experience before a single line of code is written.
Finally, game designer and documentary filmmaker Navid Khonsari is coming to GDC this year to give a talk during the Game Narrative Summit, and you probably want to keep it on your radar. Iran-born Khonsari fled to Canada in the wake of his homeland’s 1979 Revolution, then went on to join up with Rockstar to work on hits like Grand Theft Auto III and Max Payne before striking out on his own. During his GDC talk, titled 1979 Revolution: A Case Study in Bringing Real Stories to Gaming, Khonsari will explore how you can make a deeply immersive narrative game based on actual historical events. He plans to use examples from his own work on the 1979 Revolution game to showcase how you can bring gritty, real and provocative content to games using both AAA game design and documentary filmmaking techniques.
For more information on these or others in the show’s growing lineup, check out GDC 2014’s official Schedule Builder, which continues to add new talks every week. GDC 2014 itself will take place March 17-21 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
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