Game Developers Conference 2014 organizers are highlighting a few more noteworthy Summit sessions for the upcoming March conference that will help you refine your approach to game design in order to tell more compelling stories from start to finish.
These talks are part of the Game Narrative Summit one of the 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.
Elsewhere in the Game Narrative Summit session lineup, Tracy Fullerton will discuss the possibilities and potential pitfalls of experimenting with telling your story through gameplay mechanics in Breaking the Mold: Experiments in Evolving Game Narrative from the USC Game Innovation Lab. Fullerton was part of the team that developed Walden, A Game, and she plans to share stories from the development process as well as highlight ways in which players might discover a meaningful narrative in fulfilling mean tasks like fetching water or finding shelter, especially when those tasks are done in a world designed to support the tale you’re trying to tell.
It’s also more important than ever to think about how to tell a good story within the constraints of a mobile game. Erik Marcisak has been writing and designing story-focused mobile phone games since 2006, and now he’s coming to GDC 2014 to give a talk, Mobile Storytelling Lessons (That Also Work for AAA), about what he’s learned working in the business as a narrative designer across both mobile and AAA console games. Marcisak plans to focus on the narrative pillars that emerged from writing within the restrictions of mobile gaming before there was an app store, sharing the lessons he learned working back then and offering advice for designers seeking a streamlined approach for creating relatable characters and memorable storylines on any platform.
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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