Much is made of designing games to afford players meaningful choices, but how do people actually respond to those choices? If you sink a huge amount of money, time and talent into fleshing out a dark side to your next game’s narrative, how many players will see it?
Game critic, interactive fiction writer and Microsoft technical evangelist Amanda Lange surveyed over 1,000 people to better understand how they interact with a game system that allows the player to choose a “good” or “evil” path through a game story. An important question was also added: do players play twice? You may be surprised at the results, and what they reveal about the use of moral choices in game design and how they could evolve.
By analyzing those results, Lange hopes to show you how some of the most invested game players actually respond to moral choice systems in games: good and evil, or in between. Check out her GDC 2015 talk, "Beyond Binary Choices: How Players Engage with Morality," and you'll walk away with knowledge about what moral choices in story-focused games impacted some players the most, and why.
Lange's talk will be part of the conference's Game Narrative Summit, a series of frank talks on the topic from leading experts in the industry.
It's just one of eight Summits that will take place Monday, March 2nd and Tuesday, March 3rd at the Moscone Center in San Francisco during the first two days of GDC 2015.
If talking about the practical payoff of branching narratives in games isn't up your alley, don't worry — conference officials look forward to announcing more GDC 2015 sessions spanning a diverse array of game industry issues in the months ahead.
A list of all announced talks is available in the online GDC 2015 Session Scheduler, where you can begin to build your conference week and later export it to the up-to-the-minute GDC Mobile App, coming soon.
For now, don't miss the opportunity to save money by registering early — the deadline to register for passes at a discounted rate is January 21, 2015. GDC 2015 itself will take place March 2-6 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
For more information on GDC 2015, visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.
Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech.