Improve your storytelling chops at the GDC 2018 Narrative Summit!

The Game Developers Conference is two months away, and organizers want to be sure you know about some of the fantastic talks on the craft of storytelling in games that are taking place at the March event.

Each of these talks is part of the GDC Game Narrative Summit, one of eight that will take place Monday, March 19th and Tuesday, March 20th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA — the first two days of the conference.

Each Summit offers a comprehensive overview of a specific game industry discipline, and the Game Narrative Summit is just that: for example, in his talk on “Character Development in Non-Linear Spaces: ‘Uncharted: The Lost Legacy‘” Naughty Dog’s Josh Scherr will provide an overview of Naughty Dog’s story development techniques, followed by a detailed look at the writing process for The Lost Legacy.

It promises to be a neat talk because when Naughty Dog set out to make a huge, open-ended area for Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, they had to adapt their usual “wide-linear” narrative techniques to allow for more player choice, while still keeping the development of protagonists Chloe and Nadine’s relationship consistent and natural. Scherr will explain how that was done, covering topics like cutscenes and gameplay dialogue, the choices and compromises they made to make it work, and the mistakes they hope to avoid in the future.

Plus, you won’t want to miss veteran game writer Mike Laidlaw’s Narrative Summit talk on “Empires to Ages: Storytelling Lessons Learned in 14 Years at BioWare.” Laidlaw left BioWare late last year, and in his talk he’ll share some of the most important lessons he’s learned about how narrative fits within games and how writers or narrative designers tasked with bringing stories to life can gel into cohesive storytellers, while still working well with the larger game team.

Laidlaw has a proven track record on games from Jade Empire to Dragon Age: Inquisition, and those who attend his talk will walk away with a short list of the most important things a narrative team can do to quickly get up to speed, maintain a clear vision, and communicate well with other disciplines.

And of course, experienced game writer Michelle Clough is returning to the GDC stage this year to deliver a follow-up to her talk last year on writing sex in video games. Her Narrative Summit session “Eros in Play: Writing and Designing Sex Scenes (Part 2)” expands beyond high-level themes and context, and focuses on the practical details of crafting meaningful and effective sex scenes in games.

From camera angles to environment design, from writing erotic dialogue to applying non-linear narrative structure, this session provides narrative designers (and their teammates) with a set of visual, aural, and gameplay tools for telling stories through sexual scenes. 

Trust us, you won’t want to miss any of these talks. For more details on these and all other announced talks head over to the online GDC 2018 Session Scheduler, where you can begin to build your conference week.

For more information on GDC 2018, visit the show’s official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

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