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Video: Cinematic storytelling in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

At GDC 2015's Narrative Summit Monolith's Ethan Walker takes the stage to showcase how the studio designed Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor to feel like a cinematic story you can play through.

Telling a great story in your game is tricky business, especially if it's an open-world experience with dynamic systems the player can interact with at will.

Monolith's most recent title Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is just such a game, but at GDC 2015's Narrative Summit Mordor cinematic lead Ethan Walker took the stage to showcase how the game's narrative was designed to accommodate both filmic cutscenes and dynamic player actions in the world.

During his talk Walker deconstructs the notion of a "Golden Path" in game design and explains how Monolith tried to weave both static and dynamic story threads around dynamic systems governing monsters and beasts, creating a feature-length cinematic experience in one of the most treasured fantasy worlds of all time.

Walker's full account of how Monolith pulled it off is worth watching, and now you can do just that for free via the official GDC YouTube channel.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its new YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.

Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC Next already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.

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