Crafting powerful, compelling narrative in your games is tricky business, so today GDC organizers are highlighting a few notable talks on the subject that you must see at GDC 2015 in March.
These talks on writing better sex, liars and mobile games are part of the GDC Narrative Summit, one of eight that will take place Monday, March 2nd and Tuesday, March 3rd at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA during the first two days of the conference.
First up, catch freelance writer and narrative designer Michelle Clough as she returns to GDC to offer her fellow writers and developers a six-point toolset to evoking desire in their games. Check out her talk, "Desire Is Not A Dirty Word: Writing Healthy Fanservice in Games", for practical advice on writing and presenting sexy content in a way that's healthy, diverse and nuanced -- not to mention fun and hot!
Here's an interesting challenge: how do you create morally questionable characters that are believable and compelling? Gigantic Mechanic's Dan Nagler will share a unified design strategy for doing just that in a talk entitled "Designing Morally Difficult Characters, Responsibly." Expect to walk away with practical techniques for designing morally problematic player characters that can still evoke empathy, using examples from the industry and Nagler's own work as a designer on Senate Immersion Module, a game that puts players in the shoes of antebellum, slaveholding American politicians.
Finally, don't miss Christy Marx's "truly outrageous" postmortem of the narrative design work that went into CastleVille Legends (pictured). During her session, "From Jem to CastleVille - A 'Truly Outrageous' Game Narrative Postmortem", Marx -- a game designer at Zynga whose career spans everything from creating Jem and the Holograms to serving as a writer on hit cartoon and video game franchises -- will share best practices and lessons learned in crafting compelling narratives for mobile games.
Not enough? No worries; 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.
Also, conference officials look forward to announcing more GDC 2015 sessions spanning a diverse array of game industry issues in the weeks remaining between now and the conference.