Games featuring character interactions with believable dialogue, discoverable story anecdotes impacted by the player, and responsive interaction systems are all narrative concepts working toward one common goal: suspending disbelief in players.
In this GDC 2014 session, Campo Santo's Sean Vanaman discusses the challenges of creating a narrative experience with the goal of suspending a player's disbelief through gameplay, citing the importance of treating the player as a partner while going through the design process.
"I think if you're trying to make a piece of fiction about people," explains Vanaman. "The suspension of disbelief is really one of the most important things to consider in your design."
His talk highlights what designers should strive for if their focus lies on having the narrative matter; communicate with the player through design, and focus on the player experience. It's the designer's job to convince the player that their narrative is worth engaging with on an emotional level.
Narrative designers interested in the techniques used to craft emotionally engaging experiences can now watch it completely free via the official GDC YouTube channel!
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