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Video: How Save the Date wins hearts through nonlinear narrative

As part of the GDC 2014 Independent Games Summit, Save the Date creator Chris Cornell spoke about the specific techniques he used to build a surprisingly emotional nonlinear narrative game.
Drawing your players into empathizing with the plight of characters in your game is a significant challenge for any developer, and it's one that doesn't get much easier to solve no matter how much time, money or people you throw at it. In fact, having limited resources might actually make it a more straightforward problem to tackle. For example, Paper Dino Software's Save the Date employed a simple nonlinear story structure and clever writing to create a surprisingly emotional experience, netting it a nomination for the 2014 IGF Awards. As part of the GDC 2014 Independent Games Summit, designer Chris Cornell spoke at length about the specific techniques and that went into crafting that experience and offered his fellow developers a few suggestions for creating more games that use player agency to foster emotional investment. It's an excellent, forthright talk on narrative design, and the free video (embedded above) of 'Lessons in Building Player Investment: Paper Dino's Save the Date' is now available to watch here on the GDC Vault.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault 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. Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech

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