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Video: Spec Ops: The Line contextualizes violence through story
Spec Ops: The Line lead writer and narrative designer Walt Williams discusses at GDC 2013 a four-step process, dubbed "the illusion of casuality," used to make the moment-to-moment violence in-game meaningful.
Courtesy of the GDC Vault, this free GDC 2013 video sees Spec Ops: The Line lead writer and narrative designer Walt Williams discussing a four-step process, dubbed "the illusion of casuality," used to make the moment-to-moment violence of 2K Games' first-person shooter meaningful. As part of this process, Williams suggests taking the player out of the equation when embracing ludonarrative dissonance (conflicts between what players can and can't control). He also encourages evolving characters through different narrative traits, in this case by having the character go from being professional to unhinged, as tied to the main combat. To hear about all of the steps which led to a more immersive and emotionally impactful first-person shooter game, check out the GDC 2013 lecture above. Session Name: We Are Not Heroes: Contextualizing Violence Through Narrative Speaker(s): Walt Williams Company Name(s): 2K Games Track / Format: Game Narrative Summit Overview: In 2012, 2K Games released the genre-bending, military shooter Spec Ops: The Line, and received critical acclaim for a provocative and mature narrative that spoke directly to the act of playing it. Join lead writer and narrative designer Walt Williams, as he discusses how crafting the game's story, themes, and choices around its most basic mechanic (shooting), led to a more immersive and emotionally impactful experience.