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Building Games Around Humor: Lessons from 'The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game'

Grace Bruxner  (Game Developer, Independent)

Location: Room 2005, West Hall

Date: Monday, March 18

Time: 5:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Summits, Indie Games Summit - Get your pass now!

Topic: Independent Games Summit

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

Drawing on her experience from working as a stand-up comedian for 2 years, and using examples from the development of the acclaimed 'Grace Bruxner Presents: The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game', this talk focuses on the process of creating comedy games. Beyond writing jokes for games, this lecture presents a more nuanced look at building games around humor, and Grace will go into the specifics of writing funny dialogue that doesn't feel stilted or forced by finding the comedy in the ordinary. Along the way, she will also be looking at how games can subvert expectations of genre to aid in silliness, drawing comparisons between 'The Haunted Island' and other recent comedy-focused and/or narrative games.


This talk will be covering creating joke structure with player-directed gameplay, developing believable and empathetic humor, as well as the use of subverting genre for silliness. Grace will be showing her dialogue process, as well as insights on developing irrational and funny characters that aren't the butt of the joke.

Intended Audience

This talk is aimed at developers who are creating games with at least some narrative or dialogue elements. Also, no losers are allowed to attend. Winners only.