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GDC + VRDC 2019 Session Scheduler

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Compiling Your Story: Using Techniques from Compiler Design to Check Your Narrative

Jon Manning  (50% of Secret Lab, Secret Lab)

Location: Room 2002, West Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 20

Time: 10:30 am - 11:00 am

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

Topic: Programming, Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Intermediate

Programmers are used to their compilers catching tiny logic problems in their code. When you're a writer, it's harder to catch these problems. Wouldn't it be nice if you could run an error-checker on your dialogue?

In this talk, Jon Manning (Secret Lab) will discuss how techniques from compiler design, like symbolic execution and control flow graph analysis, can be used to spot problems in your dialogue. For example, it's possible to prove that a certain branch of dialogue can never be reached because earlier decisions made by the player will always render that choice unavailable.

Come and learn how to get started with these techniques, and how to use them in your own games to check for problems and to make life easier for testers!


Attendees will learn how to apply techniques from compiler design in dialogue trees, which can save time for writers, programmers and testers, and where to go to get started using it in their games using open source tools.

Intended Audience

This talk is ideal for anyone who needs to implement branching narrative or dialogue in a game, as well as any writers with an interest in their writing tools.