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GDC + VRDC 2019 Session Scheduler

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Designing 'Six Ages', a Storytelling Strategy Game

David Dunham  (Software Developer, A Sharp, LLC)

Location: Room 2016, West Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 20

Time: 11:30 am - 12:00 pm

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

Topic: Design

Format: Session

Tutorials: N/A

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

Indie cult classic 'King of Dragon Pass' was released in 1999. Despite critical accolades and enthusiastic fans, its blending of myth, storytelling, and simulation remained unique until its spiritual successor, 'Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind' came out last year. Designer David Dunham will share how the distinctive design elements work in 'Six Ages'. He'll show how the pieces fit together to create a re-playable emergent narrative with an overall story arc, interesting and helpful advisors, and a strategic simulation of politics. He'll explain how a text-based game achieves immersion, and describe the tools that let a small team create a game with as much text as the first four Harry Potter novels.


Attendees will learn new ways to structure narrative games and how to make them re-playable, techniques for making non-player characters with interesting personalities, guidelines for immersion, and shortcuts to design.

Intended Audience

The talk is intended for writers and designers of narrative games, but also anyone who wants to weave meaningful narrative into game play. It will also be of interest to players of 'King of Dragon Pass' and 'Six Ages' (and is spoiler-free).