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GDC + VRDC 2019 Session Scheduler

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Evolving Emotional Storytelling in thatgamecompany's 'Sky'

Jennie Kong  (Story Writer, thatgamecompany)

Location: Room 3016, West Hall

Date: Monday, March 18

Time: 4:40 pm - 5:10 pm

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

Topic: Game Narrative Summit

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

As thatgamecompany began to build an ever-expanding online story world for their new game 'Sky', they had to evolve their story development process to create an emotionally-driven game anchored in "connection and altruism" for a multiplayer narrative setting. Story writer Jennie Kong will present the studio's unique re-iterative method to finding the emotional engine for their story and player narrative. This includes a look at the studio's approach on evolving the linear structure to create multiplayer emotion, creating a world with layered non-verbal story content, and crafting compassionate behavior within a community through beta testing narrative design.


Attendees will come away with new insights into thatgamecompany's story development approach to emotional storytelling. With a focus on building emotion within a multiplayer and non-linear setting, they will hear both high-level and specific examples from 'Sky' to learn from.

Intended Audience

Aimed at indie studios, story/game writers and narrative designers, the presentation covers story development and design techniques that impact player emotion and experience. Creators wanting to make artistic, enriching and non-traditional games will benefit from the talk, as well as students and developers experimenting with new genres.