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Feeding the Maw: Managing a Live Narrative Game in 'Fallen London'

Olivia Wood  (Writer, Editor and Content Manager, Failbetter Games)

Location: Room 2010, 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: Production & Team Management, Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Intermediate

'Fallen London' is approaching its tenth birthday. It is a live narrative game that supports all of Failbetter's other projects, meaning that the company can more easily afford to take creative risks. This session will look at the difficulties of maintaining a live narrative game and how Failbetter has adapted to surmount them. These adaptations have created a supportive fan base, benefited the company financially and fostered an environment that supports employee well-being. Olivia is writer, editor and content manager at Failbetter, and as such is involved in several of the disciplines required to maintain the success of 'Fallen London'. Join her in this session to hear the story behind it.


Attendees will learn how Failbetter keeps their long-running narrative game fresh and profitable, and how to support, reward and mobilize a fan base. They will be given insight into the perils and benefits of a live content management system and an understanding of the role of freelancers in reducing writer burnout on a game without end.

Intended Audience

This session should be of particular use to those with an interest in long-running live games, particularly narrative games. It is also very relevant to those managing small teams on long-term projects, or those working on teams small enough for individuals to sometimes work outside their core skill set.sometimes work outside their core skill set.