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GDC + VRDC 2019 Session Scheduler

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Storytelling in Small Spaces: Practical Narrative Design for Mobile Games

Tracey John  (Studio Lead, Narrative Design, King)

Location: Room 3016, West Hall

Date: Tuesday, March 19

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

Does a mobile game need narrative design if it doesn't have a deep story, or even if it's "just" a puzzle game? Although most mobile players don't read, there is research that shows the same players also want to know more about the story and characters for a sense of purpose, motivation, and gratification. So how do players get a satisfying context without being bombarded with tap-heavy dialogues or drawn-out cutscenes? This session will look at how to design narratives that contextualize gameplay in mobile games, and the best practices for optimizing narrative opportunities.


Attendees will learn best practices in executing narrative design and contextualizing gameplay in mobile games through UX, UI, visuals, and microcopy. This will be done by looking at examples from popular King games.

Intended Audience

The target audience of this session is anyone who wants to learn how to better execute narrative design or optimize narrative opportunities for their mobile games, regardless of genre, company, and team resources. There is no prerequisite knowledge required.