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How to Bring Story and Gameplay Together

Instructor: Susan O'Connor

March 4 and 5, 2021 | 9:00 am-1:00 pm PT both days


Registration for this course is now closed.

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Course Description

Designers want to build a great game. Writers want to craft an amazing story. They’re on the same team, pursuing the same goal: create an unforgettable experience for the player. So why are these collaborations so tricky? Some days, it can seem like they’re speaking two different languages. What gets in the way, and how can we improve the process? After working on over 25 games, from indie to AAA, Susan O’Connor has developed a set of best practices that any team can use to get writers and designers moving in the same direction. This two-day, hands-on, interactive workshop will help you ship your best work yet.

 

Course Type

Two-Day Course: This is a single course that takes place over two four-hour days with limited breaks.

 

Intended Audience

This masterclass is for writers, designers, and any developer who plays a role in creating a playable story. Attendees who have shipped a title will benefit most from this experience.

 

Key Takeaways

  • Find out how to structure a story that gameplay can’t break
  • Learn best practices, through case studies of past projects
  • Discover why the secret to great storytelling is your player’s job (do you know what it is?)
  • Learn how to diagnose the root causes of your game/story problems - and how to fix them
  • Master the practical, step-by-step process that helps designers and writers collaborate successfully
  • Tackle your project’s biggest game/storytelling challenges - and solve them, during this workshop

 

Prerequisites

There will be a series of videos prepared by the instructor to watch prior to attending this course.

 

Instructor Bio

Susan’s first job as a game writer was for “a slumber party game - for girls!” She’s gone on to work on over 25 projects, including award-winning titles in the BioShock, Far Cry and Tomb Raider franchises. Titles in her portfolio have sold over 30 million copies and generated over $500 million in sales. She is an adjunct professor at UT Austin, where she teaches a course on writing for games. A long time ago, she founded the Game Narrative Summit at GDC. Now, she partners with studios, publishers, and writers to help teams ship great games with great stories. She is dedicated to supporting creatives in the games industry so that they can do their best work.

Please review the GDC Masterclass Registration Policies prior to registering and contact GDC Masterclass Registration with any questions.

For group registration inquiries, please email GDC Group Registration.

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