GDC 2013 Panel: 2K Games Examines Gameplay Violence in Context


Plus Ubisoft Montpellier Discusses the Mythology of ZombiU

Details after the jump.


The Game Narrative Summit, formerly a part of GDC Online, will make its debut at the 2013 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. A historical “fan favorite” among attendees and journalists, the Summit covers interactive narrative in all its forms, from AAA blockbusters to indie games to transmedia projects.

In Walt Williams’ GDC 2013 Game Narrative Summit talk, ”We Are Not Heroes: Contextualizing Violence Through Narrative ,“ the 2K Games lead writer and narrative designer will discuss his experiences in helping to create the critically-acclaimed military shooter Spec Ops: The Line. Williams’ talk will examine how violence in a game can be applied in a sophisticated way: skilled crafting of the story, themes, and choices around Spec Ops: The Line’s most basic mechanic (shooting), led to a more immersive and emotionally impactful experience for players. Developers who attend the session will be encouraged to explore new themes and stories within established genres.

The Summit will also feature a talk by Gabrielle Shrager, story design director, Ubisoft Montpellier and Antony Johnston, New York Times best-selling graphic novelist and games writer, titled “ZombiU: Creating an Undead Cult .“ During the talk, Shrager and Johnston will explain how narrative ideas and concepts influenced gameplay, visual design, and even marketing in ways that helped ZombiU become one of the most anticipated launch titles for the Wii U.

Other recently announced GDC sessions include the Visual Arts track talk “Brave New World: New Bungie IP,” wherein Joe Staten and Christopher Barrett of Bungie will host a presentation filled with concept art and design case studies stemming from the team’s successful 20-year run. Attendees will learn about the company’s world building pillars and see how these were put to use to create Bungie’s next great universe of games.

And, in the Free to Play Design and Business Summit, Games Guru Tommy Palm will host a postmortem discussion intended to dissect the carefully planned ascension of the extremely popular cross-platform title Candy Crush Saga. In “Candy Crush Saga Postmortem: Luck in the Right Places,” Palm will describe how he and the team removed luck from the game making process, while sprinkling it in balanced proportions throughout the map and levels of the game. This process led to one trillion candies being crushed in less than a year’s time, with the game becoming the number one social game by daily average users, and one of the top 5 monetizing games on mobile in the top 10 markets.

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