Every year I scan through the GDC list for things of interest to interactive narrative/IF folks. Here are a few favorites from this year, though the Narrative Summit as a whole is likely to be worth scanning through.
Monday at 11:20, Narrative Summit, The World as Your Canvas: Telling Location-Based Stories covering things from AR projects to immersive theatre. Alternatively, at the same time
Indie Summit, Everything I Said Was Wrong: Why Indie Is Different Now. Some excellent, knowledgeable and watchable speakers talk about how the indie environment has morphed over the past few years.
Monday 1:20, VR track, Behind the Spherical Stage: Taking VR Storytelling Beyond Games and Movies. I’m interested in what can be done with VR immersive theatre in particular, so curious about this.
Monday, 3:00, Kate Compton on Practical Procedural Generation for Everyone. Kate’s famous for Tracery but has done loads of other fun and fascinating procedural generation tools and projects, and is also a champion of bringing those toolsets to amateur and indie creators.
At the exact same time, Telling Story Through Sound: Building an Interactive “Radio Play” also sounds interesting.
Monday, 3:50, AI Summit, Alan Hinchcliffe and Mitu Khandaker-Kokoris talk about Little Invasion Tales and the dynamic storytelling they do there. (Disclosure: Alan and Mitu are coworkers of mine at Spirit AI. This is a separate — and cool — project, though.)
Perversely scheduled at the same time as that, but in the Game Narrative Summit, Chris Martens and Rogelio Cordona-Rivera talk about Procedural Narrative Generation. (This is why the Vault exists, I suppose.)
Tuesday, 10:00, Narrative Innovation Showcase, featuring me and various other people talking about our experimental/cutting edge projects.
Tuesday, 1:20, Shawn Allen on Breaking Marginalized Character Narrative Molds to Write Better, Richer Characters.
Tuesday, also 1:20, Independent Game Summit, Building Game Mechanics to Elevate Narrative in Oxenfree. I’m always interested in this mechanics plus story question, and the details of how those turned out.
Tuesday at 4:40, Jolie Menzel is running a level design tutorial called a Narrative Approach to Level Design.
Wednesday at noon, Joseph Humfrey from inkle presents on Creating Interactive Film Scripts for 3D Adventures with Ink:
This talk introduces the concept of an “interactive film script”, using inkle’s open source narrative scripting language, Ink. As a development philosophy, taking a script-first approach promotes narrative pacing and continuity as a primary goal in development. How can ink, a text-based format, be used within a freely explorable 3D scene? This presentation will demonstrate with practical examples how entire scenes of flexible dialog can be written and tested in isolation, before they’re easily imported into Unity to be played with no modification.
Thursday at 10 AM, Jon Ingold speaks on Narrative Sorcery: Coherent Storytelling in an Open World:
Over four games and four years the ‘Sorcery!’ series has evolved from linear gamebook adaptations to fully open-world story-games. Players explore freely, encountering narrative content in any order and creating hundreds of small and large scale consequences, all of which are persistent. With the game rendered entirely through prose text, continuity is critical to ensuring believability, and in this talk Jon will outline how inkle Ltd designed and scripted the game to work in an ad-hoc fashion, using defensive logic to ensure the story gets told and makes sense regardless of how it comes about.
Thursday 5:30-6:30, the typically excellent GDC microtalks feature both Meg Jayanth and Christine Love.
Here is last year’s post on GDC, which contains some more general advice about coping if it is your first.