Award-winning game designer and narrative designer Chris Bateman has been working on games since the 16-bit consoles and has over fifty published game credits, most recently acclaimed PlayStation VR game The Persistence and the much-anticipated strategy sequel Tropico 6. The founder of Develop Award Nominee International Hobo Ltd, the first consultancy to combine narrative and game design skills under one roof, Chris won the IGDA's MVP Award for his work founding and running the organisation's highly-successful Game Writers Special Interest Group.
Narrative Design is the art and craft of combining the practices of game designers with the practices of writers, and it is a skill unique to the games industry. This talk works as a ‘survival guide’ to the challenges of designing engaging narrative videogames by breaking down the different structural approaches relevant to game stories and identifying the ‘fault lines’ between player agency and conventional narrative theory. Although the practices of narrative design are as old as the industry, the first ‘narrative designer’ job role was created in 2002 by International Hobo, which set up shop in 1999 with the goal of combining game design and writing talent under one roof. Through the IGDA Game Writing Special Interest Group, the terms ‘narrative design’ and ‘narrative designer’ spread throughout the games industry. This talk shares Chris experience of the narrative design problems of his more than fifty videogame projects, and offers new methods for analysing narrative design and practical solutions to common problems. Core to this ‘survival guide’ is an understanding of game structures, the different ways that the inherently repetitive elements of game design (the ‘core game loop’, and more besides) inevitably create stories from the player’s perspective, whether or not the game expressly tries to implement narrative elements. Don't die in the game story wilderness – let The Narrative Design Survival Guide protect you from the risks of bringing stories right into the heart of the player experience.
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Develop is a very important place – it’s one of the few developer focussed conferences we have in Europe and that makes it very valuable.
We are so lucky to have Develop here in the UK. It’s a unique event where you can come and discover new things with people who care passionately about video games. It’s a sea full of new ideas.
Building games is hard and it’s taxing physically, mentally and emotionally. So being around a community that understands that is great – there’s a comraderie here.
There’s something creative about Brighton, so it’s the perfect place to have the conference.
Develop is an excellent way of catching up with people – there’s a really nice community feel here.
Mike Bithell Games
A lot of the opportunities that come from being here are speaking to other developers who are doing exactly the same thing as you. And there are some good parties – it’s very much a pleasurable work experience!
One of the things I like about Develop is it brings people together from across Europe and the whole world. There is a very high level of professionals here, so you have company leaders having drinks with juniors from their community.
Dr Mata Haggis-Burridge
I’ve been to every single Develop in the last 12 years. One thing you get here is networking - you will meet the most amazing individuals in the video games industry.
By coming to Develop what you get is the opportunity to network like you can’t in any other situation. Everyone knows everyone and it’s such a wonderful community feel.
Develop is the must-attend event for the games industry in the UK. It’s where we all come together and learn from each other. It’s the best way into the industry and it’s the best place to learn from your colleagues.
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