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Discover Linden Lab's approach to multiplayer narrative games at GDC Online
Discover Linden Lab's approach to multiplayer narrative games at GDC Online
October 4, 2012 | By Staff

October 4, 2012 | By Staff

Creating an interactive game narrative can be a complex, nuanced, and difficult process, and at next week's GDC Online, writer and Linden Lab developer Emily Short will take a moment to explore how developers can create choice-driven games for multiple players.

During her session, "Choice and Character: Lessons from Writing Multiplayer Narrative Games," Short will draw from her experience working on Linden Lab's new interactive storytelling platform to discuss various types of player choice, and how designers can create dynamic and emotionally satisfying experiences.

For example, she'll explain how developers can pay off significant player choices by "designing character crises that can be triggered automatically at dramatically appropriate moments." This talk will offer plenty of useful insight for developers working on story-driven games, or those interested in simulating complex, nuanced characters.

Short is particularly well-equipped to discuss complex character simulation, as she is one of the co-founders of the experimental game studio Little Text People, a small company dedicated to exploring the possibilities of interactive fiction (the studio was acquired by Second Life creator Linden Lab earlier this year).

As part of GDC Online's Game Narrative Summit, this talk will be open to All Access pass holders. The show itself will take place October 9-11 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas.

In addition to the above presentation, GDC Online recently added the following talks to the show's Game Narrative Summit:

- Playdom designer Martha Sapeta will share the complex backstory of one of the studio's major hidden object titles in "Playdom's Blackwood & Bell Mysteries: The Nutshell Narrative Case." Unlike most social games, Blackwood & Bell Mysteries put a distinct emphasis on story, and during this session Sapeta will discuss how her team found a way to introduce an actual narrative into the typically minimalist Facebook space.

- Elsewhere, Zynga designers Steven Williams and Jonathon Myers will discuss their approach to telling stories on Facebook in "Indiana Jones Adventure World: Narrative for Social Games." Using examples from this popular Facebook game, the pair will discuss how developers can draw inspiration from serialized storytelling techniques and traditional Sunday comic strips to create new, weekly online stories.

These new talks join scores of other sessions already announced for GDC Online. For more information on any of the 100+ talks in the show's lineup, check out GDC Online's official Schedule Builder.

(This is the final GDC Online show in Austin -- organizers have announced a successor, Game Developers Conference Next, debuting in Los Angeles in November 2013 alongside the new App Developers Conference.)

To learn more about GDC Online, visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

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Alan Rimkeit
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You lost me at Linden Lab's. Second Life is the sewer of Cyberspace second only to 4Chan.

Lance Douglas
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Second Life has ways to filter out adult content, and to report anything abusive or illegal. To reach the adult areas at all, you have to input personal info to get special access. So if you find something that offends you, it means you had to go looking for it. Many of the users are older women who just like to tend their own private gardens and don't even know about the seedier side, because they don't go looking for it.

Second Life is an example of pure user created content in a 3d environment. Its not perfect, but if you are looking for a place that gives you the freedom to create whatever you want and share it with others, its not a bad tool for amateurs. User created content is a trend that many developers are trying to put into their games now. Minecraft and Little Big Planet being other examples. And whenever you allow users to create their own stuff in your game, you are bound to have things that some people find offensive. It's just human nature.
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