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Jon Ingold's Blog   Expert Blogs


I'm the narrative director of inkle, the indie studio behind the IGF Narrative award winning 80 Days, and RPS's RPG of the year 2016, Steve Jackson's Sorcery! That means I do a fair bulk of the design, most of the balancing, and most of the writing for our games, and I'm usually the last person out as a project is finalised, editing and tweaking the story content right up to release. 

We also released ink, our engine for branching text, as an open-source project, along with an IDE, Unity plug-in and an example project. We're using it to power our latest game, Heaven's Vault

We usually blog on the inkle blog, or the Heaven's Vault tumblr account, about our news, and general game design issues. 


Expert Blogs

Posted by Jon Ingold on Thu, 17 Jun 2021 09:31:00 EDT in Design
New murder-mystery game Overboard! uses a unique patchwork approach to dialogue to assemble its case against the prime suspect... whoever that might be!

Posted by Jon Ingold on Fri, 22 May 2020 01:15:00 EDT in Design, Indie
For our upcoming game Pendragon we've tied a dynamic narrative engine to a chess-like strategy game. Boards, moves, pieces... and combinatorial explosion. Here's how it works.

Posted by Jon Ingold on Wed, 23 Oct 2019 10:13:00 EDT in Design, Indie
Conversations should be dramatic, but maybe the player wants to just get some answers. How do you design a scene to balance both character and gameplay?

Posted by Jon Ingold on Wed, 22 Aug 2018 09:37:00 EDT
Heaven's Vault uses a knowledge model to track the player's activity and offer valid actions and dialogue. But it's also letting us give our characters' something else: a train of thought to guides what they say, when.

Posted by Jon Ingold on Thu, 21 Dec 2017 09:51:00 EST in Design, Indie
Writing game narrative is hard; cutting it is harder. But good, brutal editing is crucial to both managing your scope and delivering a tight story.

Posted by Jon Ingold on Thu, 24 Aug 2017 10:22:00 EDT in Design
Heaven's Vault's narrative sandwich is made of a layer of authored content, with procedural content spread on top, with more authored content placed on top of that. Here's how it works.

Jon Ingold's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 10/23/2019 - 10:13]

There 's lots of ways ...

There 's lots of ways to solve the bottleneck problem: perhaps you can force the information during the NPCs turn... perhaps you can force it at the end of the conversation... perhaps you force it at end but only if the player didn 't stumble on it for themselves... and ...

Comment In: [News - 07/02/2012 - 05:54]

Hey, thanks for the great ...

Hey, thanks for the great comment We 're really excited to see where people take inklewriter - especially writers, from all over the place, who might not have done interactive before. It 's almost too simple is a great description r n r n Monetization may come... we intend, at ...