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Video: Designing levels for a video game mixtape

September 6, 2019 | By Staff

September 6, 2019 | By Staff
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More: Console/PC, Indie, Design, Video, Vault

In this 2017 GDC talk, Alejandro Quan-Madrid discusses the creation of mobile game FRKN WKND, a kind of video game mixtape that's made up of a collection of autobiographical vignette games.

It's well worth a watch, if only to better understand the unique approach Quan-Madrid took to game design. Without an explicit narrative, the variety of games and their relative order are used to convey a story.

This approach relies upon the principles of montage; for example, the first chapter features slices of life that go from coding to testing a game to checking social media and getting harassed, to finally meditating to come back down. Each of these games/levels on their own is a specific kind of experience, but in this order, you begin to see the perspective of the phone's owner as the player performs as them. 

Quan-Madrid offered up some intriguing insights into how this kind of mixtape approach, playing out across a mobile phone interface, allows for some remarkably creative possibilities for level design and flow. 

If you haven't seen it yet, good news: Quan-Madrid's talk is now available (completely free!) to watch on the official GDC YouTube channel!

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its accompanying YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.

Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC or VRDC already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page

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