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Narrative Landscapes: Shaping Player Experience through World Geometry
Price $7.95
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SKU GDC07-4621

Narrative Landscapes: Shaping Player Experience through World Geometry

Speakers: Brian Upton

Track: Game Design

Format: Lecture

Experience Level: All

Description: When a player moves through a game world the physical geometry of the virtual space imposes an implicit structure on the play experience. This session explores practical level design techniques for shaping that experience, drawing on examples from real games and theme parks as well as academic research in virtual environments and city planning.

The talk is divided into two main parts. The first, Navigation, covers basic techniques for keeping the player from getting and guiding him through the level. Topics include the design and placement of wienies, controlling flow, organizing space into conceptual chunks, encouraging and discouraging exploration, and typical pitfalls that can lead to player frustration.

The second part, Narrative, expands upon these basic techniques to discuss how the level geometry can be used to shape the player's emotional state. Topics include controlling cadence, establishing a story arc within a level, creating a feelings safety or danger, building tension or anticipation, and rewarding success.

Idea Takeaway: Attendees will leave the session with a set of practical techniques that can be used to improve level design in their games.

Intended Audience: This session is primarily intended for level designers and modelers who are interested in expanding their repertoire of techniques for creating fun levels. However no special knowledge is required to understand the concepts discussed.

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