GDC 14 Lecture Resources

I am making this blog as place with extra resources for a talk I will be giving at GDC on Tuesday next week (14.20 at the Narrative Summit). The talk is called “Making Storytelling a Fundamental Part of the Gameplay Experience” and will be about a new approach to narrative design called 4-Layers. I only have 25 minutes to give the talk and there is a lot of stuff I cannot explain at proper depth; this page is a way to make up for that. I will also post a link to the cleaned up script of the talk here when I get back.

If you are planning on attending this talk, these links should also serve as some warm up to some of the concepts I will cover!

Here comes resources:


Nailing Down Terminology: This is a huge stumbling block when discussing narrative in games, as story means so many things to a lot of people. Here I have tried to give a basic overview on what I mean with the different words.

Core Elements of Interactive Storytelling

This is more in-depth information on the core elements that I discuss in the lecture:
5 Core Elements of Interactive Storytelling
Thoughts on The Last of Us

My post on Last Of Us go over some more examples of when a game manages to really shine with storytelling, as well as the moments when it does not.

This is a longer essay that goes over the idea that the core of a game is made up in the player’s mind.


When designing puzzles, it is important to not just see them as some intrinsically interesting element, they must serve some purpose to the narrative. This means there is a lot of things you need to think about when designing one. Some of these things should also apply to non-puzzle gameplay.

High-Level Storytelling Design: Here I go over how the high level design of most adventure games is flawed from a narrative perspective.

Puzzles: What Are They Good For?: When are puzzles useful?

Puzzles and Causal Histories: Thinking of puzzles as a way for the designer to make the player do certain actions but still feel agency.