GDC Online: The Evolution of Game Narrative

Next month sees the return of GDC Online, the Games Developers Conference focused on online, social and cloud gaming. One of the most popular parts of this annual gathering is the Game Narrative Summit — a series of lectures and workshops about how to share storytelling in all its forms, from flagship MMOs to small smartphone games.

Helping shape this year’s Summit are Tom Abernathy, Narrative Designer and Writer at Microsoft Studios, and Richard Dansky, Central Clancy Writer for Red Storm Entertainment. Abernathy has previously worked on Halo: Reach, Destroy All Humans and Crimson Alliance, while Dansky’s credits include Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon and Far Cry. Both were listed in Gamasutra’s Top 20 Game Writers, and together they form half of the Game Narrative Summit Advisory Committee. 

With the conference itself just a few weeks away, I was fortunate enough to get the chance to talk about game narrative with these legends of storytelling.  In an enlightening dialogue, we discussed the diverse nature of this year’s Summit, before moving on to the evolving nature of narrative in a changing industry. I also discovered the techniques used in building narrative for online games, and how new technology is being used to perform storytelling.