GDC 2014

GDC 2014 Session Scheduler

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Export Schedule:

Emergent Stories in Crusader Kings II

Henrik Fahraeus  |  Game Designer, Paradox Development Studio


Location: Room 2020, West Hall

Format: Session
Track: Design
Vault Recording: Video


"Emergent gameplay" is still a buzzword in the field of game design, and it remains an enticing idea because it is the key to near infinite replayability. An important subset of the concept is "emergent narrative," that is, the unwritten stories that appear out of the simulation itself. This talk explores the (often bloody) emergent stories of the open-ended strategy RPG Crusader Kings II, the quest for balance between narrative forms, and the vast untapped potential of this type of game. Can emergent stories ever be as immersive as written stories? The experiences gained during the development and life cycle of Crusader Kings II might point the way.

Takeaway

It is possible to create drama without a plot. Emergent stories can provide near infinite replayability. Written narrative and emergent narrative are not mutually exclusive, and written stories can be more or less dynamic; a mix of the two can provide freeform yet dramatic gameplay, even in a sandbox game.

Intended Audience

Anyone with an interest in game design should be able to take something away from the talk. No particular prerequisite knowledge is necessary.