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Session Name A World from Words: Highly Interactive Stories with Text
Speaker(s) Jon Ingold
Company Name(s) inkle
Track / Format Independent Games Summit
Overview inkle's recent iOS release, Steve Jackson's Sorcery!, is a text-based game that tells a story and provides player choices entirely through words - using minimal art and no animation or cut-scenes. Despite this, it achieved 85%+ reviews on IGN, Kotaku and elsewhere, and reached the top 20 all-app iPad chart in both the US and the UK. Creating a commercial success in a genre usually perceived as either too retro or else too avant-garde for the mainstream required a tight focus on the strengths of working with text: versatility, modularity, fast iteration and expressiveness. Using examples from Sorcery!'s script, we will demonstrate how we built a game with two people in six months that has several thousand meaningful story-choices and no canned sequences.

GDC Europe 2013

Jon Ingold


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