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Session Name:

'Heaven's Vault': Creating a Dynamic Detective Story


Inkle's latest game, 'Heaven's Vault', is an archaeological adventure game, but plays out as a detective story with the player following a chain of leads from one ancient ruin to another. However, inspired by designs like 'The Last Express' and 'Blade Runner: The Adventure Game', the path the player takes is fully dynamic, with no prescribed path, few bottlenecks and no fail state. In this talk, Jon will outline the strategies inkle have adopted to achieve this, building on previous work in 'Sorcery!' and '80 Days'. He'll demonstrate how the game design mixes adaptive authored content and procedurally generated "glue" content to ensure players are always making progress and making new discoveries regardless of which scenes they play, in what order, and what they manage or fail to discover. He'll also discuss how automated testing has been integrated into the writing workflow to empower greater freedom of action.

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  • GDC 2018
  • Jon Ingold
  • inkle
  • free content
  • Design
  • Design