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Ten Years with Thoreau: What a Hermit Can Teach About Game Design


Designer Tracy Fullerton discusses the design challenges behind of translating Henry David Thoreau's classic work Walden into a game and what game designers can learn about creating experimental play from this 19th century philosopher-hermit. This session will discuss specific design problems with translation of a work, which is at its core a rejection of the common aspirations that underlie traditional living, and, by extension, traditional gameplay systems. How can the designer set player expectations in a game world where more is not necessarily better; where time is both a resource to be managed and a simple stream to be experienced, and where the value of actions, items and rewards may not be as simple as they first seem?

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  • GDC 2019
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