You've been logged out of GDC Vault since the maximum users allowed for this account has been reached. To access Members Only content on GDC Vault, please log out of GDC Vault from the computer which last accessed this account.

Click here to find out about GDC Vault Membership options for more users.


The Number One Educational Resource for the Game Industry

Session Name:

Game Narrative Summit: 'Blackhaven' Postmortem: Designing Two Centuries of Difficult History in One Free Game


This talk will examine the conception, development, and release of Blackhaven, an award nominated first person historical narrative mystery game released by Historiated Games in summer 2021. Blackhaven follows Kendra Turner, an intern from a historically Black college who uncovers a trail of secret misdeeds while working at Blackhaven Hall, the site of burned colonial American plantation. After a modest but successful release, historian and lead developer Dr. James Coltrain will reflect on how the Historiated team confronted challenges in historical sensitivity, representation, and narrative design to create a game emphasizing the lasting harms of American slavery. Strategies covered will include how Historiated used surviving artifacts and documents to ensure historical accuracy, wrote a main character who could provide her own historical context to players, and worked with community stakeholders to give them a voice in the game's production.

Did you know free users get access to 30% of content from the last 2 years?

Get your team full access to the most up to date GDC content

  • Game Developers Conference 2022
  • James Coltrain
  • Historiated Games
  • free content
  • Game Narrative Summit
  • Game Narrative