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Session Name:

Tabletop Summit: Encouraging Emergent Narratives with Puzzle Design in 'Decorum'


How do developers encourage players to see moving pieces around a board as a relationship argument? In this session, game designer Charlie Mackin breaks down how her team injected narrative into their puzzle designs, while still allowing each player's group dynamics to lead the interaction. She'll give specific examples from Decorum, a cooperative puzzle game themed around partners decorating a house together including puzzle design tricks and tips, mechanic and theme alignment, and how much in-box narrative is enough. Then, she'll talk more broadly about the importance of letting interactions happen naturally, and leaning into the player's own assumptions to create a more genuine exchange.

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  • Game Developers Conference 2023
  • Charlie Mackin
  • Independent
  • free content
  • Tabletop Summit
  • Design