2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

The Narrative Debate in Game Design

#sxsw #GameDebate

The debate surrounding narratives in games generally centers around player agency and interactivity. Some believe narratives enrich games, while others wish for purely system-based experiences. What is the future of narratives in games given a lack of writing quality and seemingly growing desire for games that only focus on moment-to-moment player agency? How can game narratives thrive into the next generation of games and players?
Examples of Narrative-Based Games: Twine Games, Bioshock Infinite, Bastion, Kentucky Route Zero
Examples of System-Based Games: DOTA 2, Minecraft, Rouge Legacy, Mercenary Kings, Nidhogg
The panel will consist of a moderator, pro-narrative, pro-mechanical, and pro-games person.

This SXSW Gaming Session at the Long Center is FREE and open to the public. However SXSW Interactive, Film, Gold and Platinum badges gain priority seating.



Davey Wreden

Creative Mistress

Galactic Cafe


John Warren

Founder & CEO

Minicore Studios LLC

John has an undergraduate background in psychology and media studies and an MBA in Digital Media Management from St. Edward's University. But, perhaps more importantly, he's been playing video games ever since he could hold a controller. Put it all together and you have a character with strong critical insight into the workings of the game industry and what it means to be a gamer.
Day-to-day, John keeps Minicore Studios running, juggling networking, financials, and industry analysis, as well as hands-on project management, testing, and design. In short, he’s the guy that finds the place where individual creativity and public demand meet.


Jordan Mallory

Lead Writer

Minicore Studios LLC

Having spent nearly three years traveling the world as a Contributing Editor for renowned video game news outlet Joystiq.com, Jordan is now the Lead Writer for Austin-based indie development house Minicore Studios. The company's next big release, an alternate history action platformer dubbed 'The Sun at Night,' is expected to launch on PC this February.

In his spare time, Jordan is a burgeoning YouTube personality and hip-hop artist.


Shay Pierce

Dictator for Life

Deep Plaid Games

Shay was 6 years old when he forced an Italian plumber to sprint 100 yards and fling himself into a pit of lava. Shay's life was never the same (though Mario was surprisingly unaffected, in fact he was on his feet again just seconds later).
Shay has a storied, 10-year career in game development (including working at Blizzard on Hearthstone in its earliest days). His long professional career ultimately led him to realize that his true love was crafting simple but elegant gameplay, either alone or with friends. Today Shay focuses on developing indie games, such as his iOS puzzle game Connectrode, which he both designed and coded.

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