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The Casual (but Regal) Swipe: Creating Game Mechanics in 'Reigns'

Francois Alliot  (Game Dev & Writer , Nerial)

Date: Wednesday, March 17

Time: 12:25 pm - 12:55 pm

Track: Programming

Format: Discussion Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

This GDC 2017 talk will feature real-time interaction with the speaker through online chat messaging during its scheduled broadcast. The development and writing of the "year by year" strategy game, 'Reigns', explored the potential of its core system, the swiping mechanic "à la tinder". In this talk, 'Reigns' co-creator Francois Alliott explains how the team gave themselves a set of constraints defined by the gameplay they were exploring and the tone they wanted to give to the game. But these rules never dictated the writing of the game or the extent of what the game could be. Bifurcation and wandering were essential to write both the code and the content of 'Reigns' throughout the 6 months of its production. This sort of approach, although apparently messy and unstructured, is very powerful, especially for indies. Alliot believes that the industry is at the point where game development could almost be considered as accessible as writing, because the tools are less of an obstacle, and explains in this GDC talk how creators can use the same skills as novelists or poets: work by constant iteration on a design that evolves through the process of creating it.


This talk will explain how to anticipate the potential of a system, to not get trapped by something you can't implement. In addition, how to "put things behind you" by adding stuff to the game rather than the endless polishing of its elements, and how to teach yourself the skills required by your game during its development will also be covered.