Amanda Gardner

Co-Founder/Writer for Cell

Amanda Gardner is a lifelong nerd, gamer and storyteller. She began her career as an English teacher for over 10 years, while her husband Bill worked in the AAA game business at Irrational Games as Lead Designer on BioShock and the Design Director on BioShock Infinite. Amanda and Bill partnered up as the game dev duo The Deep End Games three years ago and just launched Perception, a thriller about a blind woman’s journey to prove herself by exploring the haunted mansion from her nightmares, on PC/XB1/PS4 (and soon Switch). Amanda’s also a mother of four, a yoga teacher, and a self-improvement junkie.

Talk Description:

How to Incorporate Literary References in your Game Without Sounding Like a Pretentious Ass

In transitioning from an English teacher/author to a video game writer, Amanda took a part of the classroom into the studio of The Deep End Games. While working on Perception, she found herself drawing inspiration from her favorite lesson plans. By using thematic parallels from classic literature, she was able to deepen the narrative of her game, while giving book nerds a little wink and nod. We’re not talking high-falootin’ fancy talk, though. It’s possible to “get lit” and write a story that is layered, where literary folks will appreciate the references and the rest of the audience will appreciate a sophisticated and deep narrative.

A life-long gamer, Amanda has been fully-immersed in the geek lifestyle for as long as she can remember. Amanda is excited to bring to you the story of Cassie and the estate at Echo Bluff, and has enjoyed transitioning from teaching high school English and writing urban fantasy novels to writing and producing video games.

Perception is a first person narrative horror adventure from members of the Bioshock team that puts players in the shoes of a young blind woman who must use her extraordinary hearing and razor-sharp wits to solve mysteries and escape a deadly presence, all without sight.

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