Head of Polyhedron Productions
C.J. Kershner is the head of Polyhedron Productions, an independent studio and narrative consultancy. By the time you read this, he will have (hopefully) finished work on a point-and-click adventure produced and set in the Middle East. Previously, he was nominated for a WGA Award for a game about stabbing people in Victorian London, wrote part of a game where players shot endangered animals in the Himalayas for a fashion show, and wrote another game in which the United States was conquered by North Korea. He likes to hike, drink, and collect books. He hates social media.
Songs of Solitude: Telling More Story with Less
How do you tell a story without words? How do you create a world rich with history without reams of lore? Is it possible to guide players through an emotionally resonant experience if you haven’t even taught them the mechanics? Every so often a game comes along that captures the hearts and imaginations of players, yet uses few – if any – of the traditional elements associated with narrative in video games, or uses them in unexpected ways. This talk studies several minimalist games, attempts to identify common elements, explore the psychological reasons they affect players, and offer suggestions on if, and how, they might be used in our own work.