Michelle Clough

Writer/Editor/Narrative Designer, Talespinners

Michelle Clough is a freelance writer, editor, and narrative designer from Vancouver, BC; she’s also the newest member of Talespinners, a game writer co-op that provides narrative services to game studios and developers. Michelle has worked on everything from dating sims to sci-fi TPS games to VR experiences. Her credits include Purrfect Date, Helheim Hassle, 1931: Scheherazade at the Library of Pergamum, EverReach: Project Eden, Rise Eterna, as well as several unreleased titles she Can’t Talk About (tm).

Michelle is also chair of the IGDA Romance and Sexuality special interest group and a devoted advocate for more diverse, healthy, and enjoyable erotic content and sex appeal in games. She has given highly-acclaimed lectures at GDC, PAX, and QGCon on the topics of sex, sensuality, and creating attractive characters for diverse audiences. Her goal: to promote healthy, respectful, sex-positive values in the game industry... and some fun titillation and sexiness for everyone!


Let’s talk about sex, baby! As games and their stories mature, so do their willingness to tackle mature topics like sex and sexuality, and to show characters engaging in implicit (and explicit!) intimacy. But, uh... how DO you write and design good sex scenes in games, anyway?

In one hour, we’ll answer the question (or, at least, equip you to find the answers yourself!) with an array of sex-positive strategies, tools, and approaches to writing and narrative design for sexual content and sex scenes. Whether it’s gently herding your shy dev team through the initial concept stages, integrating your sex scenes with the larger context of your character arcs, or getting down to the nitty gritty of an intimate moment, this talk will guide you through the process of writing and designing sex scenes that are narratively compelling, memorable, and hot. Along the way, we’ll tackle some burning questions and unusual topics, like how to defeat Uncanny Valley through the power of narrative design, how NOT to use sex in quests, and how “fading to black” isn’t always the best choice for your story.

This session is for any writer, narrative designer, or game dev who is working on, may work on, or WANTS to work on games with sexual scenes in them. Audience will take away a toolbox for brainstorming, structuring, and designing sexual content at every stage of development and narrative.

Presenters: Toiya Kristen Finley, Rachel Presser, Alexandra Lucas, Michelle Clough

When we talk about networking, going to conferences, getting secret invites to parties, and joining groups online are some of the things we usually cover. But another major aspect of networking that we hardly ever discuss is speaking at conferences like ECGC.

Giving a lecture, taking part on a panel, leading a workshop—that’s all networking! Presenting at conferences is a great way to introduce yourself to large audiences, reveal your expertise to the industry, and convince people that you’re somebody to get to know and work with.

If you’ve ever thought about submitting talks to conferences, but you’re not sure if you’re ready, this panel is for you. We’ll cover

  • how you determine which conferences to pitch to,
  • how you know when you’re ready to pitch,
  • what to pitch,
  • how to pitch, and
  • how to brand yourself through your talks.