After a career as a student of many subjects and manager of a discotheque, Wolfgang Walk turned his hobby, computer games, into a profession in the mid-1990s and joined Blue Byte as a story designer and project manager. Since then, he has been trying to grasp what he is working on at all, which has not prevented him from participating in more than 30 games and spreading the reasons for his ignorance at German universities since 2006. In 2005 he started his own business as a producer, narrative designer and lecturer. Recent publications are the games "In Between" (2015) and "Phoning Home" (2017). He is the main author of a paper on a new design framework for games, which has been available from Springer-Gabler since April 2017 in the book "Game Dynamics - Best Practices in Procedural and Dynamic Game Content Generation". Since the end of 2016, he has also been a regular contributor to Germany's largest games podcast "The Pod".
The role of a proper game world design as a driver of gripping narratives is well-known and increasingly well understood among game designers. What has yet to be discovered and learned is the design field where game rules and mechanics both become a natural part of the underlying game world, thus avoiding the notorious ludo-narrative dissonance. This talk will lay out some basics to understand how mechanics and game rules can be supported, enhanced and narratized by the graphical, acoustical, and narrative elements of the game world, to make the rule set a natural part of the game experience: something that must be exactly like it is designed, because it also emerges from the game world as an expression of its physics, laws, societies and morals. The goal is to confront the player not with two antagonists - the story AND the mechanics - but with only one: the game, that builds a unified aesthetic experience of challenge, journey, responsibility, agency and empowerment.
Designers (Mechanics, Graphic, Audio and Narratives) & Producers of all states of experience