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Friday, April 29 • 4:30pm - 5:00pm
Innovating on Death Mechanics in Games

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Death has been a prevalent mechanic in video games starting almost as early as the birth of the medium. Arcade games like Space Invaders and home console games like Super Mario Bros popularized death mechanics like life-systems (a certain amount of retries designated to a player after they’ve died) and respawning (when a player reappears at a fixed point in the game, after they die) in order to challenge the player and encourage them to continue playing — and paying quarters, in the case of arcade games.

Since then we’ve seen death evolve in mechanically and narratively interesting ways, from replacing health bars with damage vignettes (Call of Duty 2), to altering gameplay by making death permanent (Mass Effect, Spelunky, Undertale). Game developers are innovating on how death is treated in their games, and adapting it to fit new technologies.

In this talk we will be looking at the various death mechanics video games have utilized in the past, how game developers are innovating on death to best fit their games, and the future of death in video games — with a focus on how it’s being used in future technologies like virtual and augmented reality.

avatar for Gabby DaRienzo

Gabby DaRienzo

Co-Founder and Artist, Laundry Bear Games
Gabby DaRienzo is a Toronto-based independent video game developer whose work is often influenced by death. She has written pieces for Killscreen and A MAZE Mag about death positivity in video games, and is the host and producer of the Play Dead Podcast which talks with game developers... Read More →

Friday April 29, 2016 4:30pm - 5:00pm
Redstone Theater

Attendees (36)