I give regular talks at conferences & universities, covering a range of topics in game & narrative design. Below is a selection of videos, as well as a list of past talks.

Narrative Design for a Hero-Based Rogue-Lite: Mighty Quest Rogue Palace (devcom, 2023)

As games are an interactive medium, every new project poses the question HOW we want to convey its story. The first part of the answer usually lies in its game design, and how players are meant to interact with it.

To gain insights into this topic, I'm doing a deep-dive into the recently released Ubisoft-Netflix collaboration “Mighty Quest Rogue Palace” — a hack and slash rogue-lite. With its 20 playable heroes, it is designed as a non-linear choral adventure with 20 perspectives.

Note: VOD requires devcom login.

Endless Stories: Permanent and Temporary Narrative in F2P Live Games (GDC, 2021)

As part of the Free-to-Play Summit, I give a short minute exploration of different ways to work narrative into F2P Live Operations, specifically time-limited and live events.

(Segment starts at 33:40 min)
Note: VOD requires GDC Vault login.

Interview with Articy (2019)

A chat about the challenges of narrative design in mobile games, and my transition from PC/console to mobile.

Stories to Go: Narrative Design for Mobile Games (Womenize 2019)

The way mobile games are played results in shorter attention spans and an unwillingness to read text. But research shows that players are still curious about the world and its characters for a sense of purpose, motivation and gratification. In this talk, I look into designing narratives for a mobile audience.

Disempowerment Fantasies: How taking power away from players can create better games (Intel® Buzz Workshop 2018)

Video games have often been regarded as power fantasies. Yet many releases contradict this assumption and center gameplay around powerlessness, like the survival horror genre. This talk seeks to deconstruct the role of power in video games, analyze the various mechanics of disempowerment and suggest how actively taking power from the player may serve as a tool for making better games.


The Changing Face of Game Narratives (Womenize! 2018)

The way we make and play games has been constantly evolving, based on technological and cultural factors. For a while, the term interactive storytelling was used synonymously with branching narratives. But how to tell an engaging interactive story in our times of Let’s Plays, increasing AAA budget demands and new technologies like VR and AR? Let’s have a look at some vastly different modern solutions beyond the branching storyline, from the lore of Overwatch to the story system of The Novelist.

[German] Ken Follett's Säulen der Erde: Storytelling für ein Spiel auf Basis eines Buch-Bestsellers (Hamburg Games Conference 2017)

A comparison of storytelling in novels and video games and how we approached adapting one thing into the other while creating "Ken Follett's: The Pillars of the Earth".


Past Talks

  • The Playable Series: Writing Seasonal Narratives for Live Games
GDC • March 18, 2024 • San Francisco (USA)

  • Narrative Design for a Hero-Based Rogue-Lite: Mighty Quest Rogue Palace
Game Connection Europe • November 2, 2023 • Paris (France)

  • Narrative Design for a Hero-Based Rogue-Lite: Mighty Quest Rogue Palace
Devcom • August 21, 2023 • Cologne (Germany)

  • Long-Lasting Stories: Permanent vs Time-Limited Narrative Content in Live Games
Devcom • August 23, 2022 • Cologne (Germany)

  • Free-to-Play Summit: The Game Designer's Notebook (Topic: Permanent and Temporary Narrative in F2P Live Games)
    GDC • July 20, 2021 • Online

  • Narrative Puzzle Design in Adventure Games
    Gamerome • November 15, 2019 • Rome (Italy)

  • Narrative Puzzle Design in Adventure Games
    GIC • October 19, 2019 • Poznán (Poland)

  • Narrative Design for limited Spaces - Workshop
    Game Design Summit • October 18, 2019 • Poznán (Poland)

  • Stories To Go: Guidelines for Effective Narrative Design in Mobile Games
    Devcom • August 18, 2019 • Cologne (Germany)

  • Lessons from Puzzle Design in Adventure Games
    Up the Game! • May 7, 2019 • Amsterdam (Netherlands)

  • Stories to Go: Narrative Design for Mobile Games
    WOMENIZE! @ Berlingamesweek• April 10, 2019 • Berlin (Germany)

  • Intro to Narrative Design: Developing video games that say more than a thousand words
    Making Games Conference • October 25, 2018 • Munich (Germany)

  • The Changing Face of Narrative Design
    WOMENIZE! @ Berlingamesweek• April 24, 2018 • Berlin (Germany)

  • Disempowerment Fantasies: How taking power away from players can create better games
    Intel® Buzz Workshop 2018 • February 2, 2018 • Berlin (Germany)

  • The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: Puzzle Design in Point-and-Click-Adventures
    BETA 2018 @ HOCHSCHULE MITTWEIDA• January 31, 2018 • Mittweida (Germany)

  • Introduction Class: Gameplay as a Narrative Method
    GUEST LECTURE @ UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES• December 12, 2017 • Hamburg (Germany)

  • Video Game Panel Discussion: Games as a Literary Medium & Live Let’s Play of ‘The Pillars of the Earth'
    INTERNATIONAL LITERATURE FESTIVAL BERLIN• September 9, 2017 • Berlin (Germany)

  • Gameplay as Story in Daedalic's 'The Pillars of the Earth'
    RESPAWN @ GAMESCOM• August 20, 2017 • Cologne (Germany)

  • A Novel Adaptation: Retelling Stories in Videogames
    HAMBURG ANIMATION CONFERENCE • June 22, 2017 • Hamburg (Germany)

  • Ken Follett's ‘The Pillars of the Earth’: Adapting a Novel as a Video Game
    HAMBURG GAMES CONFERENCE • April 4, 2017• Hamburg (Germany)

  • Disempowerment Fantasies - The Lure and Value of Voluntary Power Loss in Video Games
    RESPAWN @ GAMESCOM • August 26, 2016 • Cologne (Germany)

  • A more scientific approach to Romance as Gameplay
    RHINEDEV CONFERENCE • November 8, 2014 • Cologne (Germany)