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NATASHA SKULT // Where Game Design Meets Quantum Computing

Natasha Skult from MiTale delivers an inspiring video session about game design and quantum computing at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #7.

Get ready to have your mind blown, because we’re about to talk about quantum computing. In this incredible talk, Finnish developer and IGDA chair Natasha Skult explains how quantum computing can help developers craft immersive narrative experiences. What are the most important aspects of a game that will engage players the right way and how does this cutting-edge technology help?

The importance of narrative-driven experiences

Check out this exclusive video. Recorded at the online conference Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #7 (July 2021), Natasha Skult (MiTale) talks about how visual narratives work. She discusses the various ways MiTale crafts narrative-driven experiences in games, as well as how to make an emotional impact. With reference to her game C.L.A.Y. The Last Redemption, she introduces how quantum computing plays a part in this.

It all boils down to how our brains work. A game must be a dialogue between the player and the developer. It should answer the basic questions from onboarding to the final boss. Where am I and what am I doing? Did my action succeed or not? Am I progressing towards victory? What are the challenges I should expect in this game?

Quantum computing in C.L.A.Y. The Last Redemption

In C.L.A.Y. The Last Redemption, emotional engagement and in-game relationships are the main focus. Natasha Skult shares valuable insights on how the game engages players with nonviolent gameplay, especially when quantum computing comes in.

Here’s where we encounter MiTale’s IBM quantum computer partnership. With this kind of technology, players can step into a completely unexpected world with every gameplay session. Players can toggle this feature on and off to generate environments and character development. The procedural tech can create personalities, relationships, encounters and adventures. 

Branching narratives aren’t simply about character choices – what you do or don’t do actually affects the game. For instance, despite making the same choices when prompted, a player who explores more may have a completely different narrative path than one who doesn’t. It truly is an immersive narrative experience.

What are the challenges of creating narrative experiences? Will quantum computing truly work as the future of narrative gaming? Towards the end of this video session, Skult answers a few hand-picked questions from the audience to cap off the talk. 

We find ourselves discussing where players’ decisions actually matter or if it is just the illusion of choice. Regardless, players must feel like they have an impact on the game, which is why these must be clearly designed to prevent distractions. This half-hour session is for those curious about game design that engages players in an immersive way (hint: the act of discovery is the most important part of any game). And of course: it’s the first talk we’ve had about the role of quantum computing in creating narratives for games!

Written By

Catherine Dellosa Lo is a freelance writer by day and a geek by night. She constantly struggles between prying herself away from her PlayStation console and sniffing the comic books lined up in her bookshelf, to the dismay of her husband. She one day hopes to soar the skies as a superhero, but for now, she strongly believes in saving lives through her works in fiction.

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