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Game Developers Conference | Q&A: Double Fine's Anna Kipnis digs into the mechanics of good dialog
Game industry veteran Anna Kipnis serves as a senior gameplay programmer at Double Fine Productions, where she's worked on everything from Psychonauts to Brutal Legend to The Cave.
Like pretty much everyone at Double Fine, she tackles a wide variety of tasks at the studio -- including leading her own game development project as part of Double Fine's most recent Amnesia Fortnight internal game jam -- and has experience with the design and implementation of the dialog systems that give voice to some of Double Fine's most iconic characters.
In her work as a programmer she's been in charge of implementing dynamic dialog systems as gameplay mechanics, but she's also had the opportunity to work closely with writers, artists, animators, casting directors, and pretty much everyone involved with the process of bringing a line of dialog out of someone's imagination and getting it into a finished game.
This August she's bringing her experience to bear by delivering an hour-long talk at GDC Europe 2014, "Dialog Systems in Double Fine Games", a much-expanded version of a lesson she's already given to an audience of developers at NYU.
Given Kipnis' work as a Molyjam organizer, a GDC speaker and a Double Fine programmer, we caught up with her
on Skype to learn more about why she
felt driven to pitch a GDC Europe talk about the art and import of designing robust dialog systems.
So what inspired you to pitch this talk about dialog systems?
: I was at Fantastic Arcade last year in the car with a couple of indie developers, and they kind of asked me about how much work was involved to do voiced dialog in games because I was doing so much dialog work at Double Fine
, especially voiced stuff.