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Speaker Spotlight: Understanding narrative design with Ubisoft Ivory Tower's Inari Bourguenolle

Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #6 kicks off on April 19th
Speaker Spotlight: Understanding narrative design with Ubisoft Ivory Tower's Inari Bourguenolle

2021 is now well underway and the latest Pocket Gamer Connects Digital is set to bring together some of the finest voices in the games industry and beyond.

Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #6 takes place from April 19th to 23rd, so to give you a taste of what to expect, we'll bring you interviews with some of our esteemed speakers at the show.

The conference spans five days and will feature a broad selection of tracks, talks and speakers, as well as various fringe events and the return of our meeting system. For more details on the event and to book a ticket, head to the website.

For today's spotlight, we spoke with Ubisoft Ivory Tower narrative designer Inari Bourguenolle, who has worked across various platforms including tabletop RPGs, augmented board games, TV game shows and was even a game design teacher at various schools. Bourguenolle's talk will be primarily about narrative design, level design and UX design, under the name 'Liminal narratives: the design of in-between spaces' Tell us a bit about your company?

Inari Bourguenolle: Ivory Tower is a 200-people studio responsible for The Crew and The Crew 2, both of which have sold several million units globally.

What does your role entail?

I manage the in-game narrative content from a high level to in-engine implementation as well as pacing with the level designers. Also, I am responsible for casting actors, coaching them in recording sessions, and managing the soundbanks with the audio team.

Why did you want to work in the games industry?

I was fascinated by Final Fantasy 7 and Mass Effect as a kid. The former made me want to write for games and the latter one took me into narrative design. Working in TTRPGs, I discovered I loved game design, so I went to a school and here I am.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into it?

It's important to never neglect your soft skills and try to learn as much as you can about the technical stuff as that's never a loss.

What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?

Games such as Genshin Impact (and China in general really) are changing the landscape and blurring the lines between triple-A experiences and the free-to-play market, which is all rather interesting when it comes to the upcoming economic models.

What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?

As a result of the global pandemic, games have allowed people to interact with one another or at least to have some sort of parasocial interactions, which will only continue to rise.

How has the games industry changed since you first started?

The mobile games industry isn't as overlooked the way it used to be when I first started out in this industry.

Want more?

The full conference schedule is now live on the website. In the meantime, you can also check out our other track rundowns and coverage of previous Pocket Gamer Connects conferences ahead of the event itself.

Register for Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #6 today!