Logo of the Jerusalem Games Conference

Logo of the Jerusalem Games Conference

in Games
6 May, 2019
The first ever Jerusalem Games Conference at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, a one-day event celebrating the art, culture and creation of games.
This year's Jerusalem Games Conference is dedicated to storytelling in games - taking a closer look at the forefront of narrative mechanics.

Time & Place

A polygonal clock
6 May, 2019 | 09:30 - 18:00
A drawing of a smoking volcano
Bezalel Academy
of Arts and Design,
Mount Scopus, Jerusalem


Ken Wong

Ken is a game designer and artist, currently the founder and creative director of Melbourne-based game development studio Mountains. Ken was the designer and artist of Mountains' debut game Florence, a standout emotional experience in the modern video game landscape. The game won multiple awards, including the BAFTA and Game Developers Choice Award for Best Mobile Game. Ken’s previous work includes leading the design and art of the acclaimed and influential Monument Valley, as part of ustwo games. Over a career spanning 15 years he's also been a concept artist, art director and game designer, working in Hong Kong, Shanghai and London.

A photo of Ken Wong

Emily Short

Emily Short is a renowned visionary in the fields of interactive fiction, narrative design, and conversation modeling, and is currently the Chief Product Officer at Spirit AI. She has worked with E-Line Media, Eko, Big Fish Games, Telltale Games, ArenaNet, ngmoco :), and Failbetter Games among others, and was the creative director of the Versu project, building interactive iPad stories around AI characters. She has written over two dozen works of interactive fiction, including the award winning Galatea, and is part of the design team for Inform 7, a tool for creating parser-based IF. Her blog can be found at emshort.blog.

A photo of Emily Short

Jakub Dvorský

Jakub is the founder, game designer and creative director in Amanita Design, a Czech based independent company best known for adventure games Machinarium, Botanicula, Samorost series and CHUCHEL. The studio is currently working on four upcoming games.

A photo of Jakub Dvorský

Ben Esposito

Ben is an award winning independent game developer known for his work designing artistic games for PlayStation 3 & 4, including work on What Remains of Edith Finch and The Unfinished Swan. His solo debut Donut County won App Store iPhone Game of the Year in 2018 for its unique story and unusual game mechanics. Ben is also known for his subversive games with the group Arcane Kids, including the unlicensed fan projects Sonic Dreams Collection & Bubsy3D: Bubsy Visits the James Turrell Retrospective.

Ben is also co-founder of Glitch City LA, a coworking and community space built for independent game developers and artists in Los Angeles, California.

A photo of Ben Espesito

Ian Dallas

Ian is the founder and creative director of Giant Sparrow, based in Santa Monica, California. His games include the award winning The Unfinished Swan, and What Remains of Edith Finch, lauded critically as “one of the finest magical-realism stories in all of games", winner of the BAFTA Best Game Award and Best Narrative at the Game Developer Choice Awards.

Before founding Giant Sparrow in 2009, Ian has worked as a writer for games, television, and other media.

A photo of Ian Dallas


09:00 - 10:00
Coffee and registration
10:00 - 10:30
10:30 - 11:30
The Narrative Design of Florence
Ken Wong
Florence has received critical acclaim for its unique approach to narrative design. In this talk, Ken Wong discusses the origins of the project, how his team tightly integrated gameplay and story, and why personal narratives are important to the future of the videogame artform.
11:30 - 12:00
PAUSE (Coffee)
12:00 - 13:00
Elements of Interactive Storytelling
Emily Short
Through classic games and interactive stories, Emily offers a tour of some of the core ideas of interactive storytelling, what it can accomplish, and where it’s going next, in games and in related genres.
13:00 - 14:00
Plot Holes
Ben Esposito
The process behind developing Donut County's story, the various failed iterations and lessons learned from them.
14:00 - 15:00
PAUSE (Lunch)
15:00 - 16:00
Interactive Fairy Tales
Jakub Dvorský
In this talk, Jakub will speak about fairy tales, animated films, magic of the unspoken, narrative through exploration and puzzles, and how it all affects Amanita Design’s work.
16:00 - 17:00
Prototyping Into the Unknown: Lessons from Edith Finch
Ian Dallas
When you make a game that's got 13 different stories in it, each with its own unique art style and gameplay mechanics, you spend a lot of time working on (and throwing out) prototypes. Each mechanic needed to be something players had never seen before, but also intuitive enough to grasp without tutorials. Ian will also discuss the challenge of blending these radically different mechanics into a cohesive experience.
17:00 - 17:15
17:15 - 17:45


As part of the convention a show of selected interactive projects that examine the art of storytelling from various points of view will be held at the main hall. The show will exhibit games, installations and other kind of works made by our international guests, local professionals and students.


Standard ticket
150NIS (includes lunch)
Student / Faculty ticket