Minecraft: Story Mode Netflix

Lead Designer

Porting the game from PC/console to Netflix was a huge challenge. The first big change was to cut the number of dialogue choices from four to two, because people were playing with their TV remote. While there had been games on Netflix previously, none of them had required such large decision trees. Previously, the largest tree was about 36 decisions.

To make sure they got it right, Brian plotted out how every single player decision impacted the ones that came after. The resulting decision tree diagram was massive, around 200 decisions. It was a lot of initial work, but ultimately ensured that there were no surprise headaches later on, and that he knew exactly what material needed to be produced for the port.

Because this was the most complicated thing on Netflix at the time, it required multiple changes to their core engine. Implementing video callbacks that referenced previous choices couldn’t be done initially, as no one had done anything like that before. The maximum video length for a single Netflix movie also had to be extended repeatedly, eventually landing on about 18 or 20 hours.

Lawrence (Chip) is a writer, lifelong gamer, and Spanish teacher. His interest Dungeons and Dragons, and rpgs in general, began at a young age when his mom gave him her copy of Dragons of Autumn Twilight. When he’s not writing for money, he’s writing stories using all the PCs he never got to play.