A crash course in narrative design

Chris Bateman


The Beach

You came up with a fantastic story, but when you came to put it into the game you discovered the players hated it. Why? The answer could be that while conventional narrative techniques can be applied to videogames, what works in linear media seldom holds together when you put a player into the key role. When you work on game stories, you don't just need a writer – you also need a narrative designer.

The title 'narrative designer' was created by International Hobo Ltd in 2001 to describe the unique challenges of combining game design and writing in the context of game stories. Since then, the term has spread out into the games industry – but there is still little understanding among writers from other media as to what narrative design is or why games cannot deliver great stories without it. This crash course in narrative design from the people who coined the term will open your eyes as to how great game stories are not just written, they are also designed.

Chris is an award-winning game designer with more than fifty published game credits, most recently the acclaimed PlayStation VR game The Persistence. The founder of International Hobo Ltd, the first consultancy to combine narrative and game design skills under one roof, he is currently working on nine game projects.

#NarrativeDesign #GameStories #AgencyVsNarrative

Where: Academy London

When: 15 February 2019

Confluence is in partnership with Academy London, Google’s dedicated learning space in Victoria