Interactive Narrative Design beyond the Secret Art Status: A Method to Verify Design Conventions for Interactive Narrative
In recent years, game narrative has emerged as an area for novel game concepts and as a strategy to distinguish a particular title. However, innovation in this area comes primarily from indie companies and individual efforts by noted designers. There is a lack of trained specialists ready to produce interactive narrative experiences. Many existing practitioners are self-trained and often rely on intuition in their design practice. A key element missing from the effort towards a more sustained development and improved professional training is a set of design conventions that fulfill a role comparable to cinematic conventions like continuity editing or montage. Therefore, our research focuses on identifying, verifying and collecting such design strategies. We describe an empirical method to verify candidate design conventions through the evaluation of user reaction to A/B prototypes, which improves upon the trial-and-error process of old.
design conventions, game design, interactive narrative design, pedagogy, education, user experience measurement
- Abstract viewed = 116 times
- PDF viewed = 31 times
- HTML viewed = 11 times
AARSETH, Espen J. (2004). “Genre Trouble.” First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game. Ed. Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Pat Harrigan. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. www.electronicbookreview.com/thread/firstperson/vigilant
AYLETT, Ruth S., Sandy Louchart, João Dias, Ana Paiva, and Marco Vala (2005). “FearNot! – An Experiment in Emergent Narrative.” Intelligent Virtual Agents. Ed. Themis Panayiotopoulos, Jonathan Gratch, Ruth Aylett, Daniel Ballin, Patrick Olivier, and Thomas Rist. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Vol. 3661: 305–316. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. http://doi.org/10.1007/11550617_26
BERNHAUPT, Regina (2010). “User Experience Evaluation in Entertainment.” Evaluating User Experience in Games: Concepts and Methods. Ed. Regina Bernhaupt. London: Springer London. 3-7. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-84882-963-3_1
BORDENS, Kenneth S., and Bruce Barrington Abbott. (2002). Research Design and Methods: A Process Ap-proach (5th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
BRYANT, Jennings, and Peter Vorderer, eds. (2013). Psychology of Entertainment. London: Routledge.
CALVILLO GÁMEZ, Eduardo H., Paul Cairns, and Anna L. Cox. (2009). “From the Gaming Experience to the Wider User Experience.” Proceedings of the 23rd British HCI Group Annual Conference on People and Computers: Celebrating People and Technology, British Computer Society. 520–523.
CAMPO SANTO. (2016). Firewatch [Video Game]. Portland, OR: Panic.
CONNOR, Andy M., Stefan Marks, and Charles Walker. (2015). “Creating Creative Technologists: Playing With(in) Education.” Creativity in the Digital Age. Ed. Nelson Zagalo, and Pedro Branco. London: Springer London. 35–56. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4471-6681-8_3
CORNELL, Chris (2013). Save the Date. Paper Dino Software.
CROWTHER, William, and Don Woods (1976). Adventure [Video Game].
DERRIDA, Jacques (1988). “Signature Event Context.” Limited Inc. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. 1-23.
DOW, Steven (2007). “User Engagement in Physically Embodied Narrative Experiences.” Proceedings of the 6th ACM SIGCHI Conference on Creativity and Cognition. New York: ACM. 280-280. 10.1145/1254960.1255016
DOW, Steven, Manish Mehta, Ellie Harmon, Blair MacIntyre, and Michael Mateas (2007). “Presence and Engagement in an Interactive Drama.” CHI 07: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Fac-tors in Computing Systems, New York: ACM. 1475-1484. http://doi.org/10.1145/1240624.1240847
DUBBELMAN, Teun (2016). “Narrative Game Mechanics.” International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling – ICIDS 2016. Ed. Frank Nack and Andrew S. Gordon. Springer International Publishing. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Vol. 10045: 39-50. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-48279-8_4
EISENSTEIN, Sergei (2010). Towards a Theory of Montage. London: I.B. Tauris.
ENDRASS, Birgit, Christoph Klimmt, Gregor Mehlmann, Elisabeth André, and Christian Roth (2011). “Exploration of User Reactions to Different Dialog-Based Interaction Styles.” International Confer-ence on Interactive Digital Storytelling – ICIDS 2011 (Vol. 7069, pp. 243–248). Ed. Mei Si, David Thue, Elisabeth André, James C. Lester, Joshua Tanenbaum, and Veronica Zammitto. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Vol. 7069: 243–248. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-25289-1_26
ESKELINEN, Markku (2001). “The gaming situation.” Game Studies, 1.1. http://www.gamestudies.org/0101/eskelinen/
FRASCA, Gonzalo (1999). “Ludology meets narratology: similitude and differences between (video) games and narrative.” 3 Dec 2017. http://www.ludology.org/articles/ludology.htm
FULLERTON, Tracy, Christopher Swain, and Steven S. Hoffman. (2008). Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games. Burlington, MA: Morgan Kaufmann (2nd ed.).
HALL, Lynne, Sarah Woods, Kerstin Dautenhahn, Daniel Sobral, Ana Paiva, Dieter Wolke, and Lynne Newall (2004). “Designing Empathic Agents: Adults versus Kids.” Intelligent Tutoring Systems. Ed. James C. Lester, Rosa Maria Vicari, and Fábio Paraguaçu. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 3220: 604–613. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-30139-4_57
HASSENZAHL, Marc, Sarah Diefenbach, and Anja Göritz (2010). “Needs, affect, and interactive products: Facets of user experience.” Interacting with Computers 22.5: 353–362. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.intcom.2010.04.002
INFOCOM (1983). Planetfall [Video Game]. Cambridge, MA: Infocom.
JUUL, Jesper (1999). “A clash between game and narrative.” Danish Literature.
JUUL, Jesper (2001). “Games telling stories? A brief note on games and narratives,” Game Studies 1.1 http://www.gamestudies.org/0101/juul-gts/
KOENITZ, Hartmut (2014). “Five Theses for Interactive Digital Narrative.” Interactive Storytelling: 7th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, ICIDS 2014, Singapore, Singapore, November 3-6, 2014, Proceedings. Ed. Clara Fernández-Vara, Alex Mitchell, and D. Thue. Cham: Springer Interna-tional Publishing. Lecture Notes in Computer Science Vol. 8832; 134–139: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-12337-0_13
KOENITZ, Hartmut (2015). “Design Approaches for Interactive Digital Narrative.” Interactive Storytelling: 8th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, ICIDS 2015, Copenhagen, Denmark, Novem-ber 30 - December 4, 2015, Proceedings. Ed. Henrik Schoenau-Fog, Luis Emilio Bruni, Sandy Louchart, and Sarune Baceviciute. Cham: Springer International Publishing. Lecture Notes in Computer Sci-ence Vol. 9445: 50–57. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-27036-4_5
KOENITZ, Hartmut, and Kun-Ju Chen (2012). “Genres, Structures and Strategies in Interactive Digital Narratives – Analyzing a Body of Works Created in ASAPS.” Interactive Storytelling: 5th Internation-al Conference, ICIDS 2012, San Sebastián, Spain, November 12-15, 2012. Proceedings. Ed. David Oyarzun, Federico Peinado, R. Michael Young, Ane Elizalde, and Gonzalo Méndez. Berlin, Heidelberg: Spring-er. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 7648: 84–95. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-34851-8_8
KOENITZ, Hartmut, and Sandy Louchart (2015). “Practicalities and Ideologies: (Re)-Considering the Interactive Digital Narrative Authoring Paradigm.” Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG 2015). Eds. Boyang Li, and Mark Nelson. http://www.fdg2015.org/papers/fdg2015_paper_03.pdf
KULESHOV, Lev V. (1974). Kuleshov on Film: Writings. Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press.
LEBLING, Peter David (1980). Zork [Video Game]. Cambridge, MA: Infocom.
LEBLING, Peter David, Marc Blank, and Tim Anderson. (1979). “Special Feature Zork: A Computerized Fantasy Simulation Game.” Computer 12.4: 51–59. http://doi.org/10.1109/MC.1979.1658697
MADDRELL, Jennifer A. (2015). “Designing Authentic Educational Experiences through Virtual Service Learning.” The Design of Learning Experience. Ed. Brad Hokanson, Gregory Clinton, and Monica W. Tracey Cham: Springer International Publishing. 215–229. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16504-2_15
MATEAS, Michael (2010). “The Authoring Challenge in Interactive Storytelling.” Interactive Storytelling: Third Joint Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling. Ed. Ruth Aylett, Mei Yii Lim, Sandy Louchart, Paolo Petta, and Mark Riedl(Vol. 6432, pp. 1–1).. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 6432: 1–1. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-16638-9_1
MEINEL, Christoph, Larry Leifer, and Hasso Plattner, eds. (2011). Design Thinking: Understand, Improve, Apply. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-13757-0
MURRAY, Janet H. (1997). Hamlet on the Holodeck: the Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. New York: Free Press.
MURRAY, Janet H. (2012). Inventing the Medium: Principles of Interaction Design as a Cultural Practice. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
QUANTIC DREAM. (2010). Heavy Rain [Video game]. Tokyo: Sony Computer Entertainment.
ROTH, Christian (2016). Experiencing Interactive Storytelling. Amsterdam: Vrije Universiteit. PhD Thesis.
ROTH, Christian, and Hartmut Koenitz (2016). “Evaluating the User Experience of Interactive Digital Narrative.” AltMM '16 Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Multimedia Alternate Realities. New York, New York, USA: ACM Press. 31-36. http://doi.org/10.1145/2983298.2983302
ROTH, Christian, and Ivar Vermeulen (2013). “Breaching Interactive Storytelling’s Implicit Agreement: A Content Analysis of Fac̨ade User Behaviors.” H. Koenitz, G. Ferri, M. Haar, D. Sezen, T. I. Sezen, & G. C̨atak (Eds.), Interactive Storytelling: 6th International Conference, ICIDS 2013, Istanbul, Turkey, No-vember 6-9, 2013, Proceedings. Ed. Hartmut Koenitz, Tonguc Ibrahim Sezen, Gabriele Ferri, Mads Haar, Digdem Sezen, Tonguc Ibrahim Sezen, and Güven C̨atak. Cham: Springer International Publish-ing. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 8230: 168–173. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02756-2_20
ROTH, Christian, Christoph Klimmt, Ivar Vermeulen, and Peter Vorderer (2011). “The Experience of Interactive Storytelling: Comparing ‘Fahrenheit’ with ‘Façade’.” Entertainment Computing – ICEC 2011. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 6972: 13–21. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-24500-8_2
ROTH, Christian, Ivar Vermeulen, Peter Vorderer, and Christoph Klimmt (2012a). “Exploring Replay Value: Shifts and Continuities in User Experiences Between First and Second Exposure to an Inter-active Story.” CyberPsychology, Behavior & Social Networking15.7: 378–381. http://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2011.0437
ROTH, Christian, Ivar Vermeulen, Peter Vorderer, Christoph Klimmt, David Pizzi, Jean-Luc Lugrin, and Marc Cavazza (2012b). “Playing In or Out of Character: User Role Differences in the Experience of Interactive Storytelling.” CyberPsychology, Behavior & Social Networking 15.11: 630–633. http://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2011.0621
ROTH, Christian, Peter Vorderer, Christoph Klimmt, and Ivar Vermeulen (2010). “Measuring the user experience in narrative-rich games: towards a concept-based assessment for interactive stories.” Proceedings of the Workshop on Using Game Design and Affective Evaluation to improve User Experience and User Research at Interaktive Kulturen 2010. Duisburg. https://research.vu.nl/en/publications/measuring-the-user-experience-in-narrative-rich-games-towards-a-c
SINHA, Ravi (2016, April 7). “Is The Telltale Games Formula Wearing Thin?” 12 March 2017. http://gamingbolt.com/is-the-telltale-games-formula-wearing-thin
SPIERLING, Ulrike, and Nicolas Szilas (2009). “Authoring Issues beyond Tools.” Interactive Storytelling: Second Joint International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, ICIDS 2009, Guimarães, Portu-gal, December 9-11, 2009, Proceedings. Ed. Ido A. Iurgel, Nelson Zagalo, and Paolo Petta. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 5915: 50–61. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-10643-9_9
TELLTALE GAMES. (2012). The Walking Dead [Video game]. San Rafael, CA: Telltale Games.
TELLTALE GAMES. (2013). The Wolf Amongst us [Video Game]. San Rafael, CA: Telltale Games.
TELLTALE GAMES. (2015). Minecraft: Story Mode [Video Game]. San Rafael, CA: Telltale Games.
THOMPSON, Kristin, and David Bordwell. (2012). Film Art: An Introduction. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
VORDERER, Peter, and Leonard Reinecke (2015). “From Mood to Meaning: The Changing Model of the User in Entertainment Research.” Communication Theory, 25.4: 447–453. http://doi.org/10.1111/comt.12082
VORDERER, Peter, Christoph Klimmt, and Ute Ritterfeld (2004). “Enjoyment: At the Heart of Media Entertainment.” Communication Theory, 14.4: 388–408. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2885.2004.tb00321.x
VOSMEER, Mirjam, Christian Roth, and Ben Schouten (2015). “Interaction in Surround Video: The Effect of Auditory Feedback on Enjoyment.” Interactive Storytelling: 8th International Conference on Interac-tive Digital Storytelling, ICIDS 2015, Copenhagen, Denmark, November 30 - December 4, 2015, Proceed-ings. Cham: Springer International Publishing. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 9445: 202–210. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-27036-4_19
WEIZENBAUM, Joseph (1966). “Eliza — a Computer Program for the Study of Natural Language Communi-cation between Man and Machine.” Communications of the ACM, 9.1: 36–45. http://doi.org/10.1145/365153.365168
WREDEN, Davey (2011). The Stanley Parable [Video Game]. Galactic Cafe.
WRIGHT, Peter, and John McCarthy (2008). “Empathy and Experience in HCI.” CHI '08: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM. 637–646. http://doi.org/10.1145/1357054.1357156
WRIGHT, Samantha (2015, November 29). “Why Telltale needs to start reworking its formula for games.” 10 March 2016. http://www.gameskinny.com/tt1x8/why-telltale-needs-to-start-reworking-its-formula-for-games
ZAMMITO, Veronica, Pejman Mirza-Babaei, Ian Livingston, Marina Kobayashi, Lennard E. Nacke (2014). “Player Experience: Mixed Methods and Reporting Results.” CHI '14 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM. 147–150. http://doi.org/10.1145/2559206.2559239
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
MATLIT embraces full open access to all issues. Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. The article can be quoted but not changed and presented differently.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).
- A CC licensing information in a machine-readable format is embedded in all articles published by MATLIT.
- Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
- NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
- NoDerivatives — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.
- No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measuresthat legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
- You do not have to comply with the license for elements of the material in the public domain or where your use is permitted by an applicable exception or limitation.
- No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material.