Assignment/Resources: Narrative Design Research

At this stage of development it’s hard to find topics that are relevant to all the class projects.
Game developers learn from each other all time, and you should get used to do so.

Instead of the usual homeplay you have to find a talk, podcast, interview, or article by a game writer or narrative designer that goes in depth in some aspect of their craft.
Pick somebody whose work you are already familiar with, or play their games beforehand.
Find something that is potentially useful for your project.
Write a short report with your “idea takeaways” (terrible terms) and highlights.

Here’s some resources:
Scriptlock: a podcast interviewing the best narrative designers in the industry. Check the descriptions to see what they worked on.


GDC Narrative Summit
Narrative track of GDC – the website is clunky, go to free content select a GDC -> year and then filter by “game narrative” to get a list of all the published talks of that year.

My highlights – short talks by more experimental creators (check the intros or the description to see what they worked on)
Narrative Innovation showcase 2019
Narrative Innovation showcase 2018
Narrative Innovation showcase 2017
Narrative Innovation showcase 2016

Other good ones:
Forget Protagonists: Writing NPCs with Agency for 80 Days and Beyond
Interactive Story Without Challenge Mechanics: The Design of ‘Firewatch’
Kill the Hero, Save the (Narrative) World (Mutazione)

Emily Short’s resources pages
Mostly articles. A lot of it is centered on text IF (Interactive Fiction) but there are many articles about narrative design in general. Not all the links count for this assignment: game designers talking about their work to other designers.

Other resources?
Chances are that you will find developers interviews for every moderately well known title. Just make sure the piece is for an audience of fellow creators.