Assignment: narrative prototype and layout

These two tasks can be done in parallel or in the order you find appropriate, it depends on the project and on your creative process.

The narrative prototype and the layout should be consistent and cross referenced. If there is an interactable object or a location in one, I should be able to find it on the other.

A- Create a narrative prototype of your game in Ink/Inky

Let’s look at Clara Fernandez-Vara (NYU) taxonomy of choices

Read this article about Dependency Charts by Ron Gilbert (LucasArts, Monkey Island series).
If your project has a narrative puzzle of some sort sketch it out separately as a chart.

It has to be playable in its entirety: all the areas, characters, chapters, endings, have to be there.
(it must also function as an asset list)

It should have placeholder content for audiovisual aspects: you can have a passage that says “breathtaking vista of Emerald City”.

Avoid generic and heavy lifting placeholders like “clever puzzle” or “minigame”. You will likely not have time to develop ad hoc gameplay parts.


B- Draft a spatial layout of your game – using miro or a similar tool

Read Robert Yang’s chapter on layout in level design

Define the experience goals of the level

Start with a parti and a bubble diagram

Define a critical path


The layout and prototype may have different formats depending on the genre, emphasis, and goals of your project.

Production document for Legend of Zelda (1986)
This tile based map of The Legend of Zelda depicts notable items, secrets, and characters of interest in each map section on the overworld. Every element is hand drawn on an overlay of the map.

Quest design document for Divinity (dialogue heavy RPG like Baldur’s Gate 3)

A level design document for Uncharted

An example of pre-production layout for Hollow Knight (metroidvania)

For a point and click adventure the layout may be closer to an environment concept art since it’s visually oriented, here are some concepts and sketches for Broken AgeĀ 

And machinariumĀ 

Both Broken age and Machinarium are puzzle games that tell a story, so the layouts must be conceived after or along with the puzzle/plot.

This is a puzzle design document for Grim Fandango: