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The Narrative Debate in Game Design

The debate surrounding narratives in games generally centers around player agency and interactivity. Some believe narratives enrich games, while others wish for purely system-based experiences. What is the future of narratives in games given a lack of writing quality and seemingly growing desire for games that only focus on moment-to-moment player agency? How can game narratives thrive into the next generation of games and players?

Examples of Narrative-Based Games: Twine Games, Bioshock Infinite, Bastion, Kentucky Route Zero

Examples of System-Based Games: DOTA 2, Minecraft, Rouge Legacy, Mercenary Kings, Nidhogg

The panel will consist of a moderator, pro-narrative, pro-mechanical, and pro-games person. Not all panelists listed are confirmed, but they are indicative of the final balance of conversation this panel aims to meet.

Additional Supporting Materials

Questions Answered

  1. What is the importance of narrative in game design and end-user experience?
  2. What is the importance of system-based experiences in game design and end-user experience?
  3. Is one (narrative or mechanics) inherently more important to game design and end-user experience?
  4. Why has there been a shift from narrative based gaming to more system based gaming in recent years?
  5. How can game narratives thrive into the next generation of games and players?

Speakers

Organizer

Shelley Smith Minicore Studios


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