2019 Workgroup Topic Proposals

Dance 10 XP, Looks 3 XP. In Search of the Interactive Musical

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Dance 10 XP, Looks 3 XP. In Search of the Interactive Musical

If you love the magic of musical theatre and are a video game designer, then you’ve probably spent some time thinking about this largely untapped creative territory for interactive design. Though interactive stories and interactive live theatre are starting to be better understood as art forms, there has to date been very little commercial experimentation weaving together the agency-laden experience of game play and the artful execution of storytelling through song. This working group would bring their love of musical theater and interactive design to explore how these two worlds might collide and shed light on new avenues for interactive narrative and the traditional Broadway musical.

2019 Workgroup Topic Proposals

Everlasting.  Best practices for narrative design in free-to-play mobile games as a service.

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Everlasting.  Best practices for narrative design in free-to-play mobile games as a service.

There are shelf-loads of books on how to write stories for film and television, and the number of books on writing for video games is quickly catching up. But most video game narrative design how-to’s – from tumescent tomes to twerpy twitter posts – borrow heavily from the structural narrative assumptions of film, TV, AAA and premium games.  If you’re working out narrative issues and caught up in the highly lucrative whirlwind of free-to-play mobile games, a good number of those structural assumptions for interactive storytelling don’t necessarily fit. What are the best practices for delivering story for a game that never ends? How do you focus sharp narrative design in free-to-play games that are delivered as a service in a way that might just have to go on forever?  How do you get players who don’t want to read (and don’t play with their volume on) to fall in love with your characters, world and IP?  How do you best hook players with the emotional pull that only engrossing story and captivating characters can deliver when you’re working with play patterns that are optimized to be played on the bus (or on the toilet)?

2016 Workgroup Topic Proposals

short attention span theatre – designing for meaning in short session replayable games

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[this may be mergeable with social bonds in competitive play and/or core games on mobile]

Much of mobile gaming is designed around  short session play patterns with reuseable and replayable content.   This has led vast tranches of games down a deep pit of micro-transaction-driven designs that offer little meaning, and too often leading players by the nose through a thin layer of  fun, shmeared lightly over a very long and large loaf of bread.  These games rarely offer the life-changing emotional engagement of longer-session narrative or simulation games.  Can we design our way out of the pit?  Break open the bonds of consumer purchase pattern expectations (free to play, micro transactions) while still offering replayable content that caters to the short session play pattern, yet delivers meaningful, emotionally engaging experiences? There are after all many examples in other media of meaningful  short session experiences.