Narrative Designer for ArenaNet
Alex got his start in game development writing narrative for mobile phone games in 2007, and since then has contributed to over 20 titles on over a dozen platforms, including numerous independent titles such as Dust: An Elysian Tail, Armello, and Salt & Sanctuary. He is currently serving as a Narrative Designer at award-winning game developer ArenaNet.
“Just Let Me Play!” Crafting Noninvasive Narrative
Narrative designers often find themselves trapped between the well-worn language of film and the constantly-evolving concepts of “noninvasive” storytelling. It’s easy to fall back on cinematic language to tell stories, taking control of the camera and positioning your characters like stage actors — but when you’re writing nonlinear stories for a digital board game or crafting chatter between NPCs in an MMO, the rules of cinema tend to go out the window. How do you properly tell a randomly-assembled hero’s journey in a turn-based online multiplayer game when everyone’s waiting for you? How do you craft compelling NPC dialog in an MMO when the number of actors in a scene can range from one to dozens?
This session outlines various methods for noninvasive narrative using examples and first-hand stories. It is intended for anyone interested in shoring up their narrative toolbox, and attendees will see what it’s like to build stories for these kinds of games.