Casual Games and Storylets: Or, How to Make Game Mechanics Express Choice

In a recent post about storylet-based narrative design, I briefly suggested that even games like Lily’s Garden could be understood as a case of storylet-based design: there’s just a level of casual gameplay between elements of story. A very simple implementation looks like this, interspersing every level with a little bit of story wrapper. This … Continue reading “Casual Games and Storylets: Or, How to Make Game Mechanics Express Choice”

Mailbag: Environmental Storytelling

This is actually a reprint of a comment exchange that appeared earlier on this blog, but it’s the kind of question that I typically mailbag, so I’m reproducing it here for visibility. A question, if I may: I’m not much of a story-writer (as in coming up with the ‘adventure’ part of the equation), but … Continue reading “Mailbag: Environmental Storytelling”

Storytelling in Video Games: The Art of Digital Narrative (Amy Green)

Starting in mid-2017, I’ve used the first Tuesday of the month for reviews of books about game writing, and occasional books about other writing in general. As of now, I’ve gone through about two dozen — including everything from self-published Kindle ebooks about interactive fiction to acclaimed classics of screenwriting advice — and that doesn’t count … Continue reading “Storytelling in Video Games: The Art of Digital Narrative (Amy Green)”

Curating Simulated Storyworlds (James Ryan) – Ch 6f

This is the third of several posts about James Ryan’s dissertation, Curating Simulated Storyworlds. We are now reading chapters 6 and following, in which Ryan describes his own projects in the curated emergent narrative space. After the first five chapters, this piece becomes considerably more narrative in its own structure: Ryan is (consciously) telling the … Continue reading “Curating Simulated Storyworlds (James Ryan) – Ch 6f”

Curating Simulated Storyworlds (James Ryan) – Ch 4-5

This is the second of several posts about James Ryan’s dissertation, Curating Simulated Storyworlds. The previous post looked at chapters 1-3, which set out the concept of the dissertation and documented the pleasures of emergent narrative. Here I read Chapter 4, concerned with the pain of emergent narrative, including critiques from other scholars and projects … Continue reading “Curating Simulated Storyworlds (James Ryan) – Ch 4-5”