REACT Lunchtime Talk: Elements of Interactive Storytelling

During his lunchtime talk Daniel Burwen explained that careful consideration of the four elements plus the four spaces equals coherence for storytelling using technology. Here are my notes for the talk Elements of Interactive Storytelling.

  • The four elements are User experience,  Story, Technology and Aesthetics
  • The four spaces are Hearth, Reading nook, Anywhere and Workbook
  • The spectrum of Narrative mechanics between Games (interactive and mechanic depth) and Films (passive and emotional complexity)
  • Doing (games) vs feeling (films)
  • 1978 laser disc
  • 1983 dragons lair – depth was press button to not die
  • 1985 Mario brothers run, jump’ stopm’ kick shoot
  • 1991 another world – cut scenes appear
  • 1993 virtual fighter – 3d games emerge, camera language and large data
  • Mechanical depth and emotional complexity
  • Uncanny valley for virtual characters
  • Last of us game – unified aesthetic between film and game. The game is built for mechanical depth and is highly abstract
  • Attention economies for TV, laptop, tablet and mobile vary but the longer the attention the higher the value.
  • TV is $10- $60, mobile is free to $5
  • Focusing on tablets gives a good trade-off
  • Game called winosill might be helpful for displays e.g. at blaise Castle Museum 🙂
  • Mouse and keyboard vs touch
  • Interactive narrative is a goal as you can get mechanical depth and emotion
  • New PS4 and Xbox enable body movement and may be tipping point beyond control pads
  • Oculus rift headset – the less abstraction in interface the more emotional connection we can have and this type of device may be the new era post control pad
  • So where is this going? from first moving image film to Citizen Kane was a breakout experience for its time and it has been 41 years since pong
  • Wii came put in 2006 and since then we have great things across all the devices eg the oculus rift’ and Xbox kinnect, maybe we are about to bring them together

Since making my notes I have stumbled across the talk as a slidedeck on Prezi which you should check out.


One Reply to “REACT Lunchtime Talk: Elements of Interactive Storytelling”

  1. Hi Zak! From reading your weekly updates, it looks like you’re having a v. interesting time at the museum.

    I’ve missed checking blogs over the past few weeks – too busy on my course – but I’ve just seen this post which caught my interest, as it neatly coincides with this afternoon’s hypertext lecture. I thought you might be interested in my notes:

    Telling Tales: Hypertext as non-sequential writing which offers readers a choice of readings. Bathes – the reader fixes the text, not author. Concept of ‘ergodic’ literature – the reader must expend some non-trivial effort in creating meaning.

    Non-linearity can be introduced into:
    story (fabula), narrative (plot), and text/image

    Interesting hypertext literature: – the electronic labyrinth

    Narrative game types:
    Ludus – structured, Paidia – unstructured, Aleatory – random

    One of the essay questions for this module asks us to consider the future development of hypertext. I’ve had a brief search, but haven’t found anything interesting. Is there anything new happening with ebooks in this area?

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