Matthew P Plotecher
(designer)David Benjamin Kanter
(thesis advisor)John R. Jones
(thesis advisor)Chris Prentice
(thesis advisor)Nicholas Fortugno
In digital interactive narratives, dramatic tension is lost when the user has extraneous control. Digital interactive narratives face the perceived paradox that users should have control over a story arc, and yet not be able to do anything that would relax any inherent dramatic tension. The system I've developed, Narrativ/Action, grants the users a huge amount of power in their choices to shape the story, while maintaining all of the elements of a traditional plot structure, such as pacing and dramatic necessity. This is achieved by actually taking away extraneous user control and focusing on the ramifications of a user's choice in regards to the storyworld. Characters are not controlled, but "influenced," as the players experience the tale through a real-time 3D game engine. Throughout "End of Empire," the tale I created to be used within Narrativ/Action, the player has discreet moments where he can severely alter the course of events; sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. Narrativ/Action is mainly meant for both Game Designers to build their storyworlds, as well as end users who are comfortable with digital games and looking for new ways of approaching story and user control. The system could be used for any genre of story, and be considered just another form of storytelling equipment, alongside the HDTV, the DVD player, the gaming console, and the computer.
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