Course on Interactive Storytelling

Interactive Storytelling breaks traditional narrative structures and dismantles the notion of a predetermined plotline. It asks a provocative question of the digital age: what does “story” look like in the face of interactivity? This course brings together the concepts of narrative, visual language and interactivity to help students paint a new interpretation of what storytelling can be.

Interactivity plays a unique role in shaping the expressive abilities of this form of storytelling. As authors of storyworlds, students are challenged to incorporate the user’s potential choices and decisions in the design process. In lieu of pointing the user towards a predestined journey and outcome, students have to consider other means for collaborating with their main character, and find ways to create the “magnetism”, or “dramatic glue”, that attracts and guides narrative possibilities within the architecture of the story world.

Student exercises and projects are designed to free their reliance on a linear story by playing with different story configurations and devising mechanisms for generating dramatic possibilities. The course includes a history of interactive narrative, from traditional, non-digital versions to current computer-based examples.

Student images from the Multiple Storyline exercise.