This week CIN will participate in the Develop Conference in Brighton, 13 – 15 July. This is an conference for the video game industry and by the newsflash it looks like it will be a big turn-up. Steve will be working the floor and talk to developers about what we can offer in narrative creation for their game development. Getting the word out within the industry is challenging as narratives has been stigmatized as externally enforced stories and cut-scenes that has nothing to do with gameplay. But we persist in our quest to prove otherwise. By using our method the narrative content of the game will evoke individual stories in each gamer and be part of gameplay.
Following the successful workshop given at Staffordshire University, UK, we have now planned to offer three workshops a year there. These will be open to game developers in UK that are interested in creating a structure in the work with narrative content. It will also be an opportunity for industry to meet students, to spot future skills and opportunities.
The first workshop is planned for the second week in December 2010. We will keep you updated on dates and how to sign up in a few weeks.
The main lessons from this workshop is that when creating narrative content for games, or any other media, it is important to design these for the specific media in mind. Many times, unfortunately, this is done with film or TV in mind resulting in a break between an external enforced story and gameplay. With the help of our method it is possible to create narrative contents in the beginning of a project that will guide the whole production, and potentially save both time and cost – as it limits the risk of changes late in the production.
We have just completed a game concept for a Swedish game developer that are building a multiplayer mobile game. It is a game full of humour where you can have lots of fun working with, or against, your friends, or anyone that you want.
In developing this concept we have used the ideas from the development team and structured this through Narrative Bridging. As this resulted in a conceptual map that forces us to define relations it was generated a narrative content in the game. This work has been pivotal here and the tool for constructing this game concept.
After we had presented the concept the head of the studio excitedly exclaimed “Sustain, as you have created a new kind of profession that could be compared with saying you were an astronaut during the 19th century”.
The game is now proceeding to the next phase and we are happy to see how the production progress, and the narrative content with it.
At the moment we are sorting out the details for CIN to participate in the Montreal International Game Summit. This is an international conference for game developers, from Canada and around the world. As you know this area is exploding with activities in this area, as game development has been considered a key industry in Canada.
The conference is planned to 8-9 November and the following two days (10-11) Alliance Numérique will offer courses and workshops to participants, one of those will be the CIN workshop on how to develop narratives in games. We will keep you posted on how to sign up to the workshop.
CIN will be giving a 2-day workshop at Staffordshire University the 4th and 5th of May. This workshop will be given, mainly, to students that study video games and narratives. Our colleague and UK agent Steve Webley have been giving some excellent courses on the topic over there. The workshop is also planned to be the first in a series of continuous workshops at Staffordshire University.
Katarina Borg Byllenbäck and Magnus Boman’s paper on the narrative method Narrative Bridging has been accepted to the Fourth International Conference on Design Computing and Cognition in Stuttgart 12-14 Juli 2010. The article is a short presentation of the method and a case where it has been used in teaching. Continue reading CIN at DCC’10
In January 2010 we started cooperation with the Stockholm-based game developers Swimsuit Boys. In this cooperation Katarina participate in the development as Narrative designer in order to make sure that concepts and structures meet the requirements Swimsuit Boys want the player to experience. The work process is based on the NB method that supports the creation of narratives in interaction with game play.