Well, we told you we’d be turning to you for feedback–so here we are again!
We started by asking you folks what list of games successful candidates should be exposed to prior to bootcamp. That list will be sent out to winners as to provide them with their pre-boot camp ‘homework’.
Today we’re showing you the curriculum line-up–a syllabus of sorts–to get your feedback on what we have planned as well as your suggestions for what you would like to see! So let your voice be heard and help us shape the program you and/or your fellow community members will be taking part in.
These topic areas are courtesy the curriculum consultation sessions held with our studio sponsor representatives–a number of whom will be discussing these and other topics themselves at the boot camp.
Introduction to Visual and Non-Linear Storytelling
An introduction to the game medium, it’s limitations, affordances and the salient distinctions between linear media and the non-linearity of games in all of its various facets.
Storychanging: Guidelines and Restrictions
Jumping into the realities of changing your story at the script level whether it be the tone, the character count level etc. Dealing with the challenges of IP restrictions, localization etc. and how it impacts your game writing.
Exposition vs. Integration of Narrative in Design
Knowing when and where to deliver exposition (e.g. cinematics) in your game and when to integrate your narrative into your design via character interactions and exchanges, environment, artifacts etc. Narrative agency vs. passive engagement.
Environmental Narrative Design
Linking directly from the preceding topic, discussing environmental narrative design in some detail (e.g. looking at the philosophy and practice of environmental design approaches ranging from Need for Speed to Bioshock)
Non-Linear Options and Character Development
Applying your non-linear design to influence the development of player characters, NPCs and the overall story arc of your game. This includes work on conversational dialog, ambient dialog etc.
Prototyping Your Narrative Concepts
Taking your narrative game concepts and fleshing/testing them out using basic prototyping methods (pen/paper, hypertext etc.)
Working With the Tools: Using the Aurora Toolset
Taking your narrative/game concepts and re-creating them using tools and scripting (e.g. Aurora Toolset)
Effective Pitching and Communication of Design Outlines
Taking your successfully tested and fleshed out narrative designs, storyboards etc. and pitching them coherently to an audience.
As you can see, the projected arc of NSI playWRITE currently has participants moving from general lessons dealing with narrative and games, to working with very specific ideas and building and pitching those ideas.
So feel free to fire away!
Next post: Exercises and Homework