Story and Narrative Development for Video Games

In this course, Story and Narrative Development for Video Games, you will examine how storytelling acts as a vital mechanism for driving video gameplay forward. Looking at several historical and contemporary games, you will be asked to evaluate and interpret different story styles with the goal of identifying themes and procedures for your own game ideas. We’ll examine traditional narrative story processes, such as three-act structure, and how they fit into game story flows and the strategic elements of gameplay. Ultimately, you will learn how to define character, setting, and structure to create a compelling game concept.

Story and Narrative Development for Video Games is course 2 of 5 in the Game Design: Art and Concepts Specialization.

Stemming from the principles of storytelling and design established in CalArts’ renowned Animation programs, this Specialization lays a primary foundation for experimentation and exploration of video game design, story, character development, and winning gameplay before programming begins. These four courses emphasize the self-reliance and personal expression of the gaming artist, and encourage you to take conceptual risks and develop new modes of expression and form through gaming. In the final Capstone Project, you’ll put your creative skills to work by generating an engaging game design document for a personal game project, outlining the conceptual, narrative and aesthetic elements of your game.

Week 1: An Introduction to Story

Course Welcome
Introduction to Story
Example: Outlining the Narrative
Finding Your Story

If you would like to read more about the details of this course, click here!

Week 2: Game Story StructureStory and Narrative Development for Video Games

Summarizing a Game’s Narrative
Character Development
Examples: Character Briefs
Examples: Describing the World of the Game

If you would like to read more about the details of this course, click here!

Week 3: Story Workshop

Starting Your Story
Examples: Idea Sheets
Fine-tuning the Game’s Story
Examples: Putting It Together

If you would like to read more about the details of this course, click here!

Week 4: From Story to Game

Moving from a Story into a Game
Examples: Organizing Your Game Visually
From Story to Game

If you would like to read more about the details of this course, click here!

Created by:

California Institute of the Arts

California Institute of the Arts

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