ALICE RENDELL

About me
Game Designer Since 2010
IGDA Scotland Board of Directors
Game/Narrative Designer Kobojo

WHAT I WILL TALK ABOUT TODAY
Telling stories through:
• Environment
• Gameplay
• UI
• Wordless Conversations
• Valiant Hearts: The Great War

EXAMPLES FROM OTHER MEDIA
Art: Renaissance paintings, Bayeux Tapestry
Music: Four Seasons, Peter and the Wolf
Performance: Ballet, Mime
Characters: Edward Scissorhands, WALL-E

EXAMPLES FROM OTHER MEDIA
Art: Renaissance paintings, Bayeux Tapestry
Music: Four Seasons, Peter and the Wolf
Performance: Ballet, Mime
Characters: Edward Scissorhands, WALL-E
Film: The Artist, The Snowman

NARRATIVE THROUGH ENVIRONMENT

“… it is the physical space that does much
of the work of conveying the story the
designers are trying to tell. Color, lighting
and even the texture of a place can fill an
audience with excitement or dread.”
Don Carson, 2000

WHAT DO GAME ENVIRONMENTS DO?
1. Creates player boundaries
2. Define interaction
3. Provides narrative context
4. Drives player through story

ENVIRONMENTAL STORYTELLING
SHOULD…
1. Create an atmosphere
2. Propel the story
3. Reinforce the world
4. Be deliberate
5. Provide visual ‘puzzle’ pieces

NARRATIVE THROUGH GAMEPLAY

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY GAMEPLAY?

Win/Lose conditions

Game mechanics

Controls

Puzzles

Interactions

USE GAMEPLAY TO…
1. Create stories from gameplay
consequences
2. Mimic character sensations through
controls
3. Reinforce character relationships
4. Communicate character personalities

NARRATIVE THROUGH UI

WORDLESS CONVERSATIONS

A STORY WITHOUT WORDS: VALIANT
HEARTS

MANY GAME EXAMPLES
Environment: Bioshock, The Last of Us, Papers Please
Gameplay: Journey, The Novelist, Shadow of the Colossus
UI: Alien Isolation, Fallout, Viva Pinata
Conversations: Abe’s Odyssey, A Bird Story, The Sims

THANK YOU!
Email:
arendell@kobojo.com
Twitter: @alicemrendell
Blog:
madhatterandalice.com
Zodiac: zodiac.kobojo.com

ANY QUESTIONS?