Narrative Designer is a role in contemporary video game development first seen in 2006 when the video game publisher THQ began hiring for the position I wrote based on talks with THQ Canada. While the strict definition may vary from team to team, and production to production, the core of this role is to champion story, craft compelling narrative elements, and define the systems through which they will be delivered to the player. Interactive Narrative Design is a new craft waiting to be further defined and explored.
Transmedia storytelling is a
new contemporary embracing of a classical paradigm in entertainment that enables the imagination via story-driven extensions into a ‘world’ in which a player seeks to be further immersed. The keys being there – enabling the imagination and allowing the players to further immerse themselves where they have that desire. Transmedia storytelling is not marketing and merchandising based extensions into an existing franchise which is being further exploited. It’s a narrative framework that invites the player in and allows them to co-create, if only through their imagination. Transmedia storytelling enables viewer/user/players to be, rather than seeming to be in an authored interactive world.
This is a new definition of transmedia storytelling I just uploaded to http://www.quora.com/What-is-transmedia-storytelling based on the definition I created in my 2006 USC School of Cinematic Arts MFA thesis paper “Transmedial Play”.
On September 27th 2010, I had the honor of speaking on the Transmedia Panel at the RioMarket portion of the Festival do Rio, an international film festival in Rio de Janeiro. The event was quite spectacular, well organized and full of the kinds of creative folk that insure great discussion, a good time and challenging perspectives. Little did I realize that Brazil was such a hotbed for transmedia storytelling. The audience was lively and the panelists passionate. Overall it was a higly compelling experience full of adventure, though the panel itself did little more than wet the palate of audience and panelists alike.
Mediated by Tania Yuki, Senior Director of Product Management at comScore, panelists included: Mauricio Mota director of The Alchemists, Daniel Pierra, director of the Convergence Culture Consortium (C3), yours truly Stephen Dinehart, Director of NarrWare, and Leonardo Sá, head of multimedia for the Brazillian oil giant Petrobras. Last but not least was Rene Santos da Silva, a favela based teenage entrepreneur, whom has had much sucess with his local newspaper “A Voz da Comunidade” (The Voice of the Community). (more…)
The Narrative Design Explorer will be appearing at the upcoming GDC Online Game Narrative Summit in Austin Texas October 10-13 2010. Based on the Narrative Design Explorer’s “Creators of Transmedia Stories” series it will feature Jame Waugh, Senior Story Developer at Blizzard, Danny Bilson, EVP THQ Core-Games, Steve Danuser, Creative Director at 38 Studios, John Johnson, CEO and Creative Director of Smoking Gun Interactive, and yours truly Stephen Dinehart, Chief Wizard of NarrWare.
Session Description: Transmedia storytelling is about immersing players in storyworlds that span across media formats, and its quickly gaining momentum, but is there more than a simple fad here? Just what is it, how does it work and why is it important to video games? Answers to these questions and more will be fielded by some of the biggest players in the game industry working on this new form of storytelling.
Update: GameSpot covered the session http://www.gamespot.com/news/6280903.html
Update 2: You can now watch the session on the GDC Vault http://www.gdcvault.com/free/gdc-online-10