Transmedia Zurich: Narrative and Story Structure in Games and Media
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Transmedia Zurich: Narrative and Story Structure in Games and Media

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We often talk of stories and designing great experiences, but how does the medium we choose (book, movie, spoken-word, mobile game, etc.) influence the structure of the story. ...

We often talk of stories and designing great experiences, but how does the medium we choose (book, movie, spoken-word, mobile game, etc.) influence the structure of the story.

Why is it that you can predict the key points of a sitcom without knowing all the details of the plotline? Story structure in myths we've been told since before we could speak influence how we see the world and how we tell our own stories.

The Transmedia Zurich meetup on June 27th, 2013 was all about how story structure can be identified and used in the design process, either as a basis for transmedia productions, or in smaller projects.

Mark (Lost In Reality / idezo) gave an overview of basic story strucutre, and how it is applied to different media. Included are references to the work by Joseph Campbell (The Hero with a Thousand Faces) and how choosing a narrative can be used to target the emotional design of a product (film, game, book, etc.).

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    Transmedia Zurich: Narrative and Story Structure in Games and Media Transmedia Zurich: Narrative and Story Structure in Games and Media Presentation Transcript

    • Transmedia Zurich June 27th 2013 Colab Zurich Mark Melnykowycz Narrative and Story Structure in Games and Media 1
    • Story Narrative • Story, a recounting of a sequence of events* • An account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment: "an adventure story"** • A narrative (or story) is any account that presents connected events*** • A spoken or written account of connected events; a story: "a bare narrative of the details"** *Wikipedia **Google dictionary ***Oxford English Dictionary (online) 2
    • Horrible Definitions Those were... ...what about humans, empathy and emotions? 3
    • Society Emotions Knowledge Story 4
    • Shared emotions help form the fabric of society ...storytelling is a vehicle used to combine emotions and information ...and communicate those feelings and information in a structure which gives us comfort or instills feelings of fear, optimism, etc. 5
    • Emotions Memories Connections Structure 6
    • Storytelling gives emotional context to our linear lives 7
    • Birth Death Physical time is linear Emotional memory is non-linear 8
    • Story Connect current events to good feelings from the past Play out emotions we can’t explore in reality Hope in the future and our confidence to meet challenges 9
    • Die Hard ...makes me feel good about my chances of surviving a dramatic terrorist attack ...statistically it will probably never happen, but I’m sort of mentally prepared if it does 10
    • How are Communication Patterns Evolving? 11
    • Trends M2M Devices Device Fragmentation Evolving Communication 12
    • Evolution of Communication Face to Face Web Static HTML Blogging (active HTML) Instant Messaging Email Social Networks Location ServicesWriting Printing Copier Telephone MobileSMS MMS Fragmented Lines Push/Pull Transmedia 13
    • Story Structure What is traditional story structure? Does it conflict with our fragmented communication patterns? 14
    • Many different models of story structure for different media 15
    • The Basics 16
    • Hero Villain Conflict 17
    • ResolutionTransformationChallenge Over-coming extreme odds...to succeed in the end 18
    • http://www.musik-therapie.at/PederHill/Structure&Plot.htm http://wandertones.deviantart.com/art/Standard-Story-Structure-178276496 Linear Story Structure Rising drama to an apex with essential plot points 19
    • Joseph Campbell “Campbell explores the theory that important myths from around the world which have survived for thousands of years all share a fundamental structure, which Campbell called the monomyth.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hero_with_a_Thousand_Faces 20
    • THE HERO IS INTRODUCED IN HIS ORDINARY WORLD THE CALL TO ADVENTURE THE HERO IS RELUCTANT AT FIRST THE HERO IS ENCOURAGED BY THE WISE OLD MAN OR WOMAN THE HERO PASSES THE FIRST THRESHOLD THE HERO ENCOUNTERS TESTS AND HELPERS THE HERO REACHES THE INNERMOST CAVE THE HERO ENDURES THE SUPREME ORDEAL THE HERO SIEZES THE SWORD THE ROAD BACK RESURRECTION RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR The Hero’s Journey http://www.cs.uu.nl/docs/vakken/b2go/docs/hero_journey.pdf 21
    • 22
    • Why is the Hero’s Journey structure so popular in movies and media? Fairy Tales, myths Star Wars,The Matrix, etc. Do we like it because we expect it and are conditioned for it? Is it inherent in our minds and DNA? Does it hold us back in life? Must we be chosen to do great things by someone else? 23
    • Games and Story 24
    • Games Confront a challenge Understand your progress Play Interactive with the world Interact with other players Actions have consequences Conquer small quests 25
    • MetalStorm 26
    • G.I. Joe storyline I love playing MetalStorm because I saw Top Gun and played After Burner a few times in the 80‘s and liked G.I. Joe. Live out the emotions of a fighter pilot risk free MetalStorm 27
    • http://www.slideshare.net/gbanga/transmedia-and-mixedreality-gaming 28
    • ThankYou Colab Zurich for hosting! 29
    • Mark Melnykowycz @americanpeyote idezo.ch Lostinreality.net 30