CCOG for MM 271 Spring 2024

Course Number:
MM 271
Course Title:
Interactive Storytelling
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Introduces the principles of interactive storytelling for games and other nonlinear media. Includes an overview of basic storytelling principles and how they apply to static and dynamic narratives, and hands-on experience with interactive narrative drafting/prototyping tools. Analyzes and evaluates user experience and other human factors to engage users. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Define and compare the different ways that games structure their stories, focusing on narrative structure, linearity versus non-linearity, critical path versus optional content, and other conventions of interactive storytelling.
  • Apply the basic principles of storytelling in treatments, including plot structure, character development, exposition, dialogue, conflict and resolution, and showing versus telling in games and other interactive media.

  • Use industry-standard tools used to create interactive storytelling in games, including environmental storytelling, linear versus branching narrative paths, and audio/voiceover.

  • Explore and engage with contemporary narrative prototyping and game-making tools.

  • Evaluate player feedback and engagement using analytics, telemetry, heat maps, and other tools to understand the user experience and adapt the user journey based on the data acquired.

Course Activities and Design

Materials will be presented via lectures, demonstrations, and reading assignments.  Students will learn and demonstrate their abilities through hands-on assignments and participation.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • A series of short written assignments;

  • Written quizzes;

  • Practical exams in which the student demonstrates hands-on skills and abilities;

  • Observation and review by the instructor and other Productions staff.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Goal: Explore the structure and craft of stories

Goal: Understand the differences between linear and interactive stories from a structural and technical standpoint

Goal: Learn about the different types of stories and interactive narrative experiences in the earliest days of modern games

Goal: Understand the history of storytelling in modern games and the major categories and movements that define it

Goal: Familiarize students with tools for creating interactive stories

Goal: Provide students with hands-on experience using real-world game narrative tools to create an expository narrative experience

Goal: Introduce and explore real-world examples of interactive storytelling techniques.

Goal: Build connections between existing games’ narrative techniques and the story game that students are designing.

Goal: Complete the student’s toolkit of game narrative tools and techniques.

Goal: Understand how player behavior and feedback can be measured, interpreted, and utilized to improve communication with the player

Goal: Demonstrate mastery of the basics of interactive storytelling with a completed game.