Designer's statement: This paper is about the development of â€œFallingâ€, a single-player, explorative game that engages players in a murder mystery. In-game, storytelling approaches include non-linear, dynamic and interactive narratives, which also serve as game mechanics and gameplay. The plot possibilities are disjointed and disrupted. Players jump back and forth within timelines within narrative strands. Players uncover and connect puzzle fragments of story occurring in different or even in parallel time periods. The mystery can unfold in myriad ways, depending on paths created by players. The mid-century aesthetic is both modern and retro, echoing game dynamics that can move back and forth in time. The central design question of â€œFallingâ€ is, as well as their more conventional use in creating context, can aspects of dynamic narratives be deployed as game mechanics and gameplay? â€œFallingâ€ posits a murder mystery that unfolds through digital play, built on techniques of non-linear and interactive narratives. Murder is a disturbing, violent crime; nonetheless, murder involves emotionally engaged, complex relationships among people, objects and spaces, and mysteries present many opportunities for storytelling. The â€œFallingâ€ player imbues the who, the what, the when, the where, and the why with logic by creating different pathways through the narrative. The plots and endings of the stories will change depending on how players interact with objects, scenes, as well as what dialogue player connect to each character. In the meantime, the relationships among the characters and the progression of events unfold unpredictably. With dynamic narratives, players are allowed to play back and forth within a timeline or even be lead to a parallel time. The goal of the project, a dynamic narrative game, is to provoke players to enjoy storytelling deeply as they immerse themselves in devising plots while playing â€œFalling.â€
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