Meaningful Interactive Narrativity
Jan Kavan (1979) is a composer, cellist and game developer. He achieved master’s degree and later on doctoral degree at Janacek’s Academy of Performing Arts in Brno (Composition and Theory of Composition) where he currently teaches composition, multimedia composition, interactive and electroacoustic music.
Jan entered the game industry in 2002 and assuming various roles ranging from programmer, composer, sfx designer or design consultant on many indie games (Tale of a Hero, Carol Reed series, Barrow Hill, Lights Out, Sunrise, Midnight Horror…). In 2006 he co-founded with Lukáš Medek two-man indie studio CBE (later CBE software), creating such games as Ghost in the Sheet, Vampires, Boredom of Agustín Cordes, J.U.L.I.A., J.U.L.I.A.: Untold and critically acclaimed J.U.L.I.A: Among the Stars.
Currently, his CBE software slowly finishes development of acclaimed “Someday You’ll Return”, where he, apart from running the company, works as writer, narrative and game designer, programmer, music composer and sound designer.
At heart of everything we do sits a meaning. Sometimes it can be obvious, sometimes it can get hidden behind layers of various self-imposed junk. When designing narrativity, it’s important to understand the way how the true meanings actually work and how to convey them through an interactive design of a video game. Understanding meaningful interactions can be a huge step forward to create an impactful narrative design and getting to the core of them help us convey the emotions, story and believable characters in a more precise way. The talk deals with concepts of meanings from the viewpoint of a narrative designer and how they are perceived differently by players due to paradigmatic layer differences and hopefully helping narrative designers to see some less-explored angles of narrative design together with my methods applied in Someday You’ll Return.