Maria Borys-Piątkowska
Flying Wild Hog

When story meets design - the elusive narrative designers and why you need them?

Maria Borys-Piątkowska
Started her game narrative career in CI Games game development studio. Currently working as a Narrative Designer/Writer in Flying Wild Hog studio.
She has graduated from “Bahama Film School” based in Warsaw and completed a bunch of writing and narrative courses, e.g. “Writing Dialogues for Games” by the University of British Columbia. She learned her writing skills while working with Laurie Hutzler.
In free time she translates and writes paper and pen RPG games (e.g. 7th edition of Call of Cthulhu RPG) and LARP scenario games.
Urgently attempts to complete her Ph.D. program in the Institute of English Studies at the University of Warsaw. The thesis she writes focuses on the analysis of the narrative in British horror fiction.
Enjoys theatre, Role-Play Games, video games and Viking era.

 

Speech description

In times past ‘writers’ were brought in near the end of the game to deliver dialogue and provide in-game text. The story was a bit of a complementary part. A final flourish.
Now, this is changing. Narrative Designers are involved at the beginning of the process to ensure that Story and Gameplay come abreast from the premise to production.
Considering the movies, a viewer can sit down and be visually taken through a set storyline, but their experience will mostly always be the same. In video games, players interact with a narrative on a completely different level. Players become the story. Their actions and their decisions shape the way the story is provided, making none of the first experience while playing, identical to another.
In our speech, we will propose a thesis that a narrative is an integral part of the game design and a valid element of the entire game development process. We will provide an in-depth analysis refuting the pervasive belief that the narrative aspect of a game lies entirely within the hands of a writer. Consequently, we will explain the difference between the scope of responsibilities those two positions – writer and narrative designer – are assigned to, when creating a consistent narrative layer of a game.
A narrative designer must think in action, first and foremost. Our goal is to prove that “narrative designers work with Story so that Play has Meaning”. (Edwin McRae)

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