Sławomir Uliasz
Flying Wild Hog

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

He started his career in the game industry as a humble game journalist, but after 10 years of writing about games, he finally got a chance to actually write them. Now he pursues his career as a Narrative Designer and Writer for 8 years. Currently working as a Narrative Designer/Writer in Flying Wild Hog studio.
He studied History and Cultural Science at Warsaw University, but he never pursued an academic career and became a game journalist instead, polishing his writing and editing skills.
Personally, he is a huge geek writing tabletop RPGs and LARP scenarios in his free time and dabbling in board game design.
He enjoys video games, board games, RPG and LARPs, as well as visual novels and books. In his free time he travels an embarks on trekking trips.

 

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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