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Tuesday, March 17 • 9:30am - 1:30pm
Interactive Narratives in Open Game Worlds

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ATTENTION: This session requires advance signup to attend. For Online Schedule: Please utilize the RSVP link below the description to reserve your seat. For SXSW GO App: Use the RSVP 'Find a Timeslot' link. You must have a SXSW Interactive, Gold, or Platinum badge to attend, and, you must have an activated SXsocial account (social.sxsw.com) to reserve a seat. If you have any issues with signing up, please email support@sxsw.com. VERY IMPORTANT: Because of the limited space, we recommend you arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the published start time of this session. If you have not checked in at the room you RSVPed for at least five minutes prior to the session start time, you may lose your seat to an attendee in the waiting list line.
No prerequisites, although some experience with game design, narratives, system thinking, and board games is a bonus.
What to Bring:
No materials required to bring.
A practical workshop to come up with new approaches in narrative design for open worlds. It’s an effort to breath in new life into the age old discussion between games and stories. Instead of superficially looking at the differences between games and stories, we will delve deep into their structures and try to marry elements together that form meaning.
For the workshop we will supply the participants with a physical prototype of an open game world. The prototype is not finished product. Instead it is designed to experiment with the problem and try different solutions quickly. The physical prototype will resemble a board game, but will be recognizable as the prototype for a computer game nonetheless. This form allows us to quickly dig deep into the meat of the problem: different structures underlying games and stories.
The workshop will last 4 hours and breaks down into several segment. During the first hour we will introduce the participants to the problem in general, the physical prototype we’ll be using to design solutions, and the specifics of the task at hand. After a short break the participants will work on problem for roughly 45 minutes, after which we’ll playtest each other’s solution. After a break we’ll challenge the participants with new assignments and have them work on new prototypes during the third hour. The final hour will be reserved for final playtests, discussion, and wrap-up.
The workshop itself is pretty open. We have no specific strategy in mind that solves the problem of narratives in open game worlds. So we are looking forward to interesting take-aways as much as the participants where the main problems are concerned. However, we do expect to cover some ground and hopefully the participants can learn from the general hands-on, design-oriented approach we take to solving this hairy problem. We expect everybody to walk away with a much clearer perspective on the problem, a better understanding of the conflicting structures of games and stories, and at least some ideas for possible solutions.

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avatar for Joris Dormans

Joris Dormans

Game Designer, Ludomotion
Joris Dormans (PhD) is a Dutch gameplay engineer, lecturer, author, and researcher based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, working in industry and higher education since 2005. For the past six years, he has been researching formal tools and methods to design game mechanics. His other... Read More →
avatar for Karel Millenaar

Karel Millenaar

Pres of Play, FourceLabs
Designing games to solve real world problems is what Karel loves to do the most. For over 7 years he's designing tools to give his players to empower themselves. This search takes him from hybrid board games, to sticker powered work processes to public game installations. His process... Read More →

Tuesday March 17, 2015 9:30am - 1:30pm
JW Marriott Room 301-302 110 E 2nd St

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