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Session Name:

Environmental Storytelling: Indices and the Art of Leaving Traces


Environmental storytelling encompasses a wide set of narrative design practices, and usually focuses on how to tell the story of the game without having to stop playing. There are still numerous opportunities for narrative gameplay that are generally overlooked, though. This presentation will focus on practices of what is called "indexical storytelling", which is narrative based on traces and other indications, and on the different types of story-driven gameplay that it can encourage. Indexical storytelling helps us transform our players into thieves, detectives, spies, as well as pioneers who are first to leave an imprint in new territory. Some games are already doing this; by using indexical storytelling, narrative design can lead gameplay.

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  • GDC Online 2012
  • Clara Fernandez Vara
  • MIT
  • free content
  • Game Narrative Summit
  • Game Narrative