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  • Writer's picturePablo Cidade

Syllabus Narrative Design

A syllabus that I designed by compiling various materials that I consider would be useful for someone who wants to learn Narrative Design.

Includes the bases, expert insight and case studies.


(1) - The Basics


How to start

The 6 essential questions

Narrative Structure - Overview

Narrative Structure for ganes

Plot, character and lore

Explicit, implícit and emergent narratives

Writing better dialog

Writing internal dialog

Avoiding Fiat writing (Basically, something that works only because the author says it does. )


Case of Study - Condemned Criminal Origins

  • Use of original mechanics to display information without making it feel static

  • or boring.

  • Adding moments of calm during combat.


Horror Scene Construction



(2) - Environmental Storytelling


Level design


Case of Study - Cry of Fear


  • Use of the environment and pacing in the narrative. Mechanics

  • as a means convey the feeling of survival horror.

  • Moments of calm and tension as a way to lead the player through the

  • history.

  • Use of conflicting tones to convey a message.


Case of Study - Resident Evil Village

  • Use of themes, characterization and changes in environment and gameplay in the construction of an overarching narrative.



(3) - Narrative as a System


Narratives as systems

Systemic games and emergent narratives

Invisible choices

Narrative downbeats, Moments of struggle, narrative rewards, disadvantages and

improvements in emergent Storytelling


Case of Study - Dwarf fortress and emergent narratives

Case of Study - Rimworld and emergent narratives


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