is Interactive Story Telling?
Well, the answer is simple: The experiencing of
a tale in which one can act and react, therefore influencing the
path of the drama... hopefully.
Today most interactive stories aren't that interactive
at all, mainly due to exploding development issues. But while this
is true to computer games we'll find true interactivity in pencil
& paper roleplaying games and other art forms.
This new form of story telling draws it origins
from other media, a topic I researched for my dissertation in the
second half of the '90s as one of the first to analyze this field
(or as my "doctor-godfather" put it: "real pioneer's
I covered all aspects of contentual influences
rather than the usual technology and gameplay approach, therefore
beginning with classical literature from Homer, Poe and Shelley
to Howard and Tolkien, TV and movies - e.g. like Star Trek and Star
Wars - , analog and digital games like D&D and Wing Commander,
cover art by Vallejo, comic book heroes and a lot of other prior
If you are interested in history of interactive
story telling, check it out in the shop-section.
For my research on this new form of media, I researched
the conventional forms and archetypes of structural paradigms, ranging
from Campbell via Field to Vogler and developed myself the chaosparadigm
(Bhatty, 1999), which is a reaction to the alpha-plot.
The alpha-plot describes the overall flow of the designed area.
so it is not the main plot but the structural framework... which,
most importantly will be received in a linear form.
I implemented this concept of chaos in story telling
sucessfully in the computer game SACRED, for which I designed as
Lead Game Designer both story
and world. I am pround to
claim, that SACRED (2004) ist the first game from Germany which
covers all types of narrative archetypes, not only the mentor and
the shadow. However, this was only the beginning, rough experiments
at the dawn of a new age of interactive media...
It is my believe that we can do more with games
than just creating pseudo linear experiences. As I am now working
at the MHMK,
university of applied sciences in Munich as a professor
for Game Design, I intend to push the envelop in this field
of science, exploring new methods to create true interactive story
telling. Let's see what the future will bring in years to come;-)
also find me here...