What is a narrative designer? – The Narrative Design Exploratorium™


What is a narrative designer?

Written by Stephen E. Dinehart.
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Posted in: Interactive Narrative Design

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Narrative Designers are storytellers whom live alongside a game as it develops through the production process. As the project grows and alters over the course of production, they are there to make sure the story maintains continuity throughout the experience. They are managers, writers, game designers, artists, and more. The pillar of their primary tenant must be founded on a transparent blend between narratological and ludological tendencies within interactive experience design. Simply put the balance of play and story.

Narrative Design demands understanding of the whole product. Like any good Hollywood Director they need to know the entire production pipeline. It is only through this understanding of the implementation of said narremes (narrative elements) that one can truly craft an interactive story. From characters to color scripts, shape scripts and even dialogue, it’s up to the Narrative Designer to create compelling documentation for the whole team. It is through this classical approach that best stories can happen, and the craft can refine to a unique form of high design. That said it’s a new field, it’s ripe for exploration and definition.

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