Category: Research

SHARING 11: Nightwalk

Night Walk” is an interactive narrative project by Cours Julien.

It is all set in this really cool district in  Marseille and there is a lot of atmosphere going on here with fascinating street art. There is some narration like an audio guide and then we can wander about to see the neighbourhood and all this has been captured at night. So with the photos, images, videos, sounds and interesting facts, we can really become like “online tourists” for awhile and just enjoy this place miles across the globe.

Totally cool and sharing here with all of you. And it is best to experience it with headphones by the way! 

SHARING 9: Looking at Narratives as a Design Problem

Working on the game now and thinking of the mechanics to create something playable.. based on much of the suggestions from the beta-testers we’ve had as well as Prof. Vlad who is giving us a lot of feedback on his experience in trying to learn the playing of the game.

A Case Study in Interactive Narrative Design by Carol Strohecker

would like to share, above, this study I read where the writer is engaged in a discussion on looking at these issues as design problems. and how we might then proceed to solve them. she raised some plausible solutions like pacing of interactive and non-interactive “chunks”, which is like a control of the time and learning curve of the user. As well as creating a dynamic feedback loop which will allow users to check progress and know that they are sticking to the program.

I think this is simillar to some suggestions we have had to create some progress bar thing in the game we are making. although i wonder if there can be an elegant representation of that…

SHARING 8: Flying High in Rome’s Interactive Web Experience


Rome was originally intended as a concept album for a film.

This interactive narrative experience powered by integrated the use of webGL within the Chrome browser. Rich graphical interactive experience with great music soundtrack!

Director Chris Milk is an artist primarily working with technology-generated emotional resonance. The interactive narrative is inspired by the music of Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi.


It is a fun experience really. I get to fly around and explore this bizarre yet beautiful world. And everywhere I go there will be animals galloping and birds flying around and the plants will just sprout out across the landscape that the mouse touches.


SHARING 7: Generating Interactive Stories

Barber, Heather, and Daniel Kudenko. “Dynamic Generation of Dilemma-based Interactive Narratives.” AIIDE 7 (2007): 2-7.


Read this paper which talks about mechanisms for Interactive Stories. And how we might use the decision making aspect that we design for the user to drive  and shape how we tell the stories.

They presented in the paper many avenues to consider and I will share some of the more interesting points.

In speaking about types of dilemmas, they categorized it into 5 distinct types: Betrayal, Sacrifice, Greater Good, Take Down, Favour. And all these I found really closely related to the sort of moral standards and systems prevalent in society. For example in the Betrayal Dilemma, it is about the moral virtue of loyalty and should the player then go against his faction or team in order to save himself? And for the Greater Good, it is about utilitarianism and maybe the player will decide that he has to leave people behind or avoid a fight in order to preserve and protect the majority.

The other thing that the paper brought up was this diagram to help structure these dilemmas into a scene or a story component in the interactive narrative:

So it is quite a good read and really gets you thinking about what we want the player to feel and think about when interacting with the story. And I find that thinking about it this way accomplishes two things, both the story plot (situation leading towards the dilemma) and the interactive story mechanism (choice and scenarios presented to the player).

SHARING 6: Playing Lynch

Hey all, this is really a shout-out to those who are fans of David Lynch and have seen most of his filmography! Twin Peaks, the TV series that sparked so much interest and controversy is back for the third season, this coming May.

Along with many teasers for season 3, the Lynch Foundation also released this “Playing Lynch” interactive website where we can see the full length director’s cut for Psychogenic Fugue. Hosted by Squarespace the website creator, and directed by Sandro Miller.

Featuring  American actor, director, and producer, John Malkovich, who has appeared in 70 over films. And in this interactive film website we get to see him play 7 of the most iconic or intriguing Lynch characters (John Merrick, Henry Spencer, Lady in the Radiator, Mystery Man, Frank Booth, Dale Cooper and the Log Lady). Featuring also, the music of David Lynch, as performed by artists like The Flaming Lips and Angelo Badalamenti. The interactive film certainly pays homage to the Lynchian film! It was a great immersive experience going through the roughly 20mins of content.

If you are reading this and Lynchian films are your thing then don’t miss out! Click here now! You can see the trailer I linked up below also.

But if you have not watched any Lynch film, or you don’t even know who is Lynch to the point that the silhouette in the poster below does not bear recognition, then PLEASE WATCH HIS FILMS!!! You are missing out a great deal of great compelling story-telling in an often non-linear, well-crafted sequencing of pace, concept and emotion.

Meanwhile, I am still counting down to Twin Peaks Season 3! After 25 years.. whoo!!


Psychogenic Fugue starring John Malkovich

PROCESS 2: Intro to Unity Game Engine

In sourcing the technical aspects of the Interactive Narrative project my team has embarked on, I am decidedly looking towards Unity Game Engine and what it can offer as a platform to shape and tell our story.

So our story is currently about this thief who has a house full of objects he has stolen and each object has a story to tell. These branched out narratives will eventually coalesce and lead to the capture of the thief. So in terms of plot for the game itself, the players start off at the time when the thief is already caught, so they kind of are looking into the past to see what and how these things all come together.

We decided on an isometric view for the game. Because of the players ability to ‘time jump’ which we will give them, I feel that it is appropriate as the isometric view has this sort of god-like presence to it and it is very much like in the Sims games. So will be sticking with that for now.

And here is a preliminary tryout at the game engine. I have created an isometric view by locking the camera vantage point to a certain angle. But the images are like these 2D images of small blocks that I need to piece together which is quite a lot of work. But because of the angles of the placement you will see it as an isometric space.

We can already see the potential of placement of objects, how they might be revealed or hidden due to the isometric restrictions for the player’s line of sight. And here I am only just interested in trying out the simple interaction of mouse over to make the objects rotate. Which I can then further extend into click actions, button actions, etc to maybe play audio, highlight objects. So that will depend on how we move on from this point.

SHARING 5: Interactive Films at Sundance

Are Interactive Films Transforming Modern Storytelling? Sundance’s New Frontier Has the Answer

This is a really interesting and thought provoking article I read on IndieWire. You guys can check their site for more cool stuff too.

So it is talking about Sundance which is this huge film festival and there are a lot of really good independent films that show there. I usually am more drawn to these stories and concepts rather than the big summer blockbusters and immense screen presences.

Here we see that Sundance has recently embarked since about 3-4 years ago on a totally new category of films – Interactive Films. I certainly feel that this is a step forward for the modern film lover. Of course we cannot have all film going this direction either. But I appreciate the experimentation and this new ways of letting a story unravel in a sense that film makers now are not spoon-feeding us. They expect the audience to pick up our interest in what we see and decide for ourselves what we want to see and what we make of that. And this can be a very powerful experience.

I picked out from the article this example which is I Love Your Work (2003) which is a piece by Jonathan Harris. We have seen some of his work during class like Whale Hunt and his Birthday photography series. So this is done in the format of an Interactive Film and we can see how his photography experience and the way he presents his photos in those interfaces he created on his website, has translated into this film work. I Love Your Work is very realist and raw. We go into the everyday lives of nine young women who engage in lesbian porn. Over 2 thousand 10-second clips were shot taken at five-minute intervals over 10 consecutive days. So it is very candid. And we can interact with the interface to view around six hours of footage.
However it is capped at 10 viewers per day, and tickets cost $10 for each viewing, so I haven’t seen it. Probably in the near future when I can have time to really appreciate and experience this work as I think it will be quite interesting.

SHARING 4: Putting it all on the Table – More on Narrative Adaptations

Snow White on the Table (2008) from hyojung SEO on Vimeo.


This is a rather interesting piece, again adapting upon an existing narrative, in-fact a fairy tale, one which we are all very much familiar. However there is all of things that appear rather subversive here and the viewer is given the chance to explore this in a non-linear way. So it is highly interactive and challenges us in the way that we are re-reading this story because it does not seem to be the Snow White that we all know. I guess it is also interesting to note that these fairy tales were rather dark in their original conception by the Grimm Brothers. So our fantasy-romance fairy tale told in technicolour by Disney back in 1937 really is not the only way the story exists. So I really like this thought put into the retelling of the story in Snow White on the Table. Just putting it all out on the table for us to see the story unfold.

SHARING 3: Adapting Narratives for Interaction – Takahiro Matsuo’s Prince and Migrant Birds

Prince and Migrant Birds Interactive installation made by T. Matsuo in 2007.


Takahiro Matsuo’s work here is really very interesting. Bringing to life the story of the Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Viewers get to go into and be surrounded by the wonderment of that world. I read Little Prince many years back and that was a  version translated into Chinese. But just looking at the videos of the installation I can feel the magic and would certainly like to be in it. This is a way of introducing the interactivity into an existing narrative and expanding the world that is built around it so that the idea of “interactive narratives” can come across rather strong and appeal to both existing fans and people who are first at encountering the story. I think this adaptation is done very nicely and Matsuo’s work will be in my following list now.


“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly what is essential is invisible to the eye”

The Little Prince