Thesis Subject Notes
What is Environmental Narration
For my thesis the term Environmental Narration was created to separate it from the design methods of environmental storytelling. Environmental Narration is building levels that allow players to discover a complex narrative almost entirely through analyzing a level’s environment.
Purpose of Master Thesis
There were two main goals for this thesis to accomplish. First, test how well environmental narration delivered a complex narrative to players without using cinematics, texts or voice-over. Secondly, create a list of best practices for delivering narratives in future game development. (See details on Result Notes)
Testing Environmental Narration
A game level artifact, that centered around a mass murder mystery, was created to test the effectiveness of environmental narration. Players had to piece together clues from the crime scene in order to uncover the narrative written for the level.
Several playtests were conducted with players unfamiliar with the level and its narrative to gain insightful feedback. From the feedback, the level went through several iterations to increase how effective it delivered the narrative. (See details on Result Notes)