Multi-Linear Narratives: Letting the Player Lead the Game

Entering a city, a house or any other interactive environment, different people have unique desires which the ideal environment both receives and responds to. This is not so with many games, however. In the most interactive of environments, players are often led, railroad style, down a prescribed path toward fixed ends. In this talk, award-winning game designer Brenda Brathwaite explores this problem and offers some solutions through the use of multi- linear narratives and the role of the un-storied mechanic in creating an experience players believe they crafted.

From the description for an upcoming talk being given by legendary game designer Brenda Brathwaite in San Francisco. If you are within range of my voice and San Francisco, you should try and make this talk and report back to me in detail. (From the comments on the blog it does not seem to be as gender-specific as it may first appear.)

What you really need to go watch as well is her talk How I Dumped Electricity and Learned to Love Design.

My interests are returning to game-design, the multi/non-linear nature of which was the inspiration for this blog (it started as a notebook of links and ideas about how to create ARG’s and other non-linear narratives). I thought it appropriate that this important figure in game design is speaking about multi- linear narratives at the same time I return to that area as a place of intellectual interest.

One of the original figures from this blog: