An Oscillatory Model for Developing Narratives for Serious Games


Designers often use a scripted approach to developing branching narratives for serious games. In this approach, the designer hand-crafts each dilemma at a low level, presenting these scenarios to the player with fixed branching pathways. However, this can create disconnect and disengagement within the player as the presented choices reflect the designer’s intent rather than the player’s interpretation of the scenario. On the other hand, a systems-based approach will allow the designer to develop a set of gameplay systems that integrate the game’s learning goals as interactive processes. However, this approach is not as sought after due to the difficulties designers face while implementing it into practice due to the requirements of a robust, cohesive gameplay system capable of organically producing dilemmas and scenarios. In this paper, we propose an oscillatory model for systems-based narrative design, which relies on the current understanding of the scripted approach. The oscillatory model goes back and forth between the scripted and systemic approaches to simultaneously build both versions of the game narratives.

Games for Change Asia-Pacific Journal
Vedant Sansare
Vedant Sansare
Doctoral Student in Game Design and Computing

My research interests include systems-based game design, moral decision-making and recently I have been interested in games for mental and physical health.