Games are inherently participatory. That interactive nature is the reason for why we play games, and it’s how computer games are powerfully different from all other media. But whose story does a game tell? That of the player, the game character, or the designer? The answer lies somewhere in the middle, and this lecture provides a review of how games create narrative by structuring designer and player stories through level design.
You can download the annotated .PDF slides (10mb) to read my entire thought process.
I realized after the fact that my lecture was incomplete: the lessons gleaned from Player Stories and Designer Stories are not designer-facing, and thus not actionable. I followed up on the topic with my 2013 lecture on game authorship, and did a complete 2014 lecture on meaningful choice that delves deeply into how designers create “systemic agency”, one of the topics I explore in the Player Stories and Designer Stories lecture.