Next offered

Fall 2024

Calendar Description

A workshop/seminar in writing for digital media, hyper-literature, video games, interactive installations and experiences.

Course Description

This course introduces the history, terminology, sub-genres, technological media, creative opportunities and artistic challenges of writing interactive stories. The class will include the following elements: 1) sample interactive narratives to read, play or view; 2) theoretical and practical readings and videos in the art and craft of writing interactive stories; 3) brief lectures by the instructor that add context, connect ideas, explain assignments, and offer suggestions on how to write and revise your own interactive stories; 4) in-person workshops to submit draft stories and critique as a large group or in smaller break-out groups.

This is a third-year Writing course, so you will be assessed on your ability to create polished, coherent, original prose narratives and critical reviews. This course also focuses on the design and production of interactive storytelling, so you will be assessed on your ability to apply tools, concepts and techniques of different types of interactive media to produce effective and affecting narratives of original conception and artistic power. Lastly, the course demands participation and interaction via blog posts, in-class discussions and constructive workshop feedback.

Course Goals

Upon completion of this third-year writing course, students should be able to:

  • understand the history, terminology and techniques of writing interactive stories in different media;
  • define and apply key terms in descriptive nonfiction blog posts and online forums about the experience of interactive storytelling;
  • use the open-source software tool Twine to create a hyperlinked branching narrative;
  • conceive, plan and complete an original creative project that explores the artistic potential of interactive storytelling;
  • offer constructive, critical and creative feedback in oral and written forms to improve the draft projects of your peers
  • compose a Design Document for creative project management purposes that explains the idea, workflow and execution of your final project.
Course Delivery (Fall 2022)

For Fall 2022, I will be teaching WRIT 324 in-person during a 3-hour workshop slot (Tuesday or Wednesday). There will also be an optional “lab” on Fridays during which students can drop in for playtests of various interactive story-games mentioned in class, including VR experiences, video games, board games, TTRGSs and experimental RPGs. The major assignments will be 1) a short Interactive story written using Twine; 2) a conceptual Design Document for a larger interactive project; 3) a longer interactive story (complete or opening chapter), which may include a CYOA book, an online branching story, a video game, an interactive play or film, a RPG module or board game with a strong narrative element, or any other story/experience with a strong interactive component.

Course Syllabus 

Past syllabus can be found here. Official syllabus is subject to change and will be posted online via Brightspace. You can explore options for a Final Creative Project using this interactive tool.

Library Resources

UVic Librarian (and games enthusiast) has created an excellent resource page for studying and making interactive stories here, including a list of available tools to create your own interactive narratives.