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Don’t forget to save! User experience principles for video game narrative authoring tools.

Green, D., 2022. Don’t forget to save! User experience principles for video game narrative authoring tools. Doctoral Thesis (Doctoral). Bournemouth University.

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GREEN, Daniel_Ph.D._2022.pdf
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Interactive Digital Narratives (IDNs) are a natural evolution of traditional storytelling melded with technological improvements brought about by the rapidly increasing digital revolution. This has and continues to enhance the complexities and functionality of the stories that we can tell. Video game narratives, both old and new, are considered close relatives of IDN, and due to their enhanced interactivity and presentational methods, further complicate the creation process. Authoring tool software aims to alleviate the complexities of this by abstracting underlying data models into accessible user interfaces that creatives, even those with limited technical experience, can use to author their stories. Unfortunately, despite the vast array of authoring tools in this space, user experience is often overlooked even though it is arguably one of the most vital components. This has resulted in a focus on the audience within IDN research rather than the authors, and consequently our knowledge and understanding of the impacts of user experience design decisions in authoring tools are limited. This thesis tackles the modeling of complex video game narrative structures and investigates how user experience design decisions within IDN authoring tools may impact the authoring process. I first introduce my concept of Discoverable Narrative which establishes a vocabulary for the analysis, categorization, and comparison of aspects of video game narrative that are discovered, observed, or experienced by players — something that existing models struggle to detail. I also develop and present my Novella Narrative Model which provides support for video game narrative elements and makes several novel innovations that set it apart from existing narrative models. This thesis then builds upon these models by presenting two bespoke user studies that examine the user experience of the state-of-the-art in IDN authoring tool design, together building a listing of seven general Themes and five principles (Metaphor Testing, Fast Track Testing, Structure, Experimentation, Branching) that highlight evidenced behavioral trends of authors based on different user experience design factors within IDN authoring tools. This represents some of the first work in this space that investigates the relationships between the user experience design of IDN authoring tools and the impacts that they can have on authors. Additionally, a generalized multi-stage pipeline for the design and development of IDN authoring tools is introduced, informed by professional industry- standard design techniques, in an effort to both ensure quality user experience within my own work and to raise awareness of the importance of following proper design processes when creating authoring tools, also serving as a template for doing so.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:authoring; games; user experience; narrative
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:36637
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:21 Feb 2022 10:40
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:32


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