Articles on Narrative Design and Storytelling

21 articles

The Player and the Pentacle - Pre-Order Kindle Edition Now!

  • 14 January 2022
  • Nick Jones

I'm excited to finally announce that my upcoming book, "The Player and the Pentacle is now available for pre-order on Kindle! Join me as we explore how the folklore of our ancestors can strengthen both your narrative and game design. This book is the culmination of my PhD research, and is a must-read for creatives working in video games, transmedia, and other storytelling industries!

Doppelgängers and Shadows: Exploring the Power of the Inverted Foil in Narrative Design

  • 23 December 2021
  • Nick Jones

In this article, from my upcoming book "The Player and the Pentacle: Folkloric Motifs for Narrative Design," I trace the concepts of the Shadow and Doppelgänger from their folkloric origins to their modern day literary uses, showing how as complimentary design tools, these archetypes can foster a more interesting approach to both character and plot in traditional and interactive stories.

When NPCs Become Heroes

  • 30 August 2021
  • Nick Jones

In the lead up to sharing on my underlying narrative engine, "The Player and the Pentacle" at hashtag#GCAP this year, I thought it would be cool to share with you all another excerpt from my upcoming book on the same subject. Credit to Jeff Gomez for his help throughout the writing process, and for the great work he has undertaken through exploring the collective journey.

Queering Up Your Games: The How and Why

  • 24 May 2019
  • Nick Jones

This week, I do I bit of a sharp turn and talk primarily about LGBTQI (and a little PoC) representation within game content. I discuss what the issue is, why it is an issue and how we can develop complex minority characters through subtle layering of dialogue. This piece builds on a section from my 2017 Masters Thesis: "Story Meets Storyworld"

Speak Up! Creating Meaningful Characters Through Dialogue

  • 14 May 2019
  • Nick Jones

The Holy Grail of Narrative Design is to create powerful characters that players empathize with and will even cry over. Perhaps the strongest way to do this is through great dialogue. Why? Because dialogue is the primary way that we as people come to understand those around us. The same is true for video games. Here I discuss key concepts and the tools I use in my own work.

A Visual Feast: Learning the Movements of Environmental Storytelling

  • 10 May 2019
  • Nick Jones

It's been a long time in the making, but here's my current thoughts on the subject of this unusual form of storytelling, unique to interactive narratives.

The Immersive Beast: Getting Right the Narrative Structure in your Game

  • 11 April 2019
  • Nick Jones

For those of you wondering about how the framework of a narrative effects your game and vice versa, I divulge in some pretty lengthy detail, my thoughts about the current phenomenon of emergent gameplay and how to get the best out of it for your work.

The Folklore of Video Games: Using Narrative Design to Create Player Agency

  • 5 April 2019
  • Nick Jones

Something I've been thinking about a lot lately is how folklore (legends, myths and folktales) is created, and how we, as Narrative Designers can use that information to build a kind of creative conversation with our players. This article compiles my thoughts on the matter in what I believe is, perhaps my most important piece to date.

Finding Meaning in Play: Defining Narrative Design

  • 2 April 2019
  • Nick Jones

Ever wondered what Narrative Design actually is? Here I give a concise definition as well as a set of useful terms to use when developing your interactive stories.

Strange Flesh: The Use Of Lovecraftian Archetypes In Queer Fiction: Conclusion

  • 10 February 2018
  • Nick Jones

HP Lovecraft is one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century. His hand can be seen all over film, prose and video games. In this series of articles Narrative Designer Nick Jones explores the genre of Lovecraftian horror in relation to LGBTQ representation, and how despite his rampant homophobia, HP Lovecraft created a perfect playing field for queer writers to tell their stories.

Strange Flesh: The Use Of Lovecraftian Archetypes In Queer Fiction: Cthulhu (2007)

  • 10 February 2018
  • Nick Jones

HP Lovecraft is one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century. His hand can be seen all over film, prose and video games. In this series of articles Narrative Designer Nick Jones explores the genre of Lovecraftian horror in relation to LGBTQ representation, and how despite his rampant homophobia, HP Lovecraft created a perfect playing field for queer writers to tell their stories.

Strange Flesh: The Use Of Lovecraftian Archetypes In Queer Fiction: The Glittering World (2015)

  • 27 December 2017
  • Nick Jones

HP Lovecraft is one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century. His hand can be seen all over film, prose and video games. In this series of articles Narrative Designer Nick Jones explores the genre of Lovecraftian horror in relation to LGBTQ representation, and how despite his rampant homophobia, HP Lovecraft created a perfect playing field for queer writers to tell their stories.

Strange Flesh: The Use Of Lovecraftian Archetypes In Queer Fiction: Providence (2015-2017)

  • 27 December 2017
  • Nick Jones

HP Lovecraft is one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century. His hand can be seen all over film, prose and video games. In this series of articles Narrative Designer Nick Jones explores the genre of Lovecraftian horror in relation to LGBTQ representation, and how despite his rampant homophobia, HP Lovecraft created a perfect playing field for queer writers to tell their stories.

Strange Flesh: The Use Of Lovecraftian Archetypes In Queer Fiction - Mysterium Tremendum

  • 30 May 2017
  • Nick Jones

HP Lovecraft is one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century. His hand can be seen all over film, prose and video games. In this series of articles Narrative Designer Nick Jones explores the genre of Lovecraftian horror in relation to LGBTQ representation, and how despite his rampant homophobia, HP Lovecraft created a perfect playing field for queer writers to tell their stories.

Strange Flesh: The Use Of Lovecraftian Archetypes In Queer Fiction – The Shadow Over Innsmouth (1931)

  • 11 May 2017
  • Nick Jones

HP Lovecraft is one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century. His hand can be seen all over film, prose and video games. In this series of articles Narrative Designer Nick Jones explores the genre of Lovecraftian horror in relation to LGBTQ representation, and how despite his rampant homophobia, HP Lovecraft created a perfect playing field for queer writers to tell their stories.

Strange Flesh: The Use Of Lovecraftian Archetypes in Queer Fiction – Lovecraft And Sex

  • 4 May 2017
  • Nick Jones

HP Lovecraft is one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century. His hand can be seen all over film, prose and video games. In this series of articles Narrative Designer Nick Jones explores the genre of Lovecraftian horror in relation to LGBTQ representation, and how despite his rampant homophobia, HP Lovecraft created a perfect playing field for queer writers to tell their stories.

Strange Flesh: The Use of Lovecraftian Archetypes In Queer Fiction - Introduction

  • 4 May 2017
  • Nick Jones

HP Lovecraft is one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century. His hand can be seen all over film, prose and video games. In this series of articles Narrative Designer Nick Jones explores the genre of Lovecraftian horror in relation to LGBTQ representation, and how despite his rampant homophobia, HP Lovecraft created a perfect playing field for queer writers to tell their stories.

Grand Theft Auto May Be Satirical, But Does It Understand Satire?

  • 23 March 2017
  • Nick Jones

Narrative Designer, Nick Jones talks on GTA, and the problems around gamifying satire.

The "Don't Show The Monster" Rule: Ambiguity, Terror and Dislocation In Weird Horror

  • 13 June 2013
  • Nick Jones

Moving more into the realm of narrative theory with this article, I discuss how to create believable, terrifying monsters and suspense within the horror genre.

That Perfect Ending/s: The Multi-Choice Conclusion In Video Game Narratives

  • 4 May 2012
  • Nick Jones

I discuss both the inherent positives and negatives of player choice in modern gaming.

Turning Games into Literature: An Interview with Starlight Runner's Jeff Gomez and Narrative Limited's Edwin McRae

  • 4 May 2012
  • Nick Jones

Sitting down with Starlight Runner Entertainment CEO, Jeff Gomez and Narrative Limited's Edwin McRae, we discussed how the involvement of story in games is incredibly important as well as what we would like to see change in the industry in the future.