Below are selected talks I've given, primarily on the topic of storytelling and narrative design in games and new media.
where stories come from
Why do we love the stories we love? Why are some stories more popular than others? Does Game of Thrones exist because Lord of the Rings was a hit film series, or are there deeper cultural reasons as to why we want to see dragons, magic, and fantasy races killing each other on-screen?
cinematic games are dead! long live cinematic games!
Game creators assume that movie-inspired games should mimic the conventions of cinema. These conventions sometimes work in games, but often at great production cost; and they fail to leverage the subtle, ingenious ways video games can immerse players in familiar fictional worlds. Clever uses of art, interface and UX can make an experience "cinematic" without ever having a single camera cut.
GETTING A TEAM ON BOARD WITH NARRATIVE DESIGN
Narrative design is relatively easy. Negotiating a development process that allows for narrative design is hard. This talk deals with the challenges a narrative designer will face at a company new to narrative design, what causes these challenges, and how to overcome them.
narrative on a budget
Stories can help a game immeasurably, yet few indie game developers think they can afford them. This talk explains why and how to include a story without going over budget.