Subject: Interactive Visual Storytelling I

Scientific Area:



80 Hours

Number of ECTS:

7,5 ECTS



Overall objectives:

1 - The course is designed to equip students with the basic knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to create and analyze interactive narratives effectively, whether in the context of video games, virtual reality experiences, interactive fiction, or other forms of digital storytelling. Below, we highlight the main learning outcomes of the class:
2 - Mastery of storytelling techniques specific to interactive narratives
3 - Understanding of Interactive Narratives
4 - Narrative Structures
5 - Media Integration
6 - Understanding of principles of user experience design and how they apply to interactive narratives
7 - The ability to critically analyze and evaluate existing interactive narratives
8 - Collaboration and Project Management
9 - Presentation and Communication


1 - This is a theoretical and practical course, with time devoted to lectures and practical activities. It focuses on presenting the history and practice of interactive narrative throughout several building blocks dealing with the various contemporary elements of Interactive Visual Narrative. Each building block will have different in-class assignments exploring different skills. The course will push student's critical reflection, creativity, and technical skills to design Interactive Visual Narratives. Course Building blocks are:
2 - Narrative basics (theory and practice): Focus on narratology (narrative theory) to gain a better understanding of the form and function of narratives. Looks at how narratology helps us understand conventional, unilinear stories through classical narrative structures such as Aristoteles's dramaturgy and Campbell's Hero's Journey. This background will be essential to studying multi-sequential narratives, electronic literature, and Interactive Narrative at large.
3 - Visual Storytelling: Following closely the Visual Story Textbook by Bruce Block and involve the students in short practical assignments exposing the basic visual components and how they communicate mood, emotions, ideas, and give structure to pictures. This gives students the basic visual structure and tools to apply later to the completion of their IVN projects.
4 - Interactive Narrative: Examines non-linearity as it appears in stories of different sorts and media. Following Janet Murray Hamlet of the Holodeck, the future of narrative in Cyberspace as a guideline, this building block closely inspects phenomena such as non-linearity, multiple POV, breaking the fourth wall, challenging the suspension of disbelief, and connecting characters and plot with the audience. By a series of in-class and at-home analysis of the project students will understand how linearity is broken and how multiple point-of-view structures are exposed. Finally, it includes a practical component where students will explore the design of an interactive narrative experience.


Janet Murray , 1997 , Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace , The Free Press New York, NY, USA
Carolyn Handler Miller , 2004 , Digital Storytelling , Focal Press
Mary Laure Ryan , 2001 , Narrative as Virtual Reality , John Hopkins Press
Abbott , 2002 , The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative , Cambridge University Press,
Christopher Vogler , 1998 , The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers , Wiese Productions
Chris Crawford , 2018 , The Art of Interactive Design: A Euphonious and Illuminating Guide to Building Successful Software , No Starch Press

Assesssment methods and criteria:

Classification Type: Quantitativa (0-20)

Evaluation Methodology:
The course will present the students with a set of lectures on the practice and theory of Interactive narrative. Students will be asked to comment, intervene in class, and analyze some interactive artwork. The students in teams will design and produce an interactive narrative piece; they will be coached through studio-based classes and specific hands-on tutorials on demand. The final project, participation in class, and analysis assignment will form the final assessment in the percentage of: Class attendance, punctuality, and individual participation in class: 10%; Individual Assignments: theory and analysis of interactive narratives: 50%; Team Work on Conceptual Design and Prototype Implementation of an Interactive Narrative Experience: 40%