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Interactive Narrative Design

Become the storyteller of the future

Storytellers who can tell interactive narratives are needed not just in the game industry, but also in journalism, museums and the world of advertising. This minor teaches you to work with the tools needed by the storyteller of the future. In two related projects (self-expression and present yourself), you combine theory and practice and learn to identify the opportunities for putting interactive projects on the market. 

Watch this video about Interactive Narrative Design (DUTCH):

The minor is structured around 2 main projects.

During the minor, students will work on two consecutive projects.

Project 1: Express yourself 

In the first project, you will work in pairs. You will learn how to create a simple, personal interactive narrative. As a frame for starting we will use the book ‘De 36 Dramatische Situaties’. Each pair chooses one dramatic situation as a basis for a new interactive narrative design.

Students start their design journey from a place of their own expertise, e.g. programming, filmmaking, acting, board game design, etc. From here, they incorporate new skills and insights in their process and expand their toolsets as designers. The end result can become a multitude of forms, ranging from digital games to art installations, escape rooms, interactive movies, role-playing games, etc. 

In the so-called "interactive narrative labs", or just "labs" in the first block, you will get lectures and project supervision from the core teachers. Each lab runs for three weeks, parallel to the project. Each of the two labs focuses on a particular part of the process of creating an Interactive Narrative Design, namely:

Lab 1: Ideation, Prototyping & Playtesting
Lab 2: Writing for Interaction & Designing Agency

During the labs, we will also create time and space for project feedback, skill-sharing (either internally or from HKU experts), and playtesting other inspiring IND works (see 'Let's Plays'). There will also be some 'free space' for workshops to be filled in at a later date based on the questions and needs of the students.    

Lab 1: Ideation, Prototyping & Playtesting

Open your curiosity doors with Lab1! During the three weeks of this lab, we will explore different types of interactive narratives, ranging from improvisation theater to digital games. Reflection on your experience with these plays an important role. What happened, how did you feel and how did the narrative designers achieve that through their artifact? Playtesting other works will inspire you to create your own. You will learn how to ideate with the goal of rapid prototyping. Within a series of smaller challenges, you will ideate, create, test and reflect. What did you learn from the playtest? What could be improved? Based on your insights, you'll iterate and test again.

This lab is the perfect beginning to your own creative MIND journey.

Lab 2: Writing for Interaction & Designing Agency

During Lab 2 you will dive deeper into the actual scripting and writing process of creating interactive narratives. We will start with the fundamentals of storytelling, exploring character, conflict, worldbuilding and plotting and from there on move on to the specific challenges and possibilities of telling in an interactive manner and creating agency for players. A 'script' in an interactive story can be quite diverse, so you will not only learn how to write dialogue and story but also how to utilize tutorials, quests, item descriptions and visual storytelling to create a meaningful whole. But we will not only be looking at the structural and technical side of storytelling during the lab: you will gain more insight into how to create deeper emotional choices within your narrative by creating a 'heatmap' for your interactive narrative.

Project 2: Present yourself

“Project Present yourself is about your place as an interactive narrative designer in the creative industry and in society at large. What is your role, and what kind of opportunities do you have to make this your profession? If you want to make it as an interactive narrative designer, you have to be a good designer. But you also have to learn how to create your own opportunities for practicing your profession. In this project, you will explore what kind of opportunities exist by looking at the value of interactive narrative designers for society and the different application areas of interactive narrative design. You will also learn how to seize these opportunities by practicing with “selling” your skillset and your project ideas. In the project, you will work in a team to create and pitch a promising (“sellable”) interactive narrative concept (supported by a convincing, playable prototype), targeted at a relevant application area and audience. 

Remember that interactive narratives come in all shapes and sizes. They can offer engaging artistic experiences, they can be used in a museum to shed light on a historical event, they can be used in advertising to sell a particular product or brand, they can be used by journalists to share insights on a news topic, they can be used by politicians in their campaigns, and so on. It’s up to you and your team to decide what kind of interactive narrative concept you want to pitch, as long as it caters to a clearly defined and existing societal (social, economic, political, artistic) need or opportunity (if you cannot find an interesting need or opportunity, we can also provide you with one). “


What do you learn?

Based on your own expertise, you learn which opportunities are offered to you by interactive narrative design. You learn the basic skills of interactive narrative design in the areas of design, writing interactive narratives, forming and testing ideas, technology and communication.

You do two projects. Project 1 (in pairs), which takes ’36 dramatic situations’ as its starting point and where you create an interactive presentation based on a personal narrative.

In project 2, you work in a team and develop a promising interactive concept (including a working prototype), which you pitch to the target group of your project.

The minor is rounded off by a personal presentation, in which you reflect on your own development as an interactive narrative designer, using examples from your project. It is a ten-minute presentation for a committee of lecturers.


Entry requirements

Interest in and experience with applied creative work using the medium of interactive narration, knowledge of multimedia, game design and filmmaking, or experience as a dramatist.

Students are selected on the basis of a CV, a study progress review and a cover letter of 1 A4. If necessary, the course leader will hold a matching interview.

There is a continual selection process up to the application deadline.

For whom is this minor suitable?

The minor is suitable for students of various creative and technical courses such as Game Design, Game Development, Game Art, Interaction Design, Music and Technology, CMD (Communication and Multimedia Design), Graphic Design, Illustration, IMT (Image and Media Technology), Animation, AVM (Audiovisual Media), Art and Economy, (Industrial) Product Design, Urban Planning, ICT (Information and Communication Technology), Theater and Visual Arts.


To be determined


Types of lesson

In the so-called "interactive narrative labs", or just "labs" in the first block, you will get lectures and project supervision from the core teachers. Each lab runs for three weeks, parallel to the project. Each of the two labs focuses on a particular part of the process of creating an Interactive Narrative Design, namely:

Lab 1: Ideation, Prototyping & Playtesting

Lab 2: Writing for Interaction & Designing Agency

In the second block, you work in a team on developing a promising interactive narrative, including a working prototype that you pitch to the client or target group.



Alphanumeric, with formative mid-term and summative end-term grading.

Halfway through the process all projects are presented in a small exhibition. A committee of teachers and professionals provides feedback. The students also provide feedback on each other's projects.

In the end, the teams pitch their project to a relevant target group (an investor, a subsidy provider in the arts, museum management, etc). The students must convince them of the quality of their team and the viability of their concept.

There is also a discussion with each team in which the members critically reflect on their project (the results, the communication, the process, etc.)

At the end of the minor, each student gives an individual 10-minute presentation in front of a committee consisting of lecturers.

This examines the development that the student has gone through as an interactive narrative designer. In the presentation, the student reflects on his development as an interactive narrative designer on the basis of examples from the projects. Assessment criteria

The student has mastered the basic skills of interactive narrative design in the field of design, writing interactive stories, ideation and testing, technology and communication.

Aanvullende informatie

In this interview, you can read about Dylan and Axel's experiences with this minor

Read more about this minor on the HKU website

Meld je aan voor de Nederlandstalige minoren nieuwsbrief van HKU

(NL-talig) Bekijk hieronder Luuk's samenvatting van de minor interactive Narrative Design: