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I completed chapter two of Game Writing: Narrative Skills for Videogames edited by Chris Bateman last week. Below are my notes.


  • Aristotle’s Poetics
  • Plot
  • Character
  • Remaining Aristotelian Concepts


  • Plot
    • Freytag’s Triangle/Pyramid
    • Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey Model
    • Syd Field’s Screenplay Model
  • Character
    • The various Archetypes
    • The Threshold Guardian
    • The Tricker
    • The Herald
    • The Shapeshifter
    • The Shadow
    • Other Archetypes
  • Remaining Aristotelian Concepts
    • Theme
    • Diction and Pattern
    • Spectacle

Game development<->literature concept I already know:

  • The reliance of RPGs and MMORPGs on the Hero’s Journey narrative structure.

Thought-provoker: Pg31-32: Pointing to alternatives-the bending or breaking of narrative models.

  • The ideas of multiple viewpoints overlooking a situation
  • Playing with expectations.
  • Using observers
  • Dream structure
  • Non-chronological sequence.
  • Anti-heroes
  • Memento style “forward flashback.”
  • Working time in both directions from the center.
  • Replay narratives

Required Reading

  • Brenda Laurel’s Computers as Theater.
  • Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces.
  • Chris Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey.

The stages of the Hero’s Journey (Basic):

  • Departure
  • Ordinary World
  • Call to Adventure
  • Refusal of the Call
  • Meets a Mentor
  • The First Threshold
  • Threshold Demon
  • Initiation
  • The Road of Trials
  • Allies and Enemies
  • Inmost Cave
  • Supreme Ordeal
  • Return
  • The Road Back
  • Resurrection
  • Returns with Elixer

The stages of Campbell’s Hero’s Journey (really basic)

  • Departure
  • Initiation
  • Return

Important to the Industry

  • Syd Field’s three act structure. (30-31)

Amusing Anecdote

  • Using Star Wars to illustrate classic hero’s journey narrative. It follows it quite well.

Further Notes:

This chapter was quite interesting, I’d known some elements of the various narrative structures but this was a useful overview, showing off some new things and refreshing some old ones. A very good chapter considering my recent ruminations on narrative.

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