Interactive Narrative: Theory and Practice

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Assignment for February 9, 1999

Web Assignment:

Review the Gallery of student stories from 1996-8, arranged by genre

(I have placed astericks next to stories that may be particularly worth your attention, but they are all interesting)

Spend some time with at least 5 of these stories, and notice which ones engage your attention and what you find involving or frustrating or satisfying about each of them.

Ask yourself the following questions:

Do you know how to navigate the story?

Do you know what kinds of things are likely to happen in this story?

Do you know what you are supposed to do to move through it?

Are you confused by anything in the story?

Do the segments of the story (the web pages) correspond to segments of dramatic action or of plot point? Do they seem too long? too short? just right?

How do the different genres I have identified make use of the four properties of digital environments as defined in Chapter 3 of Hamlet on the Holodeck? could these stories be told just as well (or better!) in linear form?

You don't have to answer these in writing, just be prepared to discuss them.

***** WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT DUE TUESDAY at noon **********

Choose two examples of good or bad design from this list of stories and send me an email by noon on Tuesday Feb 9 with


  • the url of specific web pages illustrating your points and
  • a sentence or two for each one, describing what you are commending or criticizing.
  • a way to improve the design if appropriate

Extra credit : make a sketch or web page illustrating the re-design.