IMGD graduate student, Klew Williams, was selected as a Gold-level winner in the 2016 Game Developer’s Conference (GDC) Narrative Review contest and will be presenting her poster during the GDC in San Francisco, CA in March.
Klew says of her essay, “My topic was the Dragonborn DLC for Skyrim. I talked about the narrative content of the game as being modular in order to accommodate both the fact that it is DLC and that it had to accommodate every Skyrim player regardless of game progress, level, gender, race, alignment, morality, or play style. In fact, Dragonborn’s principle success as a narrative vehicle is that it worked for every save file for every player even though no save file for any two players in the world were identical. It did this by appropriating a classic narrative structure (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution) and choosing a theme that was relatively agnostic to most player choices in the Skyrim base game – i.e. it’s possible for a good or an evil character, a magic user or a warrior, a beautiful human woman or a grizzled old Orc, to remain “in character” in Dragonborn.”
About the GDC’s Game Narrative Review program: Every year, leading game design programs at universities across the country integrate the GDC's Game Narrative Review competition into their academic curricula. Each participating student conducts a detailed structured analysis of the narrative elements of a game title of their choice. The resulting papers are submitted to the GDC writing board for review, and the submitters with the most promising entries are then invited to create a poster as a visual synopsis of their review. Successful poster submissions are declared winners and exhibited at the GDC.