Hydras Like Stories
MFA Thesis • Santa Cruz, CA • 2016
Hydras Like Stories investigates new methods for visualizing and understanding the unique qualities of multi-player narrative
for improved multi-player narrative design in digital games. It uses a fictional software tool
to non-prescriptively imagine what alternate authoring practices can look like for multi-player
digital game narratives.
Realized as a set of mockups and a software prototype, Hydras Like Stories synthesized design strategies from the domains
of ensemble film writing, tabletop roleplaying game, and digital groupware design to present
a series of authoring principles. Materials describing the design tool were then displayed both
in a gallery and a set of user evaluation sessions. Wrapping the project's design principles
in a layer of speculative fiction avoids prescription in their realization, providing what Dunne
and Raby describe as “compasses,” rather than “maps,” to the future.