Hydras Like Stories

MFA Thesis • Santa Cruz, CA • 2016
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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.

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Awards:
  • A presentation on the work was awarded the Division of Arts Alumni Association Award (one of two awards in the division) at the UCSC Graduate Research Symposium, 2016
Shown at:
  • Blindspot, DANM 2016 MFA Exhibition, Santa Cruz, California, 2016