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Game Narrative Summit: The Forest Paths Method for Accessible Narrative Design

Alexander Swords (Writer & Narrative Designer, Alexander Swords)

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core+Summits Pass, Summits Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Game Narrative

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: Intermediate

We have some great models for storytelling, but often they're broken by the attempt to fit them into interactive experiences, or applied to cultures outside of Western norms. Starting with the dramatic question and the sequence method, the Forest Paths Method has been built on the principles of understanding the building blocks of drama to combine narrative and design elements into successful patterns tailored to the pillars of your game. These patterns can then be used by the whole team to start a new project, problem-solve current issues, or analyse past successes or failures. This session will follow an example of a fictional new game through the process, and by the end show a narrative design pattern that could service the start of development.


A high concept formula, and how to use it as a dramatic question, as well as an accessible theory and language to facilitate the analysis and crafting of narrative design recognising the pillars of a project, as well as other functional considerations (marketing, streaming, accessibility, etc).

Intended Audience

The method is plain-language and accessible, so no prior knowledge of narrative is required. Those looking for alternatives to the hero's journey and conflict-based storytelling should find value with the Forest Paths Method.