Syllabus for Advanced Interactive Storytelling

Avancerat interaktivt berättande

  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 5SD072
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Game Design A1N

    Explanation of codes

    The code indicates the education cycle and in-depth level of the course in relation to other courses within the same main field of study according to the requirements for general degrees:

    First cycle

    • G1N: has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
    • G1F: has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G1E: contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
    • G2F: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G2E: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
    • GXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

    Second cycle

    • A1N: has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1F: has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
    • A2E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
    • AXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2020-12-09
  • Established by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: Autumn 2021
  • Entry requirements:

    120 credits. Proficiency in English equivalent to the general entry requirements for first-cycle (Bachelor's level) studies.

  • Responsible department: Department of Game Design

Decisions and guidelines

The course is part of the Master's Programme in Game Design, 120 credits.

The course is a freestanding course.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Differentiate the various approaches to automatic story generation.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the intersection between storytelling and system design through critique and design implementation.
  • Evaluate the well-formedness of a narrative generated by procedural means.
  • Test and refine games to improve player engagement at both a dramatic and a ludic level.
  • Compare the challenges of procedural narrative generation in non-interactive, single-player, and multiplayer contexts.


This advanced game design course explores techniques for automated story generation. We will explore the concept of well-formedness through readings and discussion, drawing on theoretical sources and research from the psychology of narrative as well as creative writing. Questions that guide our explorations are: what are the basics of storytelling in an interactive medium? What are principles of character creation, dramatic action, conflict development and world building? How can we build systems that produce credible, coherent, engaging story-like experiences?


Instruction will take place in the form of lectures and seminar discussions, plus research in the form of article reading, reflective design experimentation and peer review.

The course is taught in English.


The course is graded on the basis of "Pass with Distinction", "Pass" or "Fail". The basis for assessment is the students' performance during seminars, their participation in in-class playtesting and peer-critique sessions, the rigor with which they engage in the iterative process of game design as reflected by the quality of their narrative game prototypes and their written assignments.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University´s disability coordinator.

Uppsala University does not accept cheating or plagiarism. Suspected incidents of cheating or plagiarism are reported to the Vice-Chancellor, which may issue a formal warning to the student or suspend the student from studies for a certain period.

Other directives

This course cannot be used in a master's degree if the course is used in the Bachelor's degree.

Reading list

The reading list is missing. For further information, please contact the responsible department.