Advanced Interactive Storytelling

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 5SD072

Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Game Design A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 9 December 2020
Responsible department
Department of Game Design

General provisions

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

The course is a freestanding course.

Entry requirements

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

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.

No reading list found.