General information

Subject type: Optional

Coordinator: Adso Fernández Baena

Trimester: Second term

Credits: 4

Teaching staff: 

Daniel Rissech Roig

Teaching languages

English will be the language in which the classes will be taught. 

La bibliografia i els documents i materials amb que es treballarà l'assignatura poden ser en català, castellà i anglès.


Specific skills
  • E1. Demonstrate knowledge of the history of video games and analyze the reference video games with arguments based on evaluation criteria contextualized in the historical and cultural framework.

  • E2. Design the mechanics, rules, structure and narrative of video games following the criteria of gameplay and balance to provide the best possible gaming experience.

  • E3. Identify the type of player and design the game experience according to its psychological characteristics.

  • E5. Write the specifications of a game and communicate them effectively to the team of artists and developers and other members involved in the creation and development of the game.

General competencies
  • G1. Demonstrate having and understanding advanced knowledge of their area of ​​study that includes the theoretical, practical and methodological aspects, with a level of depth that reaches the forefront of knowledge.

  • G2. Solve complex problems in their field of work, by applying their knowledge, developing arguments and procedures, and using creative and innovative ideas.

  • G4. Communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to a specialized and non-specialized audience.

  • G5. Develop the learning skills needed to undertake further studies with a high degree of autonomy.

Transversal competences
  • T1. Communicate in a third language, preferably English, with an appropriate level of oral and written communication and in accordance with the needs of graduates.


The subject of Video Game Narrative Design is part of the design area, and serves as a complement to the Narrative subject of the 1st term. Students who want to specialize in interactive storytelling and video game scriptwriting are offered the opportunity to work on and improve their specific literary technique as well as their written expression. In addition, students will have to develop a Final Project: the GDD (Game Design Document) and the original script for a video game of their own creation. 

The subject of Narrative Video Game Design responds to the growing importance that the narrative framework is acquiring in the field of video game creation, both in large-scale productions and in the riskiest independent proposals. The formulation of an attractive plot and charismatic characters, the writing of dialogues and texts within the game in an appropriate style and register, or the ability to connect with the player by introducing topics that may be his interest, these are just some of the aspects that can be seen reinforced thanks to the implementation of the literary script as another tool within the game development process.

The subject of Narrative Design of Videogames has an eminently practical approach given that the students will already have the theoretical content taught in the subject of Narrative. Students will be offered the possibility to include the Final Project of creating a GDD and a script as part of their TFG project, or as an independent project outside of the TFG. In any case, the decision to include the GDD project of the subject as part of the TFG project will be subject to the criteria of the TFG tutor who, in the last instance, will assess the suitability of the proposal.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:

E2.1. Design mechanics and rules of the game that, as a whole, are called gameplay. 

E2.2. Design levels including strategies, puzzle definitions or the mission to complete, so that the goals set by the script are achieved. 

E2.3. Design the narrative of a video game and specific to the interactive script.

E5.1. Write and maintain the set of documents that, in their entirety, are known as "Game Design Document (GDD)."

E5.2. Communicate effectively to the team of artists and developers and other members the specifications of the project, from the GDD. 

Working methodology

Despite being a practical subject, some theoretical sessions are included prior to carrying out the exercises to ensure a proper understanding of what is being asked. The most important concepts will be explained in order to achieve the learning objectives of the subject. A learning by example methodology will therefore be implemented. Co-assessment among the students will also be worked on.

Each student must present a final project (Activity 4 - GDD) which consists of writing the original script of a video game. The student must present and defend their proposal weekly to the rest of the class, who will provide their feedback. The writing phases are divided into: log-line or plot premise, synopsis, treatment or timeline, and finally dialogue.

The readings of the works that the students will carry out on their own will take place in the classroom. Given the nature of the workshop, where many hours will be devoted to reading, analyzing and rewriting student work, the maximum number of students should not exceed 15 students, to make it easier for them to spend the same time and the same attention to each project.

The subject uses the following work methodologies:

Master class, presentations, video capsules, case studies, role-playing games, collaborative learning, problem solving, question-based learning, non-contact tutorials. 


The syllabus of the subject is summarized in the following points:


1. From the audiovisual script to the interactive script.

1.1. Basic concepts for the development of the Final Project: log-line, synopsis, schedule / treatment and dialogue.

1.2. The screenwriter's tools: conflicts, tone, plot premises, atmosphere, flash-backs and flash-forwards, cliff-hangers, dilemmas, synergies between the script and level design.

1.3. What story do I want to tell? Why do I want to do this? Who do I want to address? Is it an original / necessary story? Do I intend to entertain / denounce / indoctrinate? What is my position as an author / screenwriter?

1.4. Character construction. Archetypes. Physical and psychological descriptions. Emotional learning of the player.

1.5. Visual narrative. Fundamentals of realization and assembly. Intentional planning. Expressive abilities of framing. Cut-scenes.


2. Interactive narratives. History, present and horizons.

2.1. From conversational adventures to AAA video games. A brief review of the most relevant scripts in the history of video games. Readings and viewings of practical and referential examples.

2.2. Pairing between history and mechanics (narration vs. interaction): objectives, obstacles, rules, actions, objects, dosage of information.

2.3. Structures: linear, nonlinear, branched, multiple ends. The role of the narrator. Points of view.

2.4. Writing dialogues. Classification according to gender. Dialog boxes. Incidental dialogues. Dimensions. The work of the dubbing actor.

2.5. Immersion in a universe born of history and, at the same time, helps to tell it. Creation of proper names. Description of locations and spaces. Creation of a historical framework, context, logic, meaning, etc.


3. The interactive script applied to the professional world. Creating a GDD.

3.1. Formats: formal presentation of a video game script.

3.2. Teamwork. Rewritings. Development dynamics.

3.3. Pitch: How to Sell a Video Game Script Project Mainstream vs. indie script: differences, advantages and disadvantages.

Learning activities

A1. Exercise at home: Analysis and writing of a structure in 3 acts. (Evidence of Learning Outcome E2.3)

Individual work. Analysis and writing of a structure in three acts of feature film, episode of a TV series or book already published, as a practical exercise. 

A2. Exercise in class: Design of a cut-scene. (Evidence of Learning Outcome E2.3, E5.1, E5.2)

Individual work. Design and elaboration of a cut-scene by means of a story-board. Visual narrative. Fundamentals of audiovisual planning and production.

A3. Laboratory Practices: Phases of the Hero's Journey. (Evidence of Learning Outcome E2.3)

Individual work. Presentation of an excerpt from a film, series or video game that represents a specific phase of the hero's journey (Joseph Campbell).

A4. Individual or pair work: GDD. (Evidence of Learning Outcome E2.1, E2.2, E2.3, E5.1, E5.2)

final project Elaboration of a GDD (Game Design Document) that includes sections such as: plot synopsis, character sheet, narrative background, description of environments, scenarios, atmospheres, description of mechanics / gameplay, description of puzzles, dialogues / dialogues environmental, in-game texts, sales synopsis / commercial claims, etc. 


General criteria of the activities:

For each activity, the teacher will inform of the particular rules and conditions that govern it, including the terms and means of delivery.

Deliveries will not be accepted outside the deadlines indicated and by means not specified in the rules.

The individual activities presuppose the commitment of the students to carry them out individually. All activities in which the student does not fulfill this commitment will be considered suspended.

Likewise, the activities that must be carried out in groups presuppose the commitment on the part of the students that make it up to carry them out within the group. All activities in which the group has not respected this commitment will be considered suspended. The responsibility for the results of the work lies with the group, and not with the individuals who make it up.

Both the wording and the presentation will take into account both the content and the form, including the spelling. Jobs that do not meet minimum requirements at the formal level will not be evaluated, so they will be scored with zero points.  

Any undelivered activity will be scored with zero points.

Any activity where copying and / or plagiarism is detected will be scored with zero points, apart from other disciplinary actions that may be launched.

Any activity that does not meet the requirements specified in the rules will be scored with zero points.



Evaluation system

The grade of each student will be calculated following the following percentages:

A1. Exercise at home: Analysis and writing of a structure in 3 acts. 20% of the final grade.

A2. Exercise in class: Design of a cut-scene. 20% of the final grade.

A3. Laboratory Practices: Phases of the Hero's Journey. 20% of the final grade.

A4. Individual or pair work: GDD. 40% of the final grade.

Final grade: A1 0,2 + A2 0,2 + A3 0,2 + A4 0,4



Any activity delivered outside the established period will be automatically suspended. If Activity 4 (GDD) is suspended, the student must submit a new version of it following the instructions and comments of the teacher, and must do so during the recovery period established by the Head of Studies. It is also important to note that the student who obtains an NP (Not Presented) in Activity 4 (GDD), will not be entitled to perform the recovery.

In order to carry out the practical activities and, in particular, Activity 4 (GDD), the teacher will act as a script-doctor of each of the projects, and will follow up through group sessions and also individualized. Activity 4 (GDD) should begin to be developed from the second week and throughout the quarter. The readings in the classroom of the progress of each one must encourage the co-evaluation between the students, and the contributions on the works of the rest of the companions will be valued positively.

In order to evaluate Activity 4 (GDD) and the sections and / or sections that it includes, a rubric will be followed where the originality of the proposal, the written expression, the spelling, the viability of the project, the appropriate use of the knowledge and techniques worked on in the classroom, the follow-up that has been possible to do the project, etc.

Penalties for submitted written work: total or partial plagiarism, misspellings and punctuation, not using or not applying spell checkers correctly, late submissions, not following previously established work instructions, etc. In the university context in which we find ourselves and as it is a subject where writing is a fundamental part of it, spelling, syntactic and lexical errors are completely unacceptable and, therefore, will be penalised.

Class attendance is mandatory in order to pass the course. Any student who misses more than 20% of the classes without justification will be automatically suspended.


If the evaluative average of the activities does not exceed 5, the student will be automatically suspended and will have to present a recovery work. This work will consist either of developing additional sections of the GDD project or of rewriting and reformulating sections of the GDD already delivered, always following the teacher's instructions. The grade for the recovery work may never exceed 7. 

In the event that the recovery work is presented out of time, plagiarism is detected or it does not comply with the criteria previously established by the teacher, the subject will be definitively suspended. 





- Schell, Jesse. (2008). "The Art of Game Design." Morgan Kaufmann.  

- Rogers, Scott. (2010). "Level Up." Wiley.  

- Walton, Marek & Suckling, Maurice (2012). "Video Game Writing: From Macro to Micro". Mercury Learning and Information. Dulles.

- Corbal, José Antonio. (2017). "Course of Narrative in Video Games". RA-MA Editorial. Madrid

- Skolnick, Evan (2014). "Video Game Storytelling". Berkeley: Watson-Guptill Publications.


- Juul, Jesper. (2013). "The Art of Failure." MIT Press.  

- McKee, Robert (2011). "The script." Alba Editorial.

- Campbell, Joseph (1959). "The Hero of a Thousand Faces: Psychoanalysis of Myth." Economic Culture Fund.

- Martínez Rodríguez, Iván (2015). "Narrative Analysis of the Video Game Script." Editorial Synthesis. Madrid.

- Bittanti, Matteo et altri. (2008). "The homo videoludens: video games, textuality and interactive narrative (Vol. 7)". Eumo Publishing.