Form, Function, Fiction

Form, Function, Fiction is the doctoral research project of Alexander Muscat, investigating the design of story and narrative within digital games.

The storytelling ambitions of digital games today are currently more visible and diverse than at any other time, covering a broad range of themes and avenues of expression. However our understanding of the relationship between the inherent mechanical qualities of games and their storytelling qualities is still ill defined and often misunderstood.

Drawing upon past theories, game titles, designs, analytical methods and contemporary practices, Form, Function, Fiction seeks to help develop digital games as more coherent forms of storytelling and contribute towards a more articulate and cohesive design language. Through theoretical analysis and practical investigation, a series of iteratively developed game prototypes will be created to test the relation between game functions, technicalities, and fiction.

Produced in the Twine, Unity, GameMaker and UDK game engines, these playable prototypes will offer practical and theoretical insights into the creation and design of story in digital games, to help designers produce more literate storytelling experiences that capitalise on the unique qualities inherent to digital games.