Databased Narrative and The Korsakov System
Klaas Kuitenbrouwer and Florian Thalhofer
Lecture, Demonstration and Exercise
- Interactive narrative, non-linear storytelling and emergent narrative
- Introduction to the Korsakow System
- Making a small nonlinear narrative with the Korsakow System
In the opening lecture different types of narrative interaction are investigated from the perspective of the specific form of user freedom in the interactive environment.
On the least interactive side of an interactivity scale there is a typical branching-tree type of narrative environment, where the user has no other options but to choose between prepared hardlinked material. This sort of environment is very suitable for certain narrative strategies (and certain type of narrative content) but its limitations have to be cleverly played for interesting effects.
On the most interactive side of the spectrum there are environments for multiple player roleplaying, where only a brief outline of a story exists that is filled in realtime with action and dialogue by improvising players. This type of environment facilitates the emergence of the story, but does not necessarily have a specific story built in.
Databased narratives using the Korsakow System would is somewhere in the middle. In the KS one can build tightly structured polemic issue spaces, but also unpredictable narrative behaviour, as if a narrator freely associated his story together, led by the user's preferences.
In all forms of interactive narrative the story emerges, to some extent, in relation to the action of the user(s). The key quality of any interactive narrative is this relation between the user's action and the emergent narrative. The lecture concludes with some remarks and thoughts on this relationship. In the second session Florian Thalhofer will present the KS and several projects made with it, that all use a different narrative logic: thematic, spatial, associative, temporal, etc.
The participants than get a quick hands-on runthrough of all the features of the KS: the use of keywords, the timing and numbering of offered links, the presentation and contextualisation of links: insert text, preview text and preview icons, and how to deal with starting and ending a KS narrative.
The participants spend the rest of the day becoming more aquinted with the KS, drawing up a rough storyboard, and when possible they begin to construct their stories in the KS.
The next day the participants build and finish their nonlinear narratives. Some selected issues and problems will be treated centrally by Florian and Klaas. The day ends with a presentation of the different participants projects, and a discussion on their different aims and qualities.