L O A D I N G . . .

TO VALHALLA

Environmental Storytelling

To Valhalla was my honours project during my fourth year of University at Edinburgh Napier. I had designed the project to test my limits in terms of knowledge and ability within a digital environment whilst exploring a medium I am very familiar with: video games.

I wanted to explore narrative posibilities whithin this medium, more specifically a narrative told passively. The goal I had set for myself was to develop a basic game in a first-person perspective where the narrative would be expressed exclusively through the environment, and the player's interactions within that environment. This meant no text or speech.

This would not be an easy task considering I was working alone. The majority of games are created by teams of professionals each working on very specific aspects of the experience. I was going to be doing it all myself.

Project Execution

Research was key to a successful project and took aproximately six months (half of the time I had to work on the project as a whole).

  • • I had benchmarked games from varying time periods and genres that I believe display expressive environments that support the overall narrative and gameplay.

  • • Watching and reading presentations by industry professionals on the subject was incredibly interesting and productive.

  • • Looking outside of games, into theme-park design, was especially valuable as it is a tried and tested industry far older than the games industry which also seeks to immerse individuals into a fictional world with its own expressive environments.