Visual Cultures Workshop: Enhancing Game Narratives Through Audio-Visual Subtext

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Location: B043 DeBartolo Performing Arts Center (basement)

Jeff Spoonhower photo

How can video game designers communicate engaging narratives to players without utilizing conventional storytelling techniques such as text, dialogue, and non-interactive cutscenes? Drawing on 17 years of AAA studio and independent game development experience, FTT Professor Jeff Spoonhower will demonstrate how stories can be suggested to players, during live play, through the use of powerful subtextual audio-visual techniques.

Jeff will define narrative subtext and demonstrate how it can be used to create game stories that feel more layered, nuanced, and engaging. In order to explain the ways in which subtext reveals hidden meaning contained in images, sounds, and actions, Jeff will screen and discuss examples of subtext at work in several feature films (Pan's Labyrinth, Star Wars:The Last Jedi), larger studio video games (Uncharted 4, Shadow of the Colossus, Inside), and his own indie game (Anew: The Distant Light).