My storytelling skills need improving!

I really want to try my hand at branching scenarios.  More specifically, I’d like to do some sort of e-learning game using branching scenarios.  Yet, as I read about the many tips and strategies for developing these types of e-learning, I have come to realize that storytelling is critical.  That, and visual design – another weakness of mine that I’m working on. 

So, I want to practice storytelling, but I want to do it in a way that emphasizes branching and the story.  I don’t want to get hung up on the visual design, but I want to end up with something that I can easily translate to a course authoring tool and add visuals to later.

By luck, I discovered Interactive Fiction (IF) and the tools (especially a tool called Twine) used to create IF.   With these tools, you can focus on developing branching stories, emphasis on ‘story’ as in text-based!  I was immediately intrigued because the stories created by Twine reminded me of the old text-based role playing/storytelling games.

[Pause for deep nostalgia wave as I remember doing my thesis research on using MUDs to teach a foreign language.]

So, short term goals:

  1. Learn Twine (bonus – I can use my developing CSS/JavaScript skills with Twine!)
    • Twine community resources
    • YouTube video tutorials
  2. Read up on storytelling in context of e-learning. I’m going to start with these general resources:
  3. Decide on an interesting scenario/problem and develop a storyboard
    • refresh my memory on problem-based learning tips / scaffolding, etc.
  4. Develop a draft scene and get feedback… see if the idea/story/problem is worth pursuing or needs a revamp.

That’s a general outline. Of course, there’s a lot more to it for a project like this…  But, as this is just exploring the territory and drafting up a proof of concept, I think it I’ve got enough to get me started.

If anyone wants to collaborate, let me know!

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