Hartmut Koenitz

Hartmut Koenitz
HKU University of the Arts Utrecht · Professorship Interactive Narrative Design

PhD

About

74
Publications
43,217
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585
Citations
Introduction
Additional affiliations
August 2011 - present
University of Georgia
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
August 2010 - August 2011
Georgia Institute of Technology
Position
  • Researcher
January 2005 - August 2010
Georgia Institute of Technology
Position
  • PhD Student
Description
  • I founded the Advanced Stories Group and developed the interactive narrative authoring tool ASAPS (http://advancedstories.net)

Publications

Publications (74)
Chapter
Full-text available
In this paper, we react to developments that frame research in interactive digital narrative (IDN) as a field of study and potential future academic discipline. We take stock of the current situation, identify issues with perception and point out achievements. On that basis we identify five critical challenges, areas in need of attention in order t...
Article
Full-text available
There have been misunderstandings regarding “narrative” in relation to games, in part due to the lack of a shared understanding of “narrative” and related terms. Instead, many contrasting perspectives exist, and this state of affairs is an impediment for current and future research. To address this challenge, this article moves beyond contrasting d...
Chapter
Full-text available
Today, no generally accepted definition of video game narrative exists. The academic discourse has pointed out ontological and phenomenologi- cal differences to more traditional forms of narra- tive, and therefore, the relationship to established scholarship in narratology is complex. In the field of video game studies, narrative aspects of video g...
Chapter
Full-text available
Interactive digital narrative (IDN) challenges basic assumptions about narrative in the western world—namely about the role of the author and the fixed state of content and structure as the audience takes on an active role and the narratives become malleable. 1 It seems quite clear that narrative theory—as is—cannot fully account for these changed...
Chapter
Full-text available
Interactive Storytelling is an interdisciplinary field in which the humanities meet artificial intelligence. Collaborations between scholars rooted in the humanities and the computer sciences like the one between Brenda Laurel and the OZ group at Carnegie Mellon University have had a major influence on the field. At the same time, there are indicat...
Chapter
The design and study of interactive digital narratives (IDN) is a multidisciplinary field. Scholars and practitioners concerned with the topic originate from fields such as literary studies, computer sciences, games studies, media studies, fine art, filmmaking. Consequently, they not only bring a wealth of productive perspectives to the table, but...
Chapter
In this overview paper, we consider interactive digital narratives (IDN) as a means to represent and enable understanding of complex topics both at the public level (e.g. global warming, the COVID-19 pandemic, migration, or e-mobility) and at the personal level (trauma and other mental health issues, interpersonal relationships). We discuss scholar...
Chapter
As IDNs are used to represent complex phenomena, we are bound to assess the ethical dimension of these representations in order to help IDN mature as a practice and a discipline. In this paper, we consider ethical aspects arising from applications of IDN in VR for Cultural Heritage experiences. Using a discussion of ethical aspects of cultural heri...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we posit ‘game system building’ as a paradigm for game design. Inspired by earlier perspectives on cybernetic art, and current practices in game development and education, we consider the creation of dynamic game systems as a creativeartistic practice where the consideration of complex and often unpredictable behavior and effects a...
Article
Full-text available
This paper describes an approach to facilitate innovation in game design by increasing the designers’ palette of playable and participatory computational expressions. The TOG model (Technology, Ontology, and Game Genre) can be used in teaching game design and related practices, but is also applicable to prototyping in professional settings. TOG is...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, games with a focus on narrative have been a growing area. However, so far, interactive narrative aspects have not been the focus of video game education (with the noted exception of a small number of programs in game writing), which indicates that many narrative designers are self-trained. The insular status means that many designe...
Book
Full-text available
The Forking Paths Interactive film and Media The Forking Paths, a project by the Research Center for Arts and Communication (CIAC), began in 2013, when a group of researchers from the center began a theoretical and practical research process in the field of filmic interactivity. Since then, dozens of scientific publications have been written an...
Preprint
Full-text available
COST Action 18230 INDCOR (Interactive Narrative Design for Complexity Representations) is an interdisciplinary network of researchers and practitioners intended to further the use of interactive digital narratives (IDN1) to represent highly complex topics. IDN possess crucial advantages in this regard, but more knowledge is needed to realize these...
Chapter
Building our discipline has been an ongoing discussion since the early days of ICIDS. From earlier international joint efforts to integrate research from multiple fields of study to today’s endeavours by researchers to provide scholarly works of reference, the discussion on how to continue building Interactive Digital Narratives as a discipline wit...
Chapter
Media narratives inform our ideas of the future - and Games are currently making a significant contribution to this medial reservoir. On the one hand, Games demonstrate a particular propensity for fantastic and futuristic scenarios. On the other hand, they often serve as an experimental field for the latest media technologies. However, while dystop...
Chapter
Full-text available
Interactive Digital Narratives (IDN) have the capacity to represent multiple, even competing perspectives and to allow audiences to change between them. Such meaningful changes have been defined as agency by Murray [1] transforming the audience into interactors. These experiential qualities of interactive digital narrative (IDN) define the potentia...
Chapter
Full-text available
In recent years, interactive narrative design has become the main activity of a diverse group professionals working in video games, agencies, museums, at broadcasters, and online newspapers. At the same time, there has been no degree program in interactive narrative design, which indicates that many narrative designers are self-trained. By starting...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Netflix production Bandersnatch represents a potentially crucial step for interactive digital narrative videos, due to the platform's reach, popularity, and ability to finance costly experimental productions. Indeed, Netflix has announced that it will invest more into interactive narratives-moving into romance and other genres-which makes Bande...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Ludonarrative aspects have not been the focus of video game studies. During the foundational phase of the discipline, the focus was placed on game mechanics and on understanding what distinguishes games from earlier forms like the movie or the novel. In recent years, however, the growing field of narrative-focused games (e.g. Dear Esther (The Chine...
Book
This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, ICIDS 2018, held in Dublin, Ireland, in December 2018. The 20 revised full papers and 16 short papers presented together with 17 posters, 11 demos, and 4 workshops were carefully reviewed and selected from 56, respectively 29, s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
While there have been many discussions about the purpose of game studies programs over the years (e.g., the GDC games Educator summit, the teaching game studies workshops at past DIGRA conferences1 ), relatively few of those discussions resulted in publications on concrete pedagogical strategies. In fact, despite the broadly shared aim of educatin...
Chapter
Full-text available
Authoring tools are a crucial component in the practice and research of interactive digital narrative design, yet no recent meta-analysis or mapping of such tools exists that would make it possible to comparatively study their defining qualities and characteristics and their effects on the artefacts produced with them. As a first step towards this...
Chapter
Full-text available
In narrative game design and related practices, the role and function of narrative models is described as predominantly pragmatic. However, we see that many interactive digital narratives (IDN) including narrative video games derive their story structures from the same formulas connected to Joseph Campbell and Aristotle, adhering to the trajectory...
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper shares the results of an interactive digital narrative (IDN) project, conducted at HKU University of the Arts Utrecht. We consider the potential of ‘IDN for change’, before we describe the project, the underlying design approach and the educational approaches. A particularfocus of this paper is on pedagogical considerations. We describe...
Chapter
Full-text available
The practice of designing Interactive Digital Narratives [IDN] is often described as a challenge facing issues such as the “narrative paradox” and avoid-ing the unintentional creation of “ludonarrative dissonance”. These terms are expressions of a perspective that takes narrative and interactivity as dichotomic ends of a design trajectory, mirrorin...
Conference Paper
During the last three decades, many successful interactive narrative projects have been realized, including many games. However, the respective design knowledge mostly rests with individual designers, who are self-trained and use private, inaccessible vocabulary. This state of affairs is an obstacle to further development and a considerable challen...
Article
In recent years, game narrative has emerged as an area for novel game concepts and as a strategy to distinguish a particular title. However, innovation in this area comes primarily from indie companies and individual efforts by noted designers. There is a lack of trained specialists ready to produce interactive narrative experiences. Many existing...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we describe narrative game design as an area for empirical research and aim to promote additional work in this area. The focus of our paper is therefore on the process. We start by discussing the relationship between the design of the narrative aspects of video games vs. non-narrative aspects, as well as in comparison to earlier narr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper reports on an aspect of a long-term project to create a body of evidence-based interactive narrative design methods. In this context, we discuss aspects of formal design descriptions as a basis for a quantitative approach to verify the effects of design choices on the experience of audiences. Specifically, we discuss the notion of ‘desig...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
With the renewed interest in VR, new questions arise for content creators, as existing cinematic practices cannot simply be transferred. In this paper, we describe two experiments investigating which voice-over perspective elicits the best sense of presence for viewers of cinematic VR content. For the first experiment different voice-over narration...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the context of this paper we take design knowledge as the methods applied by the creators (for example game designers in the case of games) of interactive experiences in contrast to for example the design of authoring tools or the design of game engines and similar computational systems. Such knowledge about rule-based game design is widespread...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Video game narrative has come a long way from the antagonistic beginning of the narratology vs ludology debate. A range of recent games can be seen as the current narrative avant-garde that enable a novel narrative experience. After revisiting some of the challenges for the recognition of game narrative, this paper shifts perspective and describes...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we present work on the data-driven interface for The Industry, an interactive documentary in development about the Dutch illicit drug industry. The motivation for the work was to provide a more complete overview of a highly complex matter using a form of interactive digital narratives (IDN). As it is with many complex issues, news re...
Conference Paper
This paper builds on our analysis of interactive digital narrative (IDN) and traditional literary narrative (LN) to address issues relevant to theory and pedagogy of narrative technologies. We discuss pedagogical problems with narrative design and introduce an interdisciplinary experimental course (in computer science and psychology) to increase un...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper outlines a roadmap for interactive narrative research that integrates disparate parts while focusing on identifying and experimentally veri‐ fying IDN design conventions and on developing a pedagogy to further the devel‐ opment of a professional discipline of IDN creators. This effort connects several key areas, in which the authors have...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Many virtual and alternate reality projects create narrative experiences in the digital medium. These are Interactive Digital Narratives (IDN), a form of expression at the intersection of different artistic approaches, research fields (humanities, computer science), and emerging technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence, virtual reality, generati...
Chapter
Full-text available
In iTV and online video, narrative interaction has long been a Holy Grail for both audiences and creators of these digital audiovisual works. On the one hand, interactive digital narrative promises interactors some exciting opportunities: to enter the world of the story, to affect the story and perhaps even to control its outcome, and in the proces...
Chapter
Interactive Storytelling is an interdisciplinary field in which the humanities meet artificial intelligence. Collaborations between scholars rooted in the humanities and the computer sciences like the one between Brenda Laurel and the OZ group at Carnegie Mellon University have had a major influence on the field. At the same time, there are indicat...
Chapter
In iTV and online video, narrative interaction has long been a Holy Grail for both audiences and creators of these digital audiovisual works. On the one hand, interactive digital narrative promises interactors some exciting opportunities: to enter the world of the story, to affect the story and perhaps even to control its outcome, and in the proces...
Conference Paper
Creating interactive digital narrative (IDN) experiences means to overcome a tradition dominated by conventions for non-interactive, static and pre-fixed narrative. Instead of "interactivizing" legacy structures, a more productive avenue is in the focus on specific design strategies for IDN. These approaches do afford a a different view towards the...
Chapter
The first part of the book is concerned with the history of Interactive Digital Narrative (IDN). Its intention is to serve as a concise historical account of the development of IDN from its beginnings to recent works by means of representative and influential examples. The identification of distinct historical phases is problematic, given the many...
Chapter
Interactive Digital Narrative is an ever-growing field that encompasses a number of diverse practices, from avant-garde art to interactive documentaries , electronic literature, video game design, applications of artificial intelligence (AI) research and ubiquitous computing. To provide a context for understanding today's practices, in this introdu...
Chapter
The hybrid nature of interactive digital narratives-as narratives and procedural digital entities on software executed on computers-poses considerable challenges for analysis and categorisation. A further complication lies in the rapid evolvement of the underlying technologies for creation and dissemination as computing technology has developed dra...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
While authoring has long been a concern for researchers engaged in interactive narrative, generalized design approaches have been less of a focus. At the same time, the need for design conventions to aid in the creation of artifacts has long been recognized, starting with Murray’s 1997 Hamlet on the Holodeck. However, unlike in the related field of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we discuss the hypothetical nature of authoring Interactive Digital Narratives (IDNs) and the formal authorial process for this medium. We explore the current state-of-the-Art in IDN authorial approaches and consider the perspective of a traditional and technologically naïve author. We propose a combination of meta-narrative and auto...
Book
The book is concerned with narrative in digital media that changes according to user input—Interactive Digital Narrative (IDN). It provides a broad overview of current issues and future directions in this multi-disciplinary field that includes humanities-based and computational perspectives. It assembles the voices of leading researchers and practi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The field of Interactive Digital Narrative (IDN) can look back at more than 25 years of research. Considerable technical advances exist alongside open questions that still need full attention. With the discussion of five crucial aspects -narrative analysis, interoperability between different implementations, sustainability of digital artifacts, aut...
Article
Full-text available
As the domain of Interactive Digital Narrative matures, it becomes increasingly important for researchers to understand the conceptual differences and underlying theories in the different approaches. This paper presents new theoretical perspectives on the fragmented theory and practice within the domain and proposes first steps towards a unified th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Narrative has always played an important role in knowledge transfer between human beings. The Advanced Stories Authoring and Presentation System (ASAPS) was developed as the practical side to a research effort Interactive Digital Narrative (IDN) that combines theory and practice in a tightly coupled relationship. The first implementation of ASAPS f...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Categorizing Interactive Digital Narrative (IDN) works is challenging because artistic and technological approaches constantly evolve. At the same time, a range of theoretical approaches from neo-Aristotelian perspectives to applications of post-classical narratology have applied many markedly different analytical perspectives, making an overall co...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Breaking Points is an interactive digital narrative (IDN) that puts the user in the position of a young woman who feels trapped in a daily routine she would like to escape from. The narrative design connects more important decisions with seemingly trivial ones and presents the user with immediate and delayed consequence in the form of narrative fee...
Article
Full-text available
This workshop explores future research directions towards a better categorization and comparison of IDN works, with the objective of a more adequate understanding of this evolving field. In such a multidisciplinary area, an effort is necessary to establish a shared space across different analytical perspectives and practical approaches. As a comple...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The theoretical understanding of interactive digital narrative must evolve in order to accommodate recent trends and development in the practice of this constantly evolving form of human expression. This edition of our workshop series at ICIDS concentrates on artifacts produced or released in the last two years. In addition, it broadens the perspec...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Advanced Stories Authoring and Presentation System (ASAPS) has been used to build 60 interactive digital narratives (IDN) so far. The paper briefly discusses several salient aspects of the system, including the bottom-up approach of the project and observations from using the tool for teaching in an academic setting, as well as related work. Ne...
Conference Paper
Research on the emerging form of interactive digital narrative (IDN) concerns both theory and practice. The approach discussed here combines a theoretical framework introduced previously with a concrete implementation in the form of the Advanced Stories Authoring and Presentation System (ASAPS), a software package that aims to foster experimentatio...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
An important step towards a theoretical understanding of interactive digital narrative is a classification system for existing artifacts. Many artifacts in Interactive Digital Storytelling provide a challenge to taxonomies derived from literature or film. The lack of a thorough classification system is also a serious hindrance to theoretical work,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
As a new research domain matures, it becomes increasingly important for researchers to agree on a shared vocabulary. For researchers in Interactive Digital Storytelling, this is a particular challenge, because researchers come from many different domains and bring their own terminology with them. This workshop exposes and explores the differences i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The emerging artistic practice of interactive narrative in digital media marks a profound departure from traditional narrative. The application of traditional narrative theory for interactive narrative is problematic, since the affordances of digital media challenge many underlying assumptions of theories related to non-digital media. This paper pr...
Article
In more than two decades of research and practical experiments in interactive digital narrative (IDN), much insight about the relationship of narrative and digital media has been gained and many successful experiments have been undertaken, as a survey of the field illustrates. However, current approaches also limit the scope of experimentation and...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The workshop explores Narratology as applied to Interactive Digital Storytelling. It presents different strands in established Narratology and the foundations they are built on. Then it discusses different attempts to apply and reconcile Narratology with Interactive Digital Storytelling. The workshop is designed to expose these differences by apply...

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Projects

Projects (6)
Project
This project aims to map the current (up to 2017) terrain of authoring tools for interactive digital narrative (IDN), compare them along several axes and perform a more extensive phenomenological inquiry into using some of them to author IDN projects. Axes of comparison range from their current availability and community of practice to the export formats, but pays specific attention to the narratological ontologies that are realised in the tools and available for authors to employ in the design process. The end result of the project aims to draw recommendations for users of such tools as well as tool makers.
Project
Can interactive narratives be employed for the cognitive reduction (understanding) of hypercomplex, interconnected issues?