PhD Student | Game Design / QA

Not Alone Blog

Docu-Fiction, Drama and Games

Informing fictional narrative through personal stories

Bit in here

Films such as Philadelphia (1993) use biography and personal stories to influence the direction and structure of a fictional narrative. This method of storytelling allows the media creator to keep the identities of any sources of influence anonymous whilst retaining the important factual points. Whilst Philadelphia (1993) follows the structure of the real life events of Geoffrey Bowers, “not alone” uses multiple perspectives of cancer patients in the creation of one character’s story-line. This further fictionalisation of events increases the relate-ability and accessibility for the player as common themes and experiences can be selected to better reflect the average patient journey. As cancer effects everyone differently (ref?) - with multiple types of cancers, symptoms, treatments, and side effects - only a select few stories will be told in the product. The design of the game should allow for future expansion and stories if necessary.


Defining Docu-Fiction & Docu-Drama

Definition of docu-fiction and explanation of traits/ techniques found in documentary and their implementation in a game space. Discuss interview, prompting questions etc.


Previous games

Discuss previous games that are either biographical or follow docu-fiction conventions? Are there any? Do my games fall into that category? (Not yet, but they should hopefully do?)


Genetic Lottery

“Genetic Lottery” was the first of such experiments in creating a docu-fiction game based on my personal experience of illness diagnosis (XRay and MRI) told through the video game medium. Using personal story and recollection of thoughts and feelings, accompanied by fictional elements to heighten the game experience, my first docu-fiction game prototype was created. This prototype exposes the deeply personal thoughts and feelings during the diagnosis process whilst also providing the player with a rough understanding of how the procedure and process may go for them.

The inclusion of photographic elements and participant voice acting emphasise the documentary and autobiographical nature of the game’s design.

Creating this prototype provided a test template for evaluating the delivery of content using this method and a template for the creation of “not alone”.


The Bridge / A Short Walk / Half Way

“The Bridge” is a short, docu-fiction game tackling themes of depression and male suicide in the Tayside area. The fictional narrative is interjected by re-callings of my father’s ongoing battle with depression and coping mechanisms he used when times were at their toughest. A walk with The Black Dog.

Alexander TarvetComment