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GCG Feature: 'Epic Vision: Mythology and Game Design'

In the latest feature for Gamasutra sister educational site Game Career Guide, Full Sail instructor Robin Koman offers insight on the teaching of mythology in th
In the latest feature for Gamasutra sister educational site Game Career Guide, Full Sail instructor Robin Koman offers insight on teaching mythology in the context of vocational game design education. In this excerpt, Koman, who has taught mythology for the last three years at Full Sail Real World Education in the school's Game Development and Computer Animation programs, presents a look at how students can benefit from being exposed to various 'heroic myths', and take away ideas that can be later used in effective game design: “Teaching the students about various heroic myths, as well as giving them information about the cultures they arose from, allows them to see how the elements of the hero cycle work in a variety of settings. It also allows them to examine the storytelling power of this narrative structure. When the hero cycle is utilized skillfully the hero isn't just transformed physically. For each physical change there is a psychological transformation. In the creative writing world we call this character development. And let's face it, as the technology behind video games becomes increasingly sophisticated, people expect more sophisticated stories. The structure of the overall narrative to the game-play is incredibly important, and many games have solid plots that players connect with, making them eager to see the resolution of the game. But it's the development of the characters, their change and growth, which creates a classic. April Ryan from The Longest Journey and Dreamfall is a great example, as is James Sunderland in Silent Hill 2, or Kratos from God of War. Adding rich, purposeful character development to a well-realized narrative can transform a successful title into a work of art.” You can now read the full Game Career Guide feature on the subject, with more from Koman on the subject of how teaching mythological and archetypal concepts can be applied to students learning about game design (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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