I have always loved stories and I cannot remember a time when storytelling wasn’t a major part of my life or who I am. From being read to as a child, everything from the classic The Hobbit to Roahl Dahl’s collection of magical and wonderful worlds, to today, with an Undergraduate and Master’s degree in Animation; stories have always played a major part of my life.
Video games have always been a part of my life, though for many years I tended to only play Nintendo games, such as Animal Crossing, Mario Carts, and Pokémon, as they were games that I could play on a handheld console. It wasn’t until studying for my Masters at Bournemouth University that I realised they could be more than a bit of a hobby that my family doesn’t quite understand. While studying my Master’s I undertook a research project in an area of my choice. Having always been interested in visual storytelling, and previously only studying animation, I decided to research storytelling, specifically environmental storytelling, in games. And then the world went into lockdown and I had to move back home. I suddenly had a lot more time on my hands so I choose to invest this time into my project. With this extra time, I decided to not just watch playthroughs of the games but actually play them, the way the narratives are meant to be experienced. I brought my first console, a PS4, and played through some of the best narrative games to come out in recent years, The Last of Us, Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider, Uncharted 4, and Journey, and thus started a lifetime love and slight obsession with video games and their amazing capability for visual storytelling.
Undertaking this research project helped me realise that video games are so much more than I, or a lot of people, had given them credit for. They are immense and immersive narratives; created and shaped by the experience of the player and are unique for each person. Video games offer something that TV and Movies are unable to do; they make the player an active part of the narrative and because of this build more player investment. Though they do require more effort than watching a TV show or movie, and some parts of the narrative have to be assumed by the player rather than outright told to them, they take a little piece of the player’s own experiences and make them a part of the story.
Since creating my first story back on my undergraduate degree in 2015, I have loved working with narratives, cinematics, and visual storytelling elements. My Masters’ at Bournemouth has helped confirm this love and showed me the narrative power of video games. I feel that a compelling and impactful story is essential to a game’s success as it allows the player to become fully immersed and create an emotional investment in the characters, leading to a more engaging, memorable, and immersive gameplay experience. As a result of this, I am now studying a Masters’ in Game Design at Falmouth University in order to develop the required skills to achieve a career in the games industry. You can follow my progress for my Masters’ here: https://journal.falmouth.ac.uk/fg182113/
I have a passion for fantasy, science fiction, action, and historical stories, and welcome the chance to work on all kinds of universes, for both personal or professional projects.