SMU Guildhall Graduate Catalog Fall 2016 — Cohort 24 | Page 12

Lauryn Ash Level Design « Designing for Ludonarrative Harmony This master’s thesis studied the ways This thesis concluded that it is possible systems and contexts to create a holistic games increasingly incorporate narrative mechanics and narratives interact with player experience. An experience that has synchronized interactions between mechanics and narratives supported by systems that tells a unified story has ludonarrative harmony. The goal of this thesis was to create a design process for achieving and maintaining ludonarrative harmony. The final thesis artifact included the ludonarrative design process, the ludonarrative models, and a level artifact that tested the process and models. I spent a total of 23 weeks on this thesis: eight weeks in research, eight weeks developing the thesis level artifact and refining the design process, and seven weeks writing the thesis paper. 12 LEVEL DESIGN to design for ludonarrative harmony. As into their experience, it’s important to know how narrative effects the way players use game mechanics. Playing a game with ludonarrative harmony increases immersion because it allows players to feel what they’re doing at an emotional level, not just a narrative level. Using my ludonarrative harmony model and design process, game developers can identify where their experiences break harmony and create more immersive game experiences.