Conventions and Innovations: Narrative Structure and Technique in Heavy Rain

Huaxin Wei, Tom Calvert

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Understanding the structure of a digital game narrative is pivotal for both analysts and practitioners. Taking a structural approach, in this paper we conduct an in-depth analysis of Quantic Dream’s game Heavy Rain, an excellent example of how narrative can be inherent to the game structure, supporting the gameplay and creation of an emotionally and dramatically engaging narrative. Treating Heavy Rain as a game text, the discussion reveals how the game employs conventions from classical film storytelling and turns them into innovations for the medium of digital games.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-68
Number of pages10
JournalThe Journal of the International Digital Media & Arts Association
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventThe 2010 iDMAa (International Digital Media Arts Association) Conference: The Digital Narrative - Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 4 Nov 20106 Nov 2010


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