Exploring the Role of Narrative Puzzles in Game Storytelling

Huaxin Wei, Betty Durango

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


In this paper, we consider narrative puzzles in story-driven video games as distinct design elements of great narrative importance. While many scholars and designers focus on the inner workings and mechanisms of puzzles, we delve deeper into the role that puzzles play in the unfolding and the player’s experience of game plot. Drawing on examples from a variety of games that are rich in narrative puzzles, we present an initial taxonomy of the functions a narrative puzzle can perform for game storytelling and discuss their potential implications. Through the analysis and discussion, the paper aspires to contribute to both game analysis and game design with a new analytical lens as well as description of some potential design patterns that involve narrative puzzles.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference
Subtitle of host publicationGame, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix
PublisherDigital Games Research Association
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


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