Inspired by the experience of designing artificial intelligence for a theatre performance twenty years ago, I decided to leave an established existence as a film director, scriptwriter- and screenwriter to venture into computer science. With the merits, among others, of being shortlisted for the Cannes film festival, some saw it as an artistic downhill path when I moved to digital media. But even though I came to face cultural challenges, I have never regretted the move.

It was the sensation of the tangible relationship between designer and receiver that woke my desire. I felt compelled to go deeper into exploring the dynamic forces that come into play when something is presented to the senses of a receiver and triggers an engaging experience. And since I had a strong drive to communicate with programmers in the same way as I did with cinematographers, sound engineers, editors, and actors, I enrolled in a Master’s degree in Computer Science, graduating in 2010.

Discovering the culture of interactive media where you were either a designer or a writer, I committed to bridging the gap. With one foot in computing and the other one in storytelling, I developed methods and models to access the narrative as a cognitive process and assist the streamlining of the design process by providing a shared vocabulary and outlook, allowing progress without interfering with the creative flow.

Over the last years, I have been freelancing as a teacher and consultant in narrative and game design. Listening and guiding hundreds of game concepts taking form, I gained a new lens as a creative. By going beyond the traditional story structures in the design of engaging and dynamic systems, the concepts of control and pacing can be accessed. To proceed from how our thinking, learning, and emotions intertwine enables, among others, narrative techniques of surprise, suspense, and foreshadowing to be applied to video games as well as develop a responsive game AI to enhance the receivers’ experiences.

By sharing an inside perspective on methods, concepts, and approaches on this site, I hope I can assist the understanding and communication about the narrative as a cognitive process in the design of meaningful and engaging experiences.

This site will remain free of commercial influence. The frequency of posts is based on the interest, questions, and thoughts that you share.

Don´t hesitate to contact me on LinkedIn, Twitter (@gyllenback) or send me an e-mail.

Looking forward to meeting you!

Katarina Gyllenbäck

See below the “director´s cut” of circumstances that made me create this site.

Links to the director’s cut:

Part 1 In search of the invisible narrative
Part 2 The benefit and disadvantages of unconsciousness
Part 3 When the cognitive vehicle of narrative backfires
Part 4 The need for retrieval of the consciousness