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Working time: 5 days, 6 hours a day on-line × 9 parallel groups of 10–20 participants per group.

You will open this door anyway. A primer of Interactive Storytelling

About the workshop

Stories that move us are those in which choices made by characters have certain weight, don't go without consequences. Interactive fiction is unique form of storytelling that gives the audience agency to perform those decisions (and check out their outcomes) in fictional world.


The course gives fundamental knowledge and skills in non-linear and interactive storytelling.  

You will try to come up with simple, yet unique and moving story involving interaction based on meaningful choices made by the audience. Workshop focuses on the conceptual, rather than technical side.


  • All the work will be made individually with tutor help provided during consultations and discussions. 

  • The story can be told through various means and the proportions of image and text will be up to you. Possibilities are endless: text-only, image-only and of course everything that’s between.

  • If you don’t feel comfortable with writing in English, you can stick to your native language, but you’ll be asked to summarize your story to the tutor to get the critiques of your work.


Workshops aims at helping to answer following questions:


  • Why do we love interactive stories?

  • How to look beyond over-hype in interactive stories?

  • Are interactive stories inseparable from digital?

  • Why interactive storytelling should learn from literature?

  • How to combine image and text in non-conventional ways?

  • How to make choices in my story meaningful?




  • preliminary talk describing the assignment + Q&A session

  • lecture/presentation loaded with images and references to keep your imagination well-nourished

  • storytelling “canvases” and other structures provided to help you overcome writer’s block

  • guidance through the creative process

  • individual consultations and group discussion

  • final evaluation



You will create short story combining visuals and texts with meaningful branching and interactions. Story can be told with text, with visuals and with combination of both. It will be delivered in the form of paper prototype or concise digital experience.

Workshop description

Tools & materials


  • computer + mic + camera + stable internet connection + Zoom

  • favorite drawing/painting supplies for sketching, prototyping and final work (if you don’t want to go digital)

  • scanner or camera (to document your work for consultation)


  •  Adobe Photoshop and/or Illustrator (for artwork)

  • Adobe XD/InDesign/ web design tools of your choice (for interaction) 

  • Doing digital work is not necessary, paper prototype will be sufficient to complete the course, as the story itself, not the presentation of the story, will be our main focus.



  • Monday
    Task-Giving + individual work (looking for inspiration, creating a story, sketching) and consultations

  • Tuesday
    individual work (creating a story, looking for visual form) and consultations + presentation on interactive storytelling and branching narrative structures

  • Wednesday
    individual work (combining text and image, reflecting on branching of the storyline) + group review of the progress/discussion

  • Thursday
    individual work (polishing the visuals, testing) + last individual consultations


  • Friday
    morning – preparing final presentation + evaluating the workshop
    13:30 – presentation of workshop outcomes

Maja Starakiewicz

Graphic designer, illustrator, researcher working in the field of image and text intersections, keen on visual and hybrid adaptations of literature, fan of video games with a kink on anything indie. Author of Model i metafora. Komunikacja wizualna w humanistyce (Model and Metaphor. Visual Communication in Humanities) and Pociąg do opowieści (Story-driven, activity book for children). European Forum Alpbach alumni (granted Swarovski scholarship). Co-organized conference on visual narration (Narrakcje) and live-drawing competition Bitwa Rysunkowa (Drawing Battle), participated in numerous courses on visual culture and storytelling (e.g. MOME Budapest, Digital Cultures Conference).

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