Our Narrative Design Toolkit provides insights into how to design compelling narratives in apps of any genre and at any scale. The toolkit begins by breaking down the fundamentals of storytelling, including plot structure, characters, and scenes. Then, we analyze the strengths and weaknesses of different storytelling techniques and how to implement them.
One of our key findings is that implicit storytelling, which occurs through visuals and game mechanics, is just as important as explicit storytelling, which occurs through text and voiceover. Every app we analyzed uses some form of implicit storytelling. In contrast, explicit storytelling occurs frequently in some genres—such as RPG and puzzle—and less often in others—such as slots and strategy. Determining the right ratio of implicit and explicit storytelling for your app depends on your genre, gameplay, and audience.
The Narrative Design Toolkit contains two documents: a Deep Dive Report and a Teardown Document. The Deep Dive Report provides specific strategies for implementing narrative design. The Teardown Document breaks down the narratives of leading apps across markets, which we reference throughout the report.