This edited collection of chapters concerns the evolving discipline of procedural storytelling in video games. Games are an interactive medium, and this interplay between author, player and machine provides new and exciting ways to create and tell stories. In each essay, practitioners of this artform demonstrate how traditional storytelling tools such as characterization, world-building, theme, momentum and atmosphere can be adapted to full effect, using specific examples from their games. The reader will learn to construct narrative systems, write procedural dialog, and generate compelling characters with unique personalities and backstories.

Key Features

  • Introduces the differences between static/traditional game design and procedural game design
  • Demonstrates how to solve or avoid common problems with procedural game design in a variety of concrete ways
  • World’s finest guide for how to begin thinking about procedural design
  • section 1|62 pages


    chapter Chapter 1|14 pages

    Getting Started with Generators

    ByDr. Kate Compton

    chapter Chapter 2|6 pages

    Keeping Procedural Generation Simple

    ByDarius Kazemi

    chapter Chapter 3|13 pages

    Generated Right in the Feels

    ByJill Murray

    chapter Chapter 4|12 pages

    Adapting Content to Player Choices

    ByJurie Horneman

    chapter Chapter 5|14 pages

    Ethical Procedural Generation

    ByDr. Michael Cook

    part 2|114 pages

    Structure and Systems

    chapter Chapter 6|9 pages


    Murder on the Zinderneuf (1983)
    ByJimmy Maher

    chapter Chapter 7|15 pages

    Designing for Narrative Momentum

    ByJon Ingold

    chapter Chapter 8|12 pages

    Curated Narrative in Duskers

    ByTim Keenan, Benjamin Hill

    chapter Chapter 9|9 pages

    Uncanny Text

    Blending Static and Procedural Fiction
    ByKevin Snow

    chapter Chapter 10|13 pages

    Dramatic Play in The Sims

    ByDaniel Kline

    chapter Chapter 11|8 pages

    Memorable Stories from Simple Rules in Curious Expedition

    ByRiad Djemili

    chapter Chapter 12|13 pages

    Amplifying Themes and Emotions in Systems

    ByDaniel Cook

    chapter Chapter 13|10 pages

    Emergent Narrative in Dwarf Fortress

    ByTarn Adams

    chapter Chapter 14|18 pages

    Heavily Authored Dynamic Storytelling in Church in the Darkness

    ByRichard Rouse

    part 3|92 pages

    Worlds and Context

    chapter Chapter 15|14 pages

    Generating Histories

    ByJason Grinblat

    chapter Chapter 16|15 pages

    Procedural Descriptions in Voyageur

    ByBruno Dias

    chapter Chapter 17|17 pages

    Generating in the Real World

    ByMx. Lazer-Walker

    chapter Chapter 18|14 pages

    Dirty Procedural Narrative in We Happy Few

    ByAlex Epstein

    chapter Chapter 19|15 pages

    Beyond Fun in Frostpunk

    ByMarta Fijak, Jakub Stokalski

    chapter Chapter 20|12 pages

    Procedural Storytelling in Dungeons & Dragons

    BySteven Lumpkin

    part 4|68 pages


    chapter Chapter 21|12 pages

    Maximizing the Impact of Generated Personalities

    ByTanya X. Short

    chapter Chapter 22|12 pages

    Procedural Characters in State of Decay 2

    ByGeoffrey Card, Jørgen Tjernø, Matthew Bozarth

    chapter Chapter 23|8 pages

    Plot Generators

    ByAdam Saltsman

    chapter Chapter 24|14 pages

    Generating Personalities in The Shrouded Isle

    ByJongwoo Kim

    chapter Chapter 25|20 pages


    ByElan Ruskin

    part 5|39 pages


    chapter Chapter 26|12 pages

    Tarot as Procedural Storytelling

    ByCat Manning

    chapter Chapter 27|10 pages

    Things You Can Do with Twitterbots

    ByGeorge Buckenham

    chapter Chapter 28|15 pages

    Creating Tools for Procedural Storytelling

    ByEmily Short