Clara Fernandez-Vara

Clara Fernández-Vara is Associate Arts Professor at the NYU Game Center and co-founder of Fiction Control, a narrative design company. She’s a game designer and writer as well as an academic, so her work for the last 10 years combines scholarship with the creation of narrative games both  for research and in the commercial sphere. Her first book, Introduction to Game Analysis, has been published by Routledge.

NYU Game Center


Playing the Detective: Game Design and Mysteries

Keynote, FROG main conference | Saturday, 14th October, 09:45 – 10:45

Detective stories and games allow us to understand both how stories can be playful and how games can be narrative. In the case of games, designers have to help the player become a detective by creating ways to encourage exegesis, which entails letting players explore, gather information, and then come up with their own version of the story. Two components are essential for the player to be a detective and for designing a compelling mystery: spatial narratives where the challenge is decoding how the space reveals what has happened there, and leaving informational gaps and providing tools for storytelling.

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