Spring 2020
W 12:00 p.m.-1:15p.m.
Classroom: VMMC 111
3 hours credit
Dene Grigar, Professor & Director of the CMDC Program
Office: The Digs (VMMC 28)
Office Hours: M, 1:30-2:40 p.m.;  by appointment
Class website: dtc-wsuv.org/wp/354

Part 1. Course Information

The catalog describes this course as “Nonlinear, multi-linear, and interactive narrative using elements of creative writing such as character, dialog, setting, plot and image.” Its purpose is to familiarize you with the theories, methods, platform, and tools for the production and understanding of born digital literary works. During the course you will read/experience both non-fiction and fiction for desktop and mobile devices.

Course Materials

There is no textbook for this course. Most materials are free and available via the web or through in-class access. The total cost of resources to students: ~$20.00

  • Snowfall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek, by John Branch. Free.
  • The Whale Hunt, by Jonathan Harris. Free.
  • Dyatlov Group Journal: The Last Page. Free.
  • Borneo Is Burning, by Rebecca Wright, Ivan Watson, and Masrur Jamaluddin et al. Free.
  • Amnesia, by Thomas Disch. In-class. Free.
  • Stanley Parable, by Davey Wreden, by on Steam, $14.99.
  • Bandersnatch; In-class. Free.
  • The Secret Language of Desire, by Megan Heyward. In-class. Free.
  • A Modern Ghost, by Alt Salt. Free.https://www.altsalt.com/a-modern-ghost/
  • Lifeline, by 3-Minute Games. $1.99: Apple App Store; Google Play.
  • Upgrade Soul, by Erik Loyer. Chapter 1, Free; Chapters 2-6: $3.99: Apple App Store; no Android version.
  • The Forever Club, by Alan Bigelow, Episodes 1-6; Free.
  • A Place Called Ormalcy, by Mez Breeze. Free.
  • The Under Presents, by Tender Claws. In-class. Free.
  • Perpetual Nomads, by Bradfield Company. In-class. Free.
  • Between Page and Screen, by Amaranth Borsuk and Brad Bouse. In-class. Free.

There are four assignments in this course. They include:

Assignment 1: Non-Fiction Storytelling
Type?   Group project
What?  Research a real incident or activity and create a web-based story about it
Platform? Hand-coded in HTML and other web languages; Word Press; or Twine

Assignment 2: Interactive Narrative
Type?   Individual project
What?  Create a treatment and storyboard for an interactive narrative
Platform? 100-word treatment: .doc; detailed storyboard that includes full story, .pdf

Assignment 3: The Mobile Narrative
Type?   Group project
What?  Create a prototype for a mobile story
Platform? Adobe XD

Assignment 4: The XR Narrative
Type?   Group & individual project
What?  Create XR story––groups can opt for a prototype or a finished work for Vive or Oculus Quest; all students must also produce a 3-5 page paper reflecting on the project and their own contribution to it.
Platform? Finished projects––Vive or Oculus Quest; prototype––Adobe XD; individual papers must be turned in as a .doc(x)

Collegiality & Community Building
Along with the four assignments, you will also be graded on Collegiality and Community Building since so much of what we do in our field involves working collaboratively with others in teams or in an ecosystem. Learning to be collegial, resolve differences amicably, function responsively are important skills that will help to ensure continued success in life. Because this course aims to prepare you for the world outside of academe, it requires that you gain this knowledge. Thus, in this course you are graded on the following: 1)  participating in a productive and collegial way in all critiques relating to your work as well as the work of those on your team and class, 2) attending all classes, 3) showing respect and support to other students and staff in public venues online and in class.

Work will be assessed for its professional quality. Other factors include being turned in on time, uniqueness, and, of course, content. Components that will be assessed are:

Assignment 1: 20%
Assignment 2: 20%
Assignment 3: 20%
Assignment 4: 25%
Collegiality & Community Building: 15% (3 @ 5% each)

Items turned in late will be penalized a letter grade per day (not class day but each day) late. Final grades will be calculated in this way:

94-100:  A
90-93:  A-
84-89:  B
80-83: B-
74-79:  C
70-73:  C-
>69:  F

Attendance Policy

This class meets once a week; this means that one absence amounts to two class meetings in a normal schedule. For this reason, you should plan to attend all classes. Keep in mind that the definition of an excused absence follows within the guidelines of the university.  Absences due to a vacation, wedding, a family reunion, and a special “gig” do not count as excused absences.

To be honest, unexcused absences in the Senior Seminar are unacceptable.  Teams need all members’ input, and you need the experience in developing a large-scale media project in order to be accepted into a digital media-oriented graduate program or to land a digital media-oriented job.  Thus, you will see your grade drop one letter grade per two classes missed. If you miss more than three weeks in a row, for any reason, you will be asked to withdraw from the course and retake it when you are better able to participate.  You are also expected to be in class on the first and last class day.

If you have received permission for flex time consideration, know that you are still responsible for all class assignments on the due date and time. You are also responsible for your portion of your team’s contribution to the project at the due date and time.

For anyone missing class for any reason, you are always responsible for the work that is due. 

Tardies count as missing a portion of a class.  Students coming to class late more than two class days will see their grades drop one letter grade per every two days of tardiness.

Keep in mind that one of the questions potential employers generally ask me when inquiring about hiring a DTC grad is if he or she completes work on time and shows up to class.  I cannot recommend you for a job if you have not conducted yourself responsibly in my class.

Part 2. University Policies

Students with Disabilities: Reasonable accommodations are available for students with documented disabilities or chronic medical conditions. If you have a disability and need accommodations to fully participate in this class, please visit the Access Center website to follow published procedures to request accommodations:https://studentaffairs.vancouver.wsu.edu/access-center. Students may also either contact or visit the Access Center in-person to schedule an appointment with our Access Center Coordinator. Location: Classroom Building, Room 160; Phone: 360-546-9238; Email: https://van.access.center@wsu.edu. All disability related accommodations MUST be approved through the Access Center. Students with approved accommodations are strongly encouraged to visit with instructors early in the semester during office hours to discuss logistics.

WSU Academic Integrity Statement: Academic integrity is the cornerstone of higher education. As such, all members of the university community share responsibility for maintaining and promoting the principles of integrity in all activities, including academic integrity and honest scholarship. Academic integrity will be strongly enforced in this course. Students who violate WSU’s Academic Integrity Policy (identified in Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 504-26-010(3) and -404) will receive [insert academic sanction (e.g., fail the course, fail the assignment, etc.)], will not have the option to withdraw from the course pending an appeal, and will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct.
Cheating includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism and unauthorized collaboration as defined in the Standards of Conduct for Students, WAC 504-26-010(3). You need to read and understand all of the definitions of cheating:  https://app.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=504-26-010. If you have any questions about what is and is not allowed in this course, you should ask course instructors before proceeding.  If you wish to appeal a faculty member’s decision relating to academic integrity, please use the form available at https://studentaffairs.vancouver.wsu.edu/student-affairs/student-conduct. If you have any questions about the process on the Vancouver campus, please call Helen Gregory at 360-546-9573.


Emergency Closure/Adverse Weather Bus Information for WSU Vancouver Campus:

  • WSU Vancouver VanCoug ALERTS: www.vancouver.wsu.edu/alerts
  • Weather Closure Media Web Sites: http://www.oregonlive.com/
  • During adverse weather conditions when C-Tran is operating on snow routes, the WSU Vancouver campus will not be served as the snow route ends at 20th Ave.
    For more information on bus routes and C-Tran scheduling, please visit their website at:

WSU Vancouver Home Page (Announcements and Alerts):

WSU Vancouver Police:


Hostile Intruder:

  • Campus Lock Down – Exterior doors will lock
  • Apply “RUN-HIDE-FIGHT” personal safety protocol

If sheltered or hiding; silence electronics, turn out lights, stay away from windows, barricade or lock doors, make a plan to fight if necessary

Active Shooter Training links: https://oem.wsu.edu/emergency-procedures/active-shooter/


  • WSU Vancouver VanCoug ALERTS: www.vancouver.wsu.edu/alerts 
  • Mass notification system: WSU Vancouver Home Page – myWSU (under the PROFILE Tab) to update info

Inclement weather policy:
In the event that an adverse weather event (e.g., snow or ice) or natural hazard that poses a safety risk occurs, you should take personal safety into account when deciding whether you can travel safely to and from campus, taking local conditions into account. If campus remains open and your instructor decides to cancel the face-to-face meeting and substitute an alternative learning activity, you will be notified by your instructor via email or through Blackboard within a reasonable time after the decision to open or close campus has been made. Instructions regarding any alternative learning options or assignments will be communicated in a timely manner. If travel to campus is not possible due to adverse regional conditions, allowances to course attendance policy and scheduled assignments, including exams and quizzes, will be made. Students who attempt to gain advantage through abuse of this policy (e.g., by providing an instructor with false information) may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for disciplinary action. If a student encounters an issue with an instructor, the student should first talk with the instructor. If the issue cannot be resolved, the student should follow the reporting violations of policies outlined on the student affairs website.Finally, in case of class cancellation campus-wide, please check local media, the WSU Vancouver web page (https://www.vancouver.wsu.edu) and/or https://www.flashalert.net/. Individual class cancellations may be made at the discretion of the instructor.

Cougar Food Pantry:
We know that it can be hard to make ends meet when you’re paying for college and living on a tight budget. If you are struggling to feed yourself or your family, the Cougar Food Pantrycan help. The pantry provides free, nonperishable food items for WSU Vancouver students in need. The process is simple, anonymous and judgement-free. Learn more and request food at vancouver.wsu.edu/fooddriveor stop by the Cougar Center in the Student Services Center. Help your fellow Coug; refer a friend in need!