Interactive Pasts Workshop: Interactive (Hi-)storytelling

Jointly organized by VALUE and the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE), this two-day workshop will explore the potential of creating and telling interactive (hi-)stories. By bringing archaeology and video games together, the workshop will use the open-source programme Twine in order to encourage creative experimentation and develop interactive storytelling skills. It will bring together scholars and students from archaeology, history, heritage and museum studies with game developers and narrative designers. The workshop will be set up so as to allow for both in-depth treatment of the topic of interactive narratives in the form of presentations by a number of key experts, as well as creative workshop sessions, open discussion, skill development and the establishment of new ties between academia and the creative industry. The workshop can accommodate 50 participants.

The workshop is an independent follow-up to The Interactive Pasts Conference (TIPC) which was held successfully in 2016. Participants’ feedback specifically indicated the demand for additional opportunities to work collectively on skill development, supporting the idea of a workshop on telling histories through interactive media such as video games.

The workshop is funded by Leiden University Fund (LUF), ARCHON Research School of Archaeology and Leiden University’s Graduate School of Archaeology (GSA).


Tara Copplestone – PhD Candidate at Aarhus University/University of York

Paweł Szyszka – Game Designer for 11 bit studios (This War of Mine)

Jeremiah McCall (virtually present) – Teacher at Cincinnati Country Day School & author of Gaming the Past (2011)

Final speakers still to be announced.


By the end of this workshop, participants will have collectively developed a number of prototype interactive narratives. These deliverables may be further developed in the future for use in both educational as well as commercial video games. Participants will obtain high level knowledge of Twine and  practical skills, so that they may independently create other interactive narratives. The workshop hopes to inspire opportunities for future collaborations between academics and game developers.


Registration for the event is possible only through our Eventbrite page, with tickets available between 20 July-28 August (or when they run out).

The workshop will be able to accommodate max. 50 participants. Participation in the workshop, including all lunches and coffee breaks, is free for all interested participants (students, researchers, game developers, etc.) but registration is necessary. Speakers do not need to register.

If you have registered for the event but are unable to attend after all, please contact us.

Draft Programme

Day 1

09:00 Coffee and registration
09:30 Welcome and introduction by organizers
10:00 Keynote lecture: Interactive (hi-)storytelling
11:00 Coffee break
11:30 Skill course: What is Twine
12:15 Practicing Twine
13:00 Lunch
14:00 Skill course: Narrative design
14:45 Practicing narrative design
15:30 Coffee break
16:00 Brainstorm sessions in groups
17:30 Drinks
19:30 Speakers’ dinner

Day 2

09:30 Prototype interactive narrative design
11:00 Coffee break
11:30 Prototype interactive narrative design
13:00 Lunch
14:00 Prototype interactive narrative design
15:30 Coffee break
16:00 Presentation of interactive narratives
17:00 Conclusions and closing remarks


The workshop will take place at two central locations of Leiden University:

Day 1: Oude Sterrenwacht (Old Observatory)
(Pedestrian/bike access through Zegersteeg)
Kaiserstraat 63
2311 GP Leiden
The Netherlands

Day 2: Van Wijkplaats
(Next to the main university library)
Van Wijkplaats 2
2311 BX Leiden
The Netherlands