Talk by Zain Memon on 29 October, ‘Story, Mood & Progression – Telling stories through Tabletop games.’

Story, Mood & Progression – Telling stories through Tabletop games.

Gaming is the most powerful interactive medium at our disposal, with limitless potential for storytelling. Even as video games are telling increasingly ambitious tales, narrative remains woefully underutilized in board gaming.

As a storyteller across mediums, with deep experience in film, VR, and ludology, Zain is helping bridge this gap.

Tabletop stories do not unfold in traditional narrative beats. Rather, they are the emergent experience of meticulously designed behavioral systems and structures. By crafting the right mechanics and stacking them in a deliberate cadence, game designers can evoke powerful player experiences.

Large-scale stories can be translated into visceral emotional journeys that capture the highs of conquest and victory, the fragility of cooperation and ambition, the devastation of loss and defeat.

To effectively translate the stories, game designers must ask several questions: how do your gameplay loops affect the mood of your game? How do your milestones create a progression system that ramps up in challenge and satisfaction? How does player interaction create compelling choice and pressure?

And finally, how do all of these coalesce together to deliver the experiential insights that best tell your story?


Zain Memon

“I try hard to stay in my lane and focus on making my own stuff, but I have extreme professional jealousy over Zain’s game, it rules so much and I wish I made something that cool.” Max Temkin, Creator of ‘Cards against Humanity’

Zain Memon is a story-teller, media specialist, game designer and producer based in Goa. A pioneer of the media-tech industry in India, Zain introduced the country to virtual reality with ElseVR, India’s first VR journalism platform. 

In 2019, Zain created SHASN – the award winning political strategy board game, now played in over 70 countries. He also created its internationally acclaimed sequel, SHASN: AZADI, which was hailed as the “blueprint for semi-cooperative game design”. 

Zain is recognized as the leading Indian authority on game design and is actively driving the tabletop ecosystem in the region.

Having run the three largest ever media crowdfunding campaigns out of India, Zain is now leading the production for an entire slate of films, games, and episodic series at Memesys Studios. Zain was also the Executive Producer on Disney+Hotstar’s OK Computer, and the Creative Producer for An Insignificant Man (Feature Documentary). 

[Zoom Link :]

Meeting ID: 883 9486 9317
Passcode: 793542

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