About the course

The course aims to give fundamental theoretical and practical knowledge of figure/character development for various visual narrative media, including games.

Character design externalises or visualises internal and/or invisible qualities of figures within narrative contexts. From these traits, the reader/ viewer/gamer/etc. builds her/his expectations in regard to the story's development or games options.

The development from stereotypical figure to individual character consolidates or disrupts given expectations.

The course offers introductions to various media and their properties, including relevant aspects of psychology of media, focus on forms of storytelling and portrayal of figures. Theoretical work interlinks with experimental development of figures for various media to develop a systematic approach to character design.

Course content

The course is divided into three parts:

1. Storytelling, figure constellations. Text analysis for character design and useful creative writing methods. Properties of medial canals and elements of their storytelling. Basics of copyrights and other relevant media laws. (7,5 credits)

2. Individual project in character design for one specific medium (chosen in dialogue with supervisor). (4 credits)

3. Film/drama/literary/media theory, and graphic storytelling. (3,5 credits)

Part 1 contains a short introduction to the basics of storytelling in media, starting with technical aspects, forms of narration, and artistic practice. This part of the course offers practical and theoretical issues. Students analyse and reflect on results reached and put them into relation to the course's literature/reading obligations. Characters/figures and visual material are produced experimenting with tools, styles, and medial canals. This part of the course develops practical competences of character design, narrating, layout of individual aspects of figures/characters, digitalisation, production. Results are presented in seminars.

Part 2 is dedicated to one individual project that has to be developed for usage in a previously agreed on performance or publication in a mass-medium (e.g. comic, film or game). The topic and medium are chosen by the student in dialogue with her/his supervisor. The project-work is done independently, with limited supervision. It is used for further analysis and development in the final paper.

Part 3 runs parallel to the entire course and consists of lectures, group-discussions, and written/drawn/built exercises. Theory is integrated in the practical elements and the students continuously describe their reflections and analyses in oral or/and written form. The whole course completes with a written reflection on the practical development of a set of figures/characters for a specific narrative use (usually: comic, film, play, or game).

Syllabus and course literature

You can find a list of literature in the syllabus, along with other details about the course.

Entry requirements and selection

Entry requirements

General entry requirements + English 6.


Upper secondary grades 34%, University credits completed 32%, Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test (SweSAT) 34%

Course evaluation

Written evaluation at the end of the course.


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