Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) is an interdisciplinary centre for research/ creation in game studies and design, digital culture and interactive art


May 30, 2019

“Two Birds with One Symposium” – A TAG 5a7

If you want to know what it takes to have a good conversation with a digital character or to design game making tools come by TAG on May 30th at 5pm! Our upcoming 5a7 will be featuring TAG PhD student Enric Llagostera and McGill PhD student Ben Kybartas.

There will be two amazing presentations, lots of snacks, some gameplay and infinite good conversation!

TAG 5a7s are free events happening on Thursdays in the lab from 5 to 7pm. They are open to the public. Come by and say hi!

A Conversation on the Design of Game Making Tools

In his presentation Enric Llagostera will explore the design of game making tools, followed by a conversation with participants sharing experiences with such tools, their use, creation and communities. The goal is to explore together how game making is a loosely connected set of situated practices which involve a diverse, arrangement of materials and knowledges. Different communities create tools and processes and then circulate and appropriate them in ways that combine play, work, and creation beyond professionalized, commercial development. The design of game making tools both supports and is shaped by the practices around them.

Designing Conversational Characters for Interactive Storytelling

How can we have a good conversation with a digital character? Looking far past dialogue-trees and into the realm of character simulation, we can imagine new ways of treating interactive conversations as an expressive and nuanced form of interactive storytelling. In the second half of the 5a7, Ben Kybartas will present their ongoing work into modelling and simulating conversational characters for interactive storytelling. The presentation is both research and design driven, describing both the theoretical character and conversation models, and the result of implementing the system in a Jane Austen-esque conversation matchmaking puzzle game “Subject and Subjectivity”. The presentation will be followed by the chance to playtest or experiment with either the game or design tools.


Enric Llagostera is a PhD student at Concordia University, researching alternative game controllers, their political potential, and how they can foster reflection in players. He makes experimental games and has been involved with organizing independent and alternative games events in São Paulo, Brazil. Enric has worked as a university lecturer in Brazil teaching courses about game development, design, and analysis. He is also interested in experimental arcades, music, and public play.



Ben Kybartas is a PhD student at McGill University, collaborating on a project with Concordia’s Lablablab. Their research revolves around interactive storytelling, game technology, and artificial intelligence. They completed an MSc. in the area of narrative generation at McGill and further spent two years in the Netherlands working on a project for virtual narrative exposure therapy for PTSD treatment. They worked as a narrative consultant for Kitfox Games’ “Moon Hunters” and as a designer/programmer on an unannounced AI/emergent narrative project. Additionally, they have collaborated with University of California, Santa Cruz on the Tracery project and served on the program committee for the International Conference on Digital Storytelling.


WHAT? talks + games + discussion
WHEN? 30th May, Thursday – 5pm to 7pm
WHERE? TAG (Concordia, EV 11.435, 1515 StCatherine W., Montreal)
WHO? everyone is welcomed