PlotVis is a set of interactive 3D visualizations built with the Unity game engine, to be used in teaching and analyzing the concept of plot in fiction. Conventional approaches to visualizing plot rely on a Victorian visualization known as Freytag’s Pyramid which is not well suited for all fiction.

The visualizations grouped under PlotVis allow to explore different approaches to understanding plot. Each of the visual strategies describe significant features such as characters, objects, events, and transitions in space and time, while respectively emphasizing recurring elements in a primarily sequential structure, complexity of structure, and centrality of some designated feature or features.

The technical aspects of the visualizations emerge from the availability of digital text that can be encoded for plot elements using XML.


  • Programming
  • Technical design

Tools used:

  • Unity
  • Javascript
  • XML

Team roles:

  • Project Management, Design, and Usability Testing:
  • Usability Testing, Design, Programming:
    • Monica Brown (UBC)
    • Dustin Grue (UBC)
    • Omar Rodriguez (U of Alberta)
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One Response to “PlotVis”

  1. […] I’m also thrilled I got to be a part of the panel that presented on the development of PlotVis, a digital interface for producing 3D visualizations of fictional narratives. Can you believe that […]