Morining Workshop

Thursday, May 14, 9:00-12:00 PM

Exploring Game Design via Unity Playground Unity is currently one of the most popular freely available game engines. A number of successful games, including Fallout Shelter, Hearthstone, and Temple Run, are made in Unity. This workshop will introduce participants to this powerful tool using Unity Playground, a simple plugin that allows novice designers to learn the interface and make simple games without coding. 

The workshop will begin with a brief overview of how games have been used constructively to critique a variety of systems, looking at The McDonald’s Game, September 12th, and When Rivers Were Trails. From here we will move on to our own design, working with Unity Playground to create a simple platformer game that includes a start screen, win conditions, and an end screen. The workshop will close with a brief overview of some of the tools and resources available for those who wish to continue their game design journey (including tech tutorials, readings, and grant opportunities).

Workshop Facilitators: Wendi Sierra, Joshua Wood, Jennifer Justice, Daniel Frank

Afternoon Workshops

Thursday, May 14, 1:00-4:00 PM

1. KairosCamp-Lite is a half-day introductory workshop for scholars interested in building webtexts or digital humanities projects that are article- or book-heft. The first half of the workshop will introduce authors to key concepts and questions they should address when beginning a scholarly multimedia project. The second half of the workshop will include break-out sessions with the staff members to discuss participants' project concepts or prototypes. Participants do not need to have started a project to attend.

Confirmed instructors include:

- Cheryl E. Ball, Kairos and Wayne State University Libraries
- Douglas Eyman, Kairos and George Mason University
- Bonnie Russell, technical projects manager, Wayne State University Press
- Elkie Burnside, Kairos and Findlay University
- Tim Amidon, Kairos and Colorado State University
- Rick Wysocki, Kairos and University of Louisville

2. Create Text Adventure Games with Inform, a “Literate Programming Language”

A half-day workshop will introduce the Fall 2019 update of Inform, a free tool for creating text-adventure games. (No prior coding experience is required.) A parser-based text game is an interactive digital story in which the computer prints out a few lines describing the environment. The reader/player is also a co-author, typing out simple commands such as "enter building" or "take lamp." The computer responds with a description of how the player's actions have (or have not) affected the simulated story-world. After a brief introduction to the genre of parser-driven interactive fiction, the workshop proper will proceed with three units (about 45 minutes each). Units will cover the creation of objects to manipulate, an environment to explore, and characters to converse and engage with. In each unit, the instructor will present a simple example, guide participants in personalizing a plain-vanilla model, and introduce the process of extending the example (with appropriate resources for further development). The workshop will conclude with a discussion of practical applications and next steps. The Inform system was last updated in 2015; a major revision is scheduled for Fall 2019. The final form of my workshop will of course depend on exactly how the tool changes.

Workshop Facilitator: Dennis Jerz