Skins 5.0 Update – Two Weeks Left!

Work on the new Skins curriculum is moving ahead at a wonderful pace!  As much of the material used for previous workshops, such as software, reference materials and tutorials, is now inactive or obsolete, the curriculum must be updated. We are also accounting for our new location in Honolulu! We were thrilled to receive 45 applications to this workshop. We are deeply grateful for how many talented, accomplished people applied to the program. The main attraction of this past meeting was the Test Game! The Skins team made a demo game to model the process that the participants will undertake. Importantly, the test game allows for exploration of pre-decided constraints. For example, we’ve chosen a point-and-click system that will allow players to navigate the game world by pointing and clicking on their destination or the object they want to interact with. As well, we selected a fixed-camera viewpoint, meaning that the camera maintains a fixed position and moves along a pre-set path, in first- or third-person perspective. This viewpoint was made famous in the Resident Evil game. In the test game, the player takes on the role of a huntress pursuing her arch-nemesis. She tracks her enemy to the ruins of a castle in nearby mountains. The test game begins as she prepares for one final confrontation. The game demonstrates the point-and-click movements, the camera capabilities, and also how to pick up and interact with objects and other characters. In addition to this, the test game allowed the Skins 5.0 team to troubleshoot managing all of our work and files as a group. By creating a test game together, the team learned about the new game engine and versioning system (a program that documents past versions of files in case of corruption and allows teams to easily share everything) and also learned which limitations to impose to ensure a functional final game that everyone, from beginners to season veterans, can participate in building and be proud of. The Skins workshop is sometimes the first contact participants have had with digital media and game design. This, in addition to the time constraint of three weeks, prevents us from making a triple-A game like “Grand Theft Auto,” which has 3D cut-scenes and many characters and environments. We instead encourage the students to be creative with story, style, game mechanics, and interactions, in order to create a finished game that maintains artistic and cultural integrity.  

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