Skins 5.0 – He Au Hou was a three-week intensive workshop teaching how to make videogames from within a kanaka maoli cultural context. The workshop took place from 17 July to 6 August, 2017, at Haāula ‘Īnana in Honolulu, and was a collaboration between the Montreal-based Initiative for Indigenous Futures (IIF) and the Hawaii-based Kanaeokana.

“He Au Hou” means “a new world” in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i, and the workshop provided haumāna support to envision sustainable new worlds for Hawaiian moʻolelo and values to populate and then gave them the skills necessary to bring them into being. In the final five days of the workshop, the participants created He Ao Hau (“a new day”), Hawaiian-language game based on an original story and set in a universe filled with Hawaiian stories and traditions. Participants shared stories from their culture and learned everything from coding to graphics to voice acting.

Download the game and immerse yourself in the new world that these haumāna have imagined.

Download the schedule and complete syllabus from the workshop. The individual lesson plans also exist as Google Docs; contact us at info@abtec.org if you would like access. You are free to use all of this material. All we ask is that you acknowledge that you got them from us, and send us some pictures!

See here for the software we taught and the videogames we used for reference.

See here for more information on the entire Skins series.


He Ao Hou is a point-and-click adventure game. The gameplay is based on kānaka maoli (Native Hawaiian) stories and knowledge, and focuses in particular on the uses of the native kukui nut, itself a symbol of knowledge. It is set in the far future, when kānaka maoli have attained the next level of navigation: space travel.

While your grandfather, a great navigator, is on his deathbed, your sister goes missing. Entrusted with your grandfather’s space canoe, you set out to find her, along the way meeting interesting individuals and learning about their relationships to their planets. On the water (Wai) planet you learn that you can use the kukui to clarify water that is cloudy, thus finding a helpful shark. On the lava (Pele) planet, you learn how hula dancing is used to make kukui plants grow. On the plant (Ahupua’a) planet, you use the kukui as a projectile, hitting the boar-like, eight-eyed demi-god, Kamapua’a, to wake him up. Finally, you unlock enough knowledge to find your sister—but she is now much more than she ever was before.