Skins 6.0 – He Au Hou 2 was a three-week intensive workshop teaching young adults how to make video games from within a Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) cultural context. The workshop took place from 9 – 29 July 2018, at Hālau ‘Īnana in Honolulu, and is 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 (Hawaiian language), and the workshop provided haumāna (student) support to envision sustainable new worlds for Hawaiian moʻolelo (stories) 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 Wao Kanaka (“the realm of humans”), a 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 curriculum 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 games we used for reference.

See here for more information on the entire Skins series.

Video Game

Wao Kanaka is a first-person, exploration and puzzle game. The gameplay is based on Kānaka Maoli stories and knowledge, and focuses in particular on the central concept of aloha ‘aina (“love of the land”) as a guide for shaping both narrative and gameplay. The game is set in contemporary Hawai‘i, yet is directly linked to past and future Kānaka Maoli relationalities to Hawaiian lands and waters.

You have always listened to the captivating stories that your Tūtū (grandmother) has told, but you know that this story isn’t like other others she has told before. Humanity is forgetting our responsibility to uphold aloha ‘aina to ensure the health and safety of our future generations. As you grow older, Tūtū leaves Wao Kanaka and now you must explore the world to learn from the mo‘olelo told by members of your community to rewrite Tūtū’s story of the future. You then use the knowledge entrusted to you to irrigate the lo‘i kalo (taro fields), fish sustainably at the loko i‘a (fish pond), and practice your ‘oli (chanting) from the newspaper. Only once you have listened to the teachings of your community and put them into practice will your dream for the future be revealed.