In the spirit of facilitating educational mobile game jams, October’s ARIS Design Jam drew ARIS users to the WIDMIR building to dig deeper into ARIS’s capabilities and explore new features. For three days, dozens of people, including UW and highschool students, librarians, and staff, took over part of the WIDMIR building to create and share ideas.
Unlike the previous Game Jam, which focused on building games and teaching ARIS to new users, the Design Jam brought experienced ARIS game makers together to experiment with features and trade advanced tips/tricks. Fueled by Steenbock’s pizza, participants faced daily design challenges – such as battle mechanics, and data collection.
The Jam was kept on the small side so that participants’ interests could guide activities. This led to a focus on scripting – particularly the ability to use HTML to improve the flow of in-game conversations and transitions – and the new panorama feature. The panorama lets game creators take a 360 degree image of their surroundings, which can be photoshopped and placed in game.
During the three days, deep, detailed games progressed, obstacles were overcome, new partnerships and connections were formed, and new ideas for ARIS emerged.
The ARIS Design Jam was organized by Sajia Hall, John Martin, and David McHugh. Special thanks to Jim Matthews and David Gagnon for their instruction at the Jam, and to Troy Dassler and the WIDMIR for the space. Also thanks to William Fanelli, Cheryl Diermyer and Emmanuel Contreras for their skilled videography/photography. This event would not have happened without the support of DoIT Academic Technology and ENGAGE program.