• Workshops

    About THATCamp Workshops

    A THATCamp workshop session (formerly known as “BootCamp”) is led by an instructor who offers a short introduction to, and hands-on exercise in, a particular skill.  All workshops should be introductory (especially those dealing with markup and programming languages; assume no prior knowledge of coding) and should emphasize first principles, background, and context; workshops should also include at least one hands-on exercise (though nothing harder than “Hello, world!”).

    THATCamp IMMERSe 2013 Workshops

    Friday July 12, CIGI, 57 Erb St W, Waterloo

    9:30 – 11:30

    Lauren Burr – ARIS Games: Locative Augmented Reality (Room 142)

    This beginner-level rapid development workshop will give campers the opportunity to collaborate on a location-based augmented reality game for iOS using the open-source, browser-based authoring software from ARIS Games. You’ll learn how to work with quests, characters, plaques, items, and conditional requirements. We’ll examine the affordances and constraints of GPS triggers vs. QR codes, as well as how to integrate user-generated content. If possible, participants should bring laptops to run the authorware, as well as 3G-equipped iOS devices with the ARIS app downloaded for play testing. Non-iOS users are welcome (and encouraged!) to attend, as we’ll be working in groups and sharing equipment. 

    Neil Randall – Boardgames: How to Simulate (Room 130)

    This workshop looks at the mechanics of simulation in boardgames. Boardgame players must learn the rules, including how the simulation elements operate, and this fact limits the number of simulation elements the designer may effectively include. We’ll look at how to simulate via board design, manoeuvrable pieces, cards, dice, and numbers. Prepare to simulate something epic.

    Kirsten Robinson – Social Innovation Games: A Flight Simulator for Policy Interventions? (Room 131)

    We’re the Waterloo Social Innovation Lab. We believe that by changing how decisions are made, we can change the world. Software has a strong role to play in that. 

    We have an ambitious agenda: to give decision-makers the tools to see the impacts of their policies before they are enacted.

    If you care about open data, geek out over large-scale data visualization, love sim games, and frequently find yourself wondering how computers can make the world a better place, this is the workshop for you.

     We will give a sneak peak into the social innovation simulation game we are developing, talk about ways to get involved, and dive into modelling (just on paper to start) a real life example of a social innovation.

    1:00 – 3:00

    Josh Garofalo and Linus Shu – Brain Computer Interfacing Applications: Information and Demonstration (Room 142)

    This is a booth that will provide information regarding Brain-Computer interfacing and hybrid Brain-Computer interfacing applications. The focus is how this technology may be used to assist individuals with a neurodegenerative disease, spinal cord injury, or stroke. In addition to being available to speak about this technology, a select few will have an opportunity to demo that Emotiv EEG headset.

    Elise Vist – So what’s this Twine thing all about, anyway?? (Room 130)

    Twine is all the rage these days, mostly because it hides incredibly complex possibilities underneath a pretty simple user interface. It’s incredibly easy to make something in Twine, which is why it seems like everyone’s doing it, but a little bit harder to make something good.  In this workshop, we’re going to read/play a couple of Twine games, talk about what makes a good Twine (and what makes a bad one), then get started on making our own. I’ll go over the technical basics, such as how to get around that annoying install error on PCs, how to change things like titles and authors, and how to upload your finished Twine if you don’t have HTML skillz, before setting you loose on Twine.

    This workshop is meant for people who’ve never used Twine before, but if you really love Twine and just want to play with us, I would love to see you there. Fair warning, though: I will likely conscript you as an instructor!

    Preparation instructions: If you have a laptop, please bring it and feel free to pre-install Twine, which you can find here: www.gimcrackd.com/etc/src/I recommend you download Twine rather than Twee, as Twee doesn’t have the user-friendly UI that Twine does. If you’re getting the “MSVCP71.dll” install error, just find that file on your computer (or the internet, though chances are your Adobe folder has it) and copy/paste it into the Twine folder!

    Steve Wilcox – An Unreal Experience: A Beginner’s Walkthrough of the Unreal Development Kit (Room 131)

    In this workshop we will look at the Unreal Development Kit (UDK), a free suite of tools that are at the core of many contemporary titles. Games such as Batman: Arkham Asylum, Gears of War, BioShock: Infinite, and Infinity Blade were all developed using the Unreal engine. Over the course of the workshop we will look at level design, textures, modeling, lighting, weather, as well as some more advanced techniques, such as post-processing filters. But don’t be put off by those fancy words, this is a beginner’s walkthrough of the strengthens and limitations of the game engine, as well as ‘how to’ on getting started on your own first project.

    AV Requirements: attendees can bring a laptop but UDK is resource heavy, so it will need to be a robust one.

    3:30 – 5:30

    Jeff Watson – Stirring $#!* Up With Games: An Impact Games Workshop (Room 142)

    This workshop is intended for those who wish to explore how games can be designed to directly impact the social fabrics of lived environments such as schools, public institutions, workplaces, and neighborhoods. In specific, this workshop is about how artists, entertainers, educators, policy-makers, and activists can use game design to embolden and empower communities to actively engage in the creative construction of their own realities. 

    The kinds of games explored in this workshop do not take place in simulated worlds; indeed, many of the games discussed here are not digital at all, and draw more on party games, Happenings, and Situationism than they do on code and computation. What all the games mentioned and imagined in this workshop have in common is that they are woven into or layered upon the lived environments of their players. These kinds of games go beyond merely calling for change by actually bringing it about through playful interventions that both embody and enable transformation, discovery, and social engagement.

    Rob Parker – Cobble Cards Game Design (Room 130)

    Designed with novice game designers in mind, CobbleCards emphasizes the importance of constraints when prototyping a game. Campers that attend this workshop will play through a round of CobbleCards in small teams and will come away with an appreciation of loose, socially-defined game rules and iterative refinement of design concepts. They may also (ideally!) come away with a few game ideas, too!

    Jana Zacharias – Gamification (Room 131)

    The workshop on Gamification will be a discussion on a few different streams of thought regarding gamification principles and practices. We will be re-examining the definition of gamification and attendees are encouraged to think about where they believe gamification is most effective and/or most needed. We will then break into smaller groups to expand and build upon ideas for gamification application. 

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