Through novels or films we watch characters make choices and impact their world, but games offer something different: they let us be the character. In so doing, games, especially digital ones, open up new ways to make the humanities fun, accessible and participatory! Together, we played and made narrative games focusing on telling stories and inviting players into conflict and emotion.

Leading the “Making (and Playing) Monsters: Learning Game Design with Frankenstein” workshop was Anastasia Salter, assistant professor of digital media at University of Central Florida and gaming expert. Starting with the familiar story of Frankenstein’s monster faced with a hostile and at times incomprehensible world, we built games (reminiscent of classic “Choose Your Own Adventure” novels) telling our version of the monster’s journey.

Working through the process of game design, we moved from paper prototyping to Twine 2.x, an open source platform popular with makers of games, hypertext novels, and other forms of interactive narratives. Participants learned the fundamentals of Twine 2.x and create a simple game using text, images, and choice-based dynamic elements. 

Thank you to IUPUI School of Liberal Arts for hosting this workshop. Check out photos from the event here.