Play Loominary using the loom of fate to weave the destinies of legends. Every choice adds to the fabric of the story!
Loominary is a game system that uses a tabletop loom as the controller for the games. The games are written in Twine and the choices in the game are shown in distinct colors. The player weaves with the appropriate colored yarn to control the game, and in doing so weaves their choices into a scarf they are actively making through play. When game play is complete, the woven scarf will be unique to each player’s set of choices and exist as a more permanent record of their play session.
The project is open source, and along with all the source files we have included a guide for sourcing the materials and tutorials for putting it together. We also include three Twine games and a tutorial that walks the player through how to weave. Two of the games follow the Greek myths of Medusa and Oedipus and the third is a short child-friendly story about a day spent with Posy the Unicorn.
As storytelling is the basis of human communication, everyone’s a storyteller at heart. Narrative-based games have the capacity to support a broad range of story experiences, but there are large groups of voices that are currently underrepresented. Loominary is part of a research agenda with projects that focus on creating frameworks to support new storytelling experiences from underrepresented perspectives. In particular, crafting communities – which are often predominantly women – have created story artifacts for many years, but these stories have not been engaged computationally. Crafts have a rich history of both overt and subversive storytelling and bringing that depth to computational experiences creates unique methodologies and experiences for new audiences.
In the collaborative game project Loominary, the focus is on bridging the gap between computational and craft storytelling. As the player progresses through the game, the player’s choices for the characters are literally woven into a personalized tangible artifact of the players’ game session. The artifact can be “read” by a knowledgeable viewer that understands the visual language depicting the choices players made throughout their session.
Sarah Hendricks is a recent graduate from the undergraduate Computer Science and Journalism programs at American University. She's interested in elegant code, digital culture, and trying out new food. She was recently freed from her life of servitude by the public gifting her with a scarf at the SAAM Arcade event at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Brittany “Bri” Williams is a recent MA graduate of American University’s Game Lab with a background in film production. Her interests include the horror genre, sophisticated AI, immersive narratives, and all dogs. If you’d like to learn more about her, feel free to visit her twitter @renegadehanar.
Hardware Designer & Producer
Josh McCoy is an assistant professor at University of California, Davis in the departments of Computer Science and Cinema and Digital Media. His research involves combining artificial intelligence techniques with social science to create meaningful, responsive and socially engaging game experiences. His other interests include looking dapper and cool hair colors.
Concept Designer & Producer
Anne Sullivan is an assistant professor of Digital Media in the School of Visual Arts & Design at the University of Central Florida. Her research interests include computational craft, artificial intelligence, game design, and storytelling. She’s also an avid quilter, coder, and animal lover.
Loominary is an open source project. All source files are available on github.
Additionally, we have a list of materials required (along with sourcing links) and a tutorial available for how to put together your own Loominary system.Important files
This project was developed by Windows IoT, which means there are a lot of files that got pushed. Here is a list of the ones that are critical to the project:
Please feel free to contact us if you have questions or thoughts!