THE UKIYO ACADEMY

FOR FUTURE DESIGNERS

Imagine. Create. Discover.

In these day-long workshops your child will learn the fundamentals of game design from the designers of Melbourne’s #1 Escape Room

Limited Spots Available

A Boutique Masterclass

9am-3pm / June 27, 28 & 29 / Limited Spots Available / For ages 8-12

Kickstart your child’s journey in game design.

Each day will focus on a different element of game design: Game Art Design, Game Story Design, and Escape Room Design. Come for one day, or all three! Students will have the opportunity to see how a real game studio operates, and learn basic building blocks of game design that apply to video games, board games, and real-world games.
For the last hour of each day, parents are invited to come in and share in the workshop, to see their child’s work, chat to the educators, and participate in the games.

Emma's Testimonial

My daughter absolutely loved it, especially being part of testing a new game that Ukiyo has in development. The educators at the program were engaging and welcoming. I also found them to be inclusive of children with learning difficulties (my daughter is high functioning but on the ASD spectrum). She was able to do everything the other kids did and that meant the world to her. Thank you Ukiyo Academy team!

Joy's Testimonial

My kids (prep and grade 2) thoroughly enjoyed the game design school holiday workshop. They had a blast learning about how to come up with the game maps, character design and learning about game mechanics. They enjoyed it so much they wanted to join it again. Thank you to the game designers who were absolutely lovely at facilitating the sessions. Hope to see you again.

Scott's Testimonial

Our whole family is now deep into the prototype that my son helped to learn and test while at the Summer Holiday Program in January. My son’s only feedback was that it should go for longer. Can’t speak more highly of the team who took the Wednesday session.

Lin's Testimonial

My boys were so excited, they didn’t want to leave when I picked them up. We were offered to come for free but ended up paying because of the high quality of the curriculum. Good follow up and also included a digital copy of the board game that they were making. I am very happy to come again with the kids and recommend highly to all my friends next time.

Paige's Testimonial

The educators really seem to care for the children. My daughter, who never shows her drawings to anyone, chose to share it with (one of the educators) and was so chuffed about the encouragement. I was really happy when she showed me what she worked on that day. Thank you Ukiyo team for making a safe space for children who need it.

Leora (Aged 8)

It was so much fun, I want to bring all my friends next time. I wish it was on every holiday!

Claire (Aged 8)

I really like the cupcakes and the card game, that was the best bit. I want to come again and keep playing with (the educators)

Chloe (Aged 4)

I enjoyed making new friends and winning against all of the teachers who made the game in the first place.

 

Meet the Educators

The minds behind Ukiyo

Sandy Whittem

Sandy is a passionate educator with a background in teaching fantasy literature and ancient history at highschool and university levels. She taught at Deakin University, Newman College Unimelb, and privately for over six years, but came to Ukiyo to pursue her passion for game and story design. Now she is delighted to be able to combine her two passions at Ukiyo Academy for Future Designers. Sandy’s favourite part of game design is the connection between story and mechanics — how story affects the way the player interacts with the game world. Her favourite video game is Bioshock 1, and her favourite board game is Discworld: Ankh-Morpork.

Callum Page

Callum is an illustrator, artist and puzzle designer with over seven years of experience as a freelance animator, with former clients on animated projects including Musashi energy drink, the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, and 2XU sportswear. His previous teaching experience includes a period in the education department of the National Gallery of Victoria. He has been working at Ukiyo for 3 years and is excited for the new opportunity to help children share their unbridled creativity. Callum’s favourite part of game design is creating the moment just before a puzzle is solved where the problem seems impossible. He has a passion for the 90s FMV game Double Switch, an obsession with the mobile game Super Auto Pets, and a fascination with the abstract strategy board game Cathedral. 

Michael Armstrong

Michael’s passion for story worlds was ignited at 5 years old, nose deep in The Lord of the Rings, with a parental rule (and thus a challenge to overcome), that he was not allowed to watch the movies until he had read them. Since then, he has been passionate about Studio Ghibli, The Legend of Zelda and an array of literary works and foreign films. He has always been passionate about working with kids and students, living that out through one on one tutoring and coaching rugby at Melbourne High. He has previously volunteered as a youth leader and recently has been super excited to supervise Year 12 school groups on nature hikes. As the founder and creative director of Ukiyo, he wants to share his love for stories, game design, and the desire to dream. 


“If we can fast forward into the future and find these children grown up as inspired individuals with a love and mastery of design, I will be very very content. I think that’s a worthy dream that we can work together to build.”

Ukiyo Melbourne

Home of The Crumbling Prince and Deep Space

 Ukiyo is a Brunswick-based creative studio that has been pushing the boundaries of interactive storytelling and immersive escape rooms since 2016. Since opening its doors, Ukiyo has developed Melbourne’s highest-rated escape rooms, placing an emphasis on narrative exploration in their design. Over the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, Ukiyo expanded into online games and alternative-reality games (ARGS), and currently has a card game in development.

Ukiyo is named after the urban art culture of Edo period Japan, translated as literally “the floating world”. At Ukiyo in Melbourne, the immersive ‘floating worlds’ we create are lovingly crafted universes that you can journey to and explore with your friends. So far, our worlds include the Deep Space and The Crumbling Prince universe, with a Cyberpunk world soon to come.

Our educators are currently practising game design professionals, with a wealth of real-world experience that they are excited to pass on to program participants.

 

FAQ

To make your experience as smooth as possible.

Transport and Parking

Our venue, Dwell is located at 78 St Leonards Rd, Ascot Vale VIC 3032. There is street parking, and it is also accessible by the 57 and 82 trams. Doors will open at 8:30am.

There are a number of public transport options for getting to Dwell:

– 20m from Moreland Rd and Nicholson St Stop on the #1 and #6 tram routes
– 10-15 minute walk from Moreland Station on the Upfield train line
– 50m from Stop 130 on the 510 Bus Route

If you wish to drive, nearby street parking can be found on Avoca Street and Davies Street.

Is this workshop only for arty kids, or kids with experience coding?

No, this workshop is available for all kids with a passion for games and story-telling. The content of the workshops are focussed on design, rather than development. This means that there are no computers involved. 

Is this workshop appropriate for kids with autism?

Yes. Our sensitive and experienced educators are passionate about creating an inclusive and safe environment for all kids, including kids on the autism spectrum. Please let us know if your child has any specific needs prior to the workshop, and we can ensure that those needs are met.

What measures is Ukiyo taking to ensure child-safety?

Child-safety is of paramount importance to all of us at Ukiyo. All of our educators possess current Working With Children Checks. Ukiyo’s Child-Safety Policy can be found HERE. Ukiyo’s Covid-Safe policy can be found HERE. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions pertaining to our safety measures.