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Fall 2022 ︎︎︎ SUNY Purchase ︎︎︎ (DES3090) Interactive & Experience Design

create a “reciPE”


A recipe is a form of virtual reality. It communicates with someone in the future and tells them how to cook soemthing. 

A recipe, as it is an asynchronous form of communication, must presume many things about its recipient:
    • taste (that is, what they enjoy from a culinary perspective)
    •  access to and facility with cooking technology
    •  ability to read a given language
    • ability to understand direct instructions
      (turn the oven on to 350° F)
    • ability to understand indirect instructions
      (wait until the outside is golden brown)

Because of these different factors, I am using a “recipe” rather than “tutorial” or “instructions” as the metaphor for this project. 

Your goal, is to create a piece of media (interactive, print, screen-based or otherwise), performance, or any other means by which to provide a sequence of steps that someone can use to learn a given skill, ability, or game. 


    • Gain a further experiential understanding of programming by understanding what it is like for other people to experience being given instructions that feel as though they are clear to you. In other words, gain a further understanding of how computers understand instructions by instructing humans to do something.
    • Work on a more explicitly “creative” project that hinges upon your idea and how you present it rather than a technical skill you may be unfamiliar with. 

Final submission

    • A digital record of your project that is uploaded to the spreadsheet. It should be of sufficient quality relative to its given medium. That is to say print media should be above 150dpi. Videos should be at least 720p. 
    • Any materials needed for the day of critique are presented on that day. That is to say, any print media is printed out with a copy submitted to me, any performances are recorded by some means, any installations are documented.
    • A folder containing all notes, sketches, preporatory materials and early iterations. 


    • Your project must, at some point, create a sequence of instructional steps. ︎︎︎However creatively, abstractly, or poetically you express your project, you must provide a series of steps for the viewer, user, or player to traverse. I’d encourage you to think about the linearity of these steps and the decision tree that is traversed, but again, some kind of steps are necessary.
    • The instructional component of your project must have a defined length of time. ︎︎︎If you want people to play a game for some amount of time after you tell us how to play or require us to travel somewhere else please make sure you set that up in advance with me. 

No Shuriken Mode Challenges

(Please note that, doing these do not guarantee a better grade or extra credit by any fixed or demonstrable amount, but if you’re doing or approaching these things, you’re probably doing well. The point is that, like not using shurikens in Shadow Dancer, it is more difficult, and increases your proximity to the material. All this being said don’t hurt  yourself and consider your other assignments and mental and physical health. Additionally, if you are not feeling challenged by the class or an assignment, and these suggestions are not sufficient for you, please le me know.)
    • Work with another student in the class to create a (relatively?) simple card game which you demonstrate to the class, and then we break out into groups and play
    • Take the class to a dance studio or gym or some other space to instruct us how to perform a task like a handstand.
    • Contract someone you know or use Fiver to hire someone to perform the instructional portion of a video or bring this person to class to “host” your project.

Grading Rubric

    • 50% ︎︎︎ Concept ︎︎︎
      I will consider the strength of the idea itself, as well as your articulation of this idea. Did you create a presentation? Did you make great drawings? Did you do a parody of a Shark Tank pitch? Did you write a long and clear essay? Is it clear that you reviewed videos that were presented on this page and thought about and mentally metabolized them? Did you listen to a 99% Invisible episode related to the subject matter you selected? Whatever the case, this will be an evaluation of the energy and thoughtfulness of the idea itself and the way in which you explain and walk through your idea(s) to me and the class as you work through your project.
    • 50% ︎︎︎Execution ︎︎︎
      This is the “follow-through” or how you take your idea and realize it. Did you learn a new skill? Did you rent a room or find an alternative space on campus? Did you take something you gained in another class and bring it here? This will be an evaluation of the technical quality of your project (based on its medium), the clarity of converting the concept into the realization, and the efficacy of the final project. 


    • You are not restricted by medium ︎︎︎ Hopefully it is clear by the above requirements but I am not asking for an AdobeXD prototype, a video, a performance, a pilates class. I am asking you to be creative and create an idea that was not there before.
    • Full send ︎︎︎ Go for it! Do a weird thing, do a funny thing, do an ambitious thing!
    • This is about your concept ︎︎︎The idea, and it’s execution are of paramount importance here. If you for example code an entire (simple) game in this time, that’s cool but it is not about technical proficiency
    • If you need help ︎︎︎ please ask! If you want someone to record your performance, you need an okay DSLR to record the video or sound recording equipment, you need help with a technical aspect of your project...any and all of the above and ideas I have not mentioned. Please try to be clear about asking when we talk about ideas.
    • How learning works ︎︎︎ One of the other things I’d ask you to think about whether you agree with the below video or not is to think about how you learn, situations where you learned something in a way that felt interesting or transformative, or times you’ve perhaps told someone how to do something and how they did or did not respond to your instructions.


This is not based explicitly on a project I’ve already done before. Therefore, I do not have previous student examples. Here are some examples for directions this project can go and why I chose them: 


HowToBasic’s videos are kind of a masterclass in video editing. It looks as though they are still doing well, but they hit at a very particular moment when YouTube was becoming a practical resource and it was able to function as an inversion of a resource like eHow or other explicitly practical tutorial videos. Additionally they take advantage of the thumbnail system of YouTube in an ingenious way. 

I’m not asking you to spend as many resource as it looks like they often spend, destroy, and yell at but I am presenting this as an inversion or parody of the idea of what we perceive as instructional as a way of “teaching” something else or providing humor. 

Hearthstone’s Tutorial (to be clear this is not meant to be an endorsement of Activision Blizzard as a company)
Hearthstone has somewhat of a unique problem in that it is a digital card game (it involves variance or randomness) with a potentially complicated game system. Additionally, many forms of strategy in card games people tend to find counterintuitive (not taking actions to help you later, playing cards that look “bad,” etc.). To solve this they created a tutorial that helps walk you through the game by providing a  less random experience and essentially telling you what to do. Eventually, by fighting less aggressive CPU opponents you gain a sense of accomplishment to move forward. 

@Tandangyu135 on TikTok
I first came across this account a couple of years ago, and recently had this video in my feed. While not a traditional cooking tutorial, and not ultimately practical, it highlights the often mundane quality of cooking tutorials by using visual tropes from other media; notably action cinema and anime.

“Old School” First Levels of Games

Simple & Practical 
To be clear this is not necessarily meant to be a project where you re-create a game’s tutorial system. You could for example, take the class through a yoga demonstration, teach us how to do a handstand or throw a curveball. Below are four different videos about how to squat with different audiences and goals in mind. 

I present the below videos for you to think about how learning something like this may “feel” differently as the teacher and the student. Is the video considering mobility issues, age range, how to deal with different forms of pain that might result from incorrect form, or perhaps more challenging progressions? 

Uno (tabletop games)
Here is a .PDF of the rules for Uno from Unorules.org, while here is what looks like an older but somewhat recent version of the rules from Mattel. Below are several videos of the game being explained. 

Take a moment to think about how in-person explanations can be different than these examples. You can ask questions, play a test game with cards revealed, as people to back up to a specific state, maybe you drop a card by accident and that effects the game. How is it different if you play with someone who knows the game very well versus if you are learning the game with someone else? These are potentially different than a digital game and allows for different possibilities in terms how you can get people to learn and respond to them.

Instructions That Are Not for Physical Activies or Games

This video actually does provide very clear and practical advice, but it is for a larger psychic issue one may be faced with in life. I was considering potentially more abstract “lion”/ “sigma male” memes here but decided against it.

Limitations and Traditions of the Medium
Here is a very traditional Betty Crocker cookbook and below is a video of someone going through Claire Saffitz’s Dessert Person.

Below is part of an episode of an older cooking show, The Frugal Gourmet. In comparison, below that is a more contemporary example from emmymade, a contemporary YouTube channel. 
Consider how these different mediums convey information, and the different print and video qualities of each era.

Relevant Dates

(please note this schedule is subject to change depending how the coding stuff goes)
    • 09/19/2022 ︎︎︎Introduction!

    • 10/03/2022 ︎︎︎Check-in (individual)
    • One-on-one discussions to the class on your initial idea.
    • 10/10/2022 ︎︎︎ Check-in (class)
    • Presentations on the current state of your idea and your progress on the project.
    • 10/24/2022︎︎︎Test Runs

      For this week, we’ll present a prototype, dress rehearsal or run through of your project as if it is done, knowing that you have time to work on it  
    • 10/31/2022︎︎︎Final Presentations & Response Assignments

    • 11/07/2022︎︎︎Response Readings & Possible re-staging of pieces