Game Recipe: Job at the Hill House

Job. Word of the Day. J-O-B. At the Hill House


  • You want a job working for the Hill household.
  • You talk to Axel, who is in charge, and he says to get clearance from Ceila who works in the kitchen and dining room.
  • You go to her and she says you need to prove yourself by doing some work. Go set the table.
  • You go and set the table.
  • You go back to Celia, and she is impressed, giving you her recommendation.
  • You go back to see Axel, and he agrees to give you the job. He hands you a staff uniform and asks you to report the following day.

Making this Game - Overhead

Create Game Objects

Make objects first. We need:

  • An item to represent the job you hope to get, a staff uniform.
  • Two conversations, one with Axel the manager of the estate, and Ceila who runs the kitchen and dining room.
  • A plaque to represent your deed of setting the table.
  • One scene and triggers for the two conversations and the plaque.

Find and Upload Media

Next, we’ll add media, we want images for

  • The table setting
  • Axel
  • Ceila

How to do it:

    1. Go to the Media tab.
    2. To upload images, you first need to find and download them from the Google Drive folder.
    3. Name the media something that will help you find it later.

Making Your Game - Work Through the Story

All of our basic pieces are in place and we’re ready to begin writing this story in earnest.

Axel - Ask for a Job

Go to conversations, click on Axel.

  1. Add characters on the left sidebar.
    • You (already there) - that’s your player unless you want to give your player a face other than their own.
    • Axel - add his picture as media.
    • Ceila - add her portrait too.
  2. In the main window, start your conversation. This gives us one line and a couple buttons to add new choices and lines.
  3. The first line should be Axel. Click on it and options show up in the right sidebar.
    • Select Axel as the character. This is who is speaking the line in your game.
    • For the line itself, we need something pretty generic, because the player will see this the first time she goes to Axel and the second. How about “Hey there, youngin’”
    • Save.
  4. Click the lower (+) button to add a new choice and line. The choice is the blue “continue” box. Click on it. A choice is how a player navigates through branches (as well as the simple branch of continuing) in a conversation.
    • Prompt This is the text on the button the player pushes. Usually we think about it as what the player says in response. Let’s use something like “I’m here about the job.”
    • Action and Destination are what happens when the player makes this choice. Here we don’t need to change anything, but you can see the action is say line and the destination is hello, the line just below this choice.
  5. Now edit the line below. This will be Axel’s directions to the player. “I’d be happy to hire you, but first I need to know that you can work with Ceila. She runs the kitchen and dining room. If she can recommend you, you can stay on. Go see her downstairs.”
  6. Now, we’ll use the upper (+) button below this line to create a choice. Notice the default for this one is exit. That’s what we want, but again, we’ll change the prompt to words for our player: “Right away Mr. Axel, I’ll go find Ceila.” Don’t forget to save.
  7. —Optional— If you want to be really fancy for your players, choose exit to tab—scanner for your destination and action. That way they’ll be already at the scanner when they leave your conversation.

Ceila - Prove Your Worth

Ceila’s conversation will be similar. We’ll give her a generic greeting, create another line where the player asks something direct, and her response that tells the player to go set the table.

  1. To get out of this conversation and into the one we created for Ceila, click another tab at the top and then the Conversations tab again. This time pick Ceila.
  2. Ceila’s generic introduction. Start the conversation and have her speak the first line. “Hi there!”
  3. Create another line (lower (+) button, and a choice to exit (upper (+) button below the new line).
    • The prompt in the choice is the player’s voice. “Axel said I needed to prove myself to you to get a job.”
    • The line is Ceila’s. She says “If you can set the table, I’ll give you a chance. Go to the dining room and get to it.”
    • The exiting choice: “Yes, ma’am. I’ll get right to it.”

Set the Table

We will have the player set the table with our plaque.

  1. Go to scenes.
  2. Open your plaque in the left sidebar.
  3. Set the title “Set the table” and image. We don’t really need a description.

Back to Ceila

Now we go back to add a branch point, a new bit of conversation we can have with Ceila now that we’ve set the table.

  1. Add a new choice under the very first line.
    • Prompt - “I’ve set the table.”
    • Action - say line
    • Destination - new line
  2. The new line is Ceila’s. “Very nice indeed. You may tell Axel I’m happy to have you on the team.”
  3. And now an exit choice below that. Maybe “Thank you very much. I will go see Axel now.”
  4. The trick is that we only want the player to see the choice “I’ve set the table” and everything after if they have really done so. So we are going to make a lock on that choice. The lock we are going to set is “has—seen plaque—Set the Table”.
  5. —Optional— In addition to putting a lock on our new branch that gets opened, we can put a lock on the first branch that closes it when appropriate. That way a player won’t be confused by being given the choice to say something they’ve already said.

Back to Axel

See if you can do this one on your own. Just like with Ceila, we want to edit the existing conversation with Axel to have a new branch where you tell him that Ceila recommends you, he is pleased and offers you the job, and tells you to start tomorrow.

See if you can also figure out how to have Axel give you the Staff uniform too.

Final Piece - QR Codes and Game Settings

The last thing we need to do is to make our conversations and plaque triggers accessible through QR codes.

  1. Go to scenes, and we’ll click on each trigger in our scene.
  2. In the right sidebar, you’ll see options for location, QR code, and sequence. We want QR code.
  3. You’ll notice a long random set of digits. You can make it anything you want, but when you play the game, you can just scan the code on the screen. Don’t forget to hit save. You’ll notice the icon for the trigger changes from a place marker to a little QR code.
  4. Go to game settings, and check the box to make your game public and then save.

That’s it. Your game should be ready to play. Fire up the ARIS app and try to walk through the story up top. Use the scanner to talk to each character and go to the plaque.