Dr. Ketchum's WEBLAB of State College


23interiors goes live!


​23interiors, a State College interior design studio run by the dynamic Ms. Miki Benner, asked us to build a website featuring textiles and circles. We worked iteratively to create this clean and original design.

The site features a before-after gallery, carefully selected and modified backgrounds, and handcoded HTML5, CSS3, and some JavaScript.


CLC site getting ready for initial release


Centre Learning Community's new website is gretting up for release. I'm trying two Expression Engine plugins that are new to me, one has a calendar that interacts with google calendars to compile assignments from different classrooms, school events and internal events. The other is Taxonomy, which enables user-friendly management of navigation.

The school emphasized that they wanted a contemporary looking site that had manageable content and would offer a smooth transition from their old site. Taxonomy will enable teachers to link to their impressive amount of individually developed content through the CMS.

Prototype of game logic

​I made good progress over the past couple of days on the javaScript logic that will go behind the game. It uses session data storage in the browser to track scores and javaScript populating different elements in the DOM to make different scenarios. There's no css implemented, so don't expect much in the way of visuals.  I tried a number of existing game engines and js libraries, and I think they just were too bulky or didn't have the features that I needed. Hand coding ended up being the best solution and will be super light weight.

The game needs to track multiple independent scores (funds, score, and experience, I use here) and have a cumulative list of external resources that are accesible in all scenes.

Scene will have narrative and an associated image- we have not decided on the style, choices, and external resources. External resources will be real scientific data. The idea is to get the players to make their decisions in the game based upon what they find out in the external resources.

I'll be meeting with members of the research team next week, I hope.


JavaScript and HTML5 Fun and Games


I'm definitely looking forward to my next project, which will involve developing some games centered around mammoth. I am working with a team of paleontologists to develop these games, which will be developed with a 6-8th grade audience in mind.

Using HTML5, JS, and CSS3 will be perfect because they are becoming increasingly accessible through major browsers and are a powerful combination. Local storage will be used to store user data, although most games will be designed to last for only one session.    The user will be moved through a decision tree of pages.

One game will be narrative-based. Students will conduct virtual analyses on a thawed mammoth carcass and infer circumstances that may have resulted in the animal's demise.  The other game will be like an early Sim City, and will focus on an island population of mammoth in the Bering Straits.  Students will be able to toggle some controls, but certain larger forgings such as flooding and weather will be beyond the players control. I think I am looking forward to this game the most. In this game, an HTML5 canvas will hold the game, the activity parameters changing with the player controls, environmental forcing, and the model provided by the scientists on the team.

I have not decided on using any JS libraries for these projects yet. I like hand coding things, but I may find one that is particularly useful.