I was already writing in the Creating a course Part 1 article, how I want to create a course about Archaeogaming. I want to do this together with my colleague from Digital Humanities. Meanwhile, we met and created a broad outline for the course, which will be happening next summer semester. I am really looking forward to this and wanted to share what we have planned in a first meeting. This should become an interdisciplinary course at the University of Cologne.
The size will be probably something between 40 and 60 students. The Digital Humanities probably already bring 30 students with them. The title of the course will be something like “That belongs in a museum!” – Creating Archaeogames from idea to release“. The basic idea behind the course is to first develop a concept, second create a beta version and third finalise a publishable final version.
Develop a concept
The first two to three sessions are there to develop ideas. We first want to introduce the ideas behind Archaeology and Digital Humanities as the students will be quiet diverse. Some students will be from the Digital Humanities and highly capable of coding and modelling. Others will be from the Archaeology and Digital Archaeology department. The latter will be more focussed on the content and ethic implications.
The ideas and game mechanics should be totally up to the different working groups, but what we want to inspire is to critically assess the way history, archaeology and archaeologists are depicted in current videogames. We are really looking forward to creative ideas from the students on how they can discuss these topics within their own game.
Create a beta version
The greater part of the semester will be dedicated for the individual groups to create their actual game. By the end of the semester, they should have a playable beta-version ready and present the game to the others. It is up to the groups if they will develop a browser-based game or a standalone one, but what will be necessary is that it has to be published in one way or the other the be available long-term (for example on Itch.io).
My part in this section will be to advise the groups in terms of Archaeology, Archaeogaming as well as the general ethics in depicting these topics. My colleague from the Digital Humanities will advise in terms of coding, project management and organisation. Together we will try to keep the ideas of the groups in reachable goals.
Publish a final version
After the presentation within the class, the students will have some more time during the lecture-free period to finalize their game. By the end of this period, we expect them to release their game on available platforms. This shall be a great resource, not only for Archaeogaming, but also for the university in general. I am really looking forward to this. I will continue this article in another part as soon as the semester starts and we have our first ideas. This will be at some point in April next year though. See you then!