This image shows a wall full of Pac-Man ghosts, part of a videogame.
Academia Archaeology

Creating a course Pt.3: Interim report

on
2022-06-03

So I wrote about creating a course Part 1 and Part 2 already and this is Part 3. In my interdisciplinary course different student groups want to create an Archaeogame. I give the course together with my colleague from Digital Humanities. Last Monday, we had an interim meeting. The groups reported on their progress and showed some first images and I have to say, it impressed me.

8 groups, 8 games

So in the first classes, we created eight different groups. Each group needed to discuss a game idea and how to realise it. Each group then had about two weeks to work out a detailed plan for their game:

  • What is the name?
  • What is the content/goal of the game?
  • In which way will it criticise/evaluate current archaeological and museological practices?
  • Is the game in 2D or 3D? Which game engine will it use?
  • What is the time management on the project and how will the group organise working together?

The ideas were sometimes similar and sometimes unique. There are excavation simulators, jump’n’runs placed in present and ancient times, puzzle and collection games as well as adventure style games. The students do dialogues, graphics and game mechanics and sometimes even music. The cool thing about it is, that they need to work together interdisciplinary. In my own experience, the way people in Digital Humanities work together is way different than in Archaeology. I think this group management is useful for both types of students.

Progress and Problems

Anyway, last Monday the groups presented their progress and we talked a bit about their problems. The groups are more or less at the same stage: Some have already first levels they could show, other focused more on the graphics and story. Each group was confident however, that they will have a working beta version of the game ready by the end of the lecture period. That is in four weeks by the way…

The good thing about meeting was, that everyone was present. Some groups already encountered problems, others needed to solve and could help this way. It was also helpful to see how far other groups have come and what is still to do in the upcoming weeks. We, the lecturers, gave (hopefully) constructive comments and reminded everyone about the deadline on the 4th of July. Creating a course is also about dialogue.

What to be excited for

The last two classes of the semester (4th of July and 11th of July) will be about presenting a beta version of the game to the class. I and my colleague from Digital Humanities will be the beta testers. We will spend some time with each game and comment on what is there left to do for a final version by the end of the semester (mid-September). I am confident however, that the games will be great. We are also in the progress of preparing a dedicated website for the course, so we can not only present our ideas and concepts, but also make the games available.

So there will be a Part 4 of this article for sure and maybe a short Part 5 to redirect you to the games the students have made. Stay tuned!

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Sebastian Hageneuer
Germany

Hi! My name is Sebastian. I am an archaeologist, a university lecturer, freelancer, guitarist, karateka and father. You could say I am quiet busy, so I learned to manage my time and energy to build good habits and still have space for myself and my family. Sounds difficult? Read here how I do it. Every Friday.

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