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GTP Designer Talk #6 – Henrik Fåhraeus, Crusader Kings II and III

CKII-Header.jpg

Episode 6 (5/2/2020) Henrik Fåhraeus, Paradox Development Studio, Designer of many Paradox Games, talking about Crusader Kings II and the upcoming  CK III

On Spotify, Apple, and Google 

Resources

GTP Designer Talk #5 – Owen Gottlieb

March 4, 2020 1 comment

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Episode 5 (2/2/2020) Owen Gottlieb, RIT MAGIC Spell Studios, (Lost and Found; Lost and Found Order in the Court: The Party Game)

Also on Spotify, Apple, and Google 

Lost and Found Main Site

Resources mentioned during the podcast

Civilization Series Bibliography

January 22, 2020 1 comment

UPDATE (1/26): This bibliography has been superseded by the main GTP bibliography I maintain, with a section on Civilization.   I’m adding new entries there.

Enough interest in research about the Civilization series pops up every so often, that I thought a quick bibliography might be helpful to refer to. I have more to add, but here’s a good start.

Burns, A. (2002). Civilization III: Digital game-based learning and macrohistory simulations. Retrieved from http://www.alexburns.net/Files/CivilizationIII.pdf

Capps, K. (2016) What Civilization VI Gets Wrong about Civilization. Citylab. https://www.citylab.com/life/2016/10/what-civilization-vi-gets-wrong-about-civilization/504653/

Chapman, A. (2013). Is SId Meier’s Civilization History? Rethinking History 17(3). https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13642529.2013.774719

Ford. D. (2016)“eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate”:Affective Writing of Postcolonial History and Education in Civilization V. Game Studies, 16. http://gamestudies.org/1602/articles/ford

Koebel, G. (2017). Simulating the ages of man: Periodization in Civilization V and Europa Universalis IV. Loading … , 10(17), 60-76. (available online)

Lammes, S. (2010). Postcolonial Playgrounds: Games as Postcolonial Cultures. Eludamos 4(1): 1-6. https://eludamos.org/index.php/eludamos/article/view/vol4no1-1/149

MacQuarrie, A. (2018). All Rise and No Fall: How Civilization Reinforces a Dangerous Myth. Rock Paper Shotgun. https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2018/03/15/all-rise-and-no-fall-how-civilization-reinforces-a-dangerous-myth/

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Quick Educator Review – When Rivers Were Trails

January 20, 2020 1 comment

Just tweeted a thread on the videogame, When Rivers Were Trails, which was developed by a partnerships between the Indian Land Tenure Foundation and Michigan State University’s Games for Entertainment and Learning Lab. https://indianlandtenure.itch.io/when-rivers-were-trails… by lead designer Elizabeth LaPensée, PhD. and lead artist Weshoyot Alvitre (and many others). 
Then I thought I would put this on GTP and, at the same time, experiment with a different short review style for the blog)

What it is: A FREE, beautifully illustrated, choice-based interactive text for Mac and PC with just a bit of a resource model. Players read about the main character and make choices by clicking on the relevant text with the mouse. The player character has three main attributes affected by gameplay:  a medicine and food inventory and a level of wellbeing that can increase and decrease. Navigation across the map is carried out by clicking on a simple compass rose. According to the introduction to the game on itch.io:
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“An Anishinaabeg in the 1890’s is displaced from their traditional territory in Minnesota and heads west to California due to the impact of allotment acts on Indigenous communities, facing Indian Agents, meeting people from different nations, and hunting, fishing, and canoeing along the way as they balance their wellbeing.”  In short, the game offers a different, less-often seen perspective on the suffering, resistance, and adaptation of indigenous people in response to the US policies of forcibly seizing indigenous land and forcing indigenous peoples to relocate and re-start in places far from their homes.

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Rough but useable – Roman Republic Political Competition Game

November 19, 2019 1 comment

This is a quick game I threw together to teach about Roman politics and political competition in the Republic. This assumes you’re familiar with those topics. I’m just posting it in case anyone is interested. Also please note that this is not tested and so you should feel free to change any numbers to improve the outcomes.

UPDATE 11/22/19: New record sheet all made to fit on one sheet of paper

Roman Political RnR Game Onesheet

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Give each student a piece of paper with this record sheet or a replica. (Note: use Roman Political RnR Game Onesheet  for an updated printable pdf)

 

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Interactive History Class 2019 – Teacher’s Log #3 (Week of 10/21)

October 21, 2019 1 comment

Disclaimer: often shockingly little/ sometimes no proofreading; just trying to get the ideas out fast and frequently for those interested

In the second teacher’s log, I wrapped with a historical problem space diagram for “Courtisans [sic] of Versailles.” I received solid analytical papers from the class; we talked about them, then moved on to the meat of the French Revolution itself and playing Polyslash’s We. The Revolution (Steam   &    Good Old Games.)

And then, we got bogged down. Partly because it was my first time teaching this permutation of Interactive History and the first time I had taught the Revolution in years. Partly because of the complicated beast that is, We. The Revolution. I’ve learned some lessons in the process that hopefully will be helpful.

First, the parts where I’d like to improve. If we study games about the French Revolution again next year, I need to cut the lengthy classes on the early years of the Revolution (1789 – 1791) and focus on the years 1792 – 1794 where the events of the games are

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GTP Designer Talk 4 – Richard Bodley Scott

October 10, 2019 1 comment

In this episode I talk with designer Richard Bodley Scott about his ancient battle game, Field of Glory 2.

FoG2

Richard is an active participant on the Slitherine forums, so you can reach him via https://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=477

Field of Glory 2 is available at Slitherine https://www.slitherine.com/game/field-of-glory-ii

and Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/660160/Field_of_Glory_II/

Reviews and Commentary

Interactive History Class 2019 – Teacher’s Log #2 (Week of 8/26)

August 30, 2019 4 comments

Disclaimer: often shockingly little/ sometimes no proofreading; just trying to get the ideas out fast and frequently for those interested

In the first log, I ended by talking about the board game Court[iers] of Versailles, an outstandingly-designed game of cut-throat politics at Louis XIV’s Palace of Versailles. The initial procedure I’m working to establish as a regular class rhythm is:

  1. Front-load just a little bit, some  reading/watching/listening and note-taking homework, and discussing just a bit class about the topic,
  2. Learn to play and play the game for 2 or 3 classes
  3. Pause for a class while playing to analyze and diagram the game’s historical problem space 
  4. Play a little more, and
  5. End with a critical discussion of the game using the historical evidence and prepare for an assessment. In my case that is likely some form of formal or informal essay since effective analytical and persuasive writing is a very important teaching objective for us at CCD. It could conceivably be any number of different kinds of assessments.

It’s a bit of a headache learning the game. CoV is not difficult to understand, but the rules, unfortunately, were not effectively translated into English, have many typos and errors, and are difficult to learn without the motivation of someone who wants to learn a game for fun, or an experienced guide. If you can get your hands on a copy, though, it is really a great foil for looking at ideas of nobility and court life at Versailles. Plus, since there are a lot of social “take-that” mechanics, the game tends to capture students’ interest.

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Interactive History Class 2019 – Teacher’s Log #1 (Week of 8/19)

August 30, 2019 3 comments

disclaimer: shockingly little/ sometimes no proofreading; I’m just trying to get the information and ideas out there fast.

So as some may know, I launched the second iteration of my Interactive History class, a senior elective at Cincinnati Country Day School. Last year it ran as a third quarter elective. While the class was very successful, I found it readily apparent that a reformed and expanded semester-long course could be even more successful. I had learned it was overly idealistic to suppose, in the first run of the course, that, say, reading one article on World War I would provide students enough refresher and new evidence to deeply critique a game on the topic. Hence the key difference (other than class time) in my approach this year: rather than encounter a briefer and necessarily more superficial investigation of the relevant history before playing a game, teach a small number of historical units in-depth and focus most of the games on these units.  Then, arguably, students could learn and do history in a deeper more meaningful way through a variety of media and channel that learning into more rich and substantive play, analysis, and critique of historical games.

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GTP Designer Talk 3 – Philippe Malacher

August 13, 2019 1 comment

8/12/19 – I had the pleasure of talking with Philippe Malacher, lead designer at Ageod, who has released Ageod/Slitherine’s Field of Glory: Empires. FoG:E is a turn-based strategy game where players guide one of the states of the third century BCE Mediterranean in a struggle against other powers. The episode will be available soon on Spotify, Google, and Apple.

FoGE Screen

Field of Glory: Empires at Slitherine Games   and at Steam

Reviews and Commentary