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Archive for the ‘Game Design’ Category

Prototype A Available – De Agricultura: The Universal Abstract Overly-Simplified Ancient Peasant Agriculture Game

July 1, 2022 1 comment

Like all prototypes, this will break, and I’d be grateful if you sent me a note about how it broke so I can improve on it. But I think Prototype A probably works well enough (I haven’t group playtested it — that’s where you all come in) to use in a class (I’m going to this August).

Prototype A PDF

Briefly, the goals of the game are this.

A better appreciation/understanding of peasants in agrarian societies. It is very hard for moderns to appreciate that the vast majority of ancient agrarian societies (some 80-90% of population) were peasant farmers, i.e. subsistence farmers. They lived and worked in a state of subsistence, just enough to get by, with little bits of surplus food. That tiny surplus, magnified over thousands of peasants, was what the state extracted to fund non-farming activities from armies to building projects etc.

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Categories: Game Design, Lesson PLans

Dreams of Darkness as a Historical Problem Space: A Discussion

June 20, 2022 1 comment

Friend and HGS colleague currently working with Dream of Darkness, Tamika Glouftsis, wrote an insightful blog in April Can the Historical Problem Space framework help us make better history games? I was excited to see her thoughts, not least of all because I’m considering a book project specifically on using the HPS framework to guide game design for students (in the form of interactive texts, and physical boardgame design) a guide that, hopefully, would have value for teacher-designers and historical game developers too. So with that in mind, and the pleasure of exploring this topic for any synergistic insights we or others might developed,  I wrote some interlinear comments to Tamika’s post to continue the discussion, and Tamika wrote some additional comment to turn this into a dialogue. So what we have is, we think, an interesting discussion of ideas and a continued exploration of how developers (in addition to those studying historical games) might use the Historical Problem Space framework (McCall, 2020) as an analytical tool for historical game development. Both Tamika and I welcome further conversations on this, so please reach out to us with questions and comments

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