Nazi Germany: The Survival of Günter Schmidt

Team Decision Makers

Nazi Germany: The Survival of Günter Schmidt is impacted by Operation Valkyrie which was the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler and overthrow the Nazi Party. Take part in the events that lead up to July 20, 1944, and make your contribution to your beloved country. Each choice you make will influence the outcome of the game and the survival of Günter Schmidt. Will you be the Hero that causes Operation Valkyrie to succeed? Or will you be the cause of its downfall? Or will you choose to join the Nazis in trying to stop the plan from being successful? You control your own destiny! The importance of historical accuracy in our game attributes to the experience that each player will have. The decisions you make leading up to the finale will be based on your own perspective and the need to survive. Nazi Germany: The Survival of Günter Schmidt is a point and click adventure game that will allow the player to create their own ending to World War II. Best of luck!

 

Members:

Kaden Gervacio- Centre Freshman from Boyle Co, Kentucky. He enjoys playing sports games and shooters. He particularly likes RPG and games where you have to create your own story in that universe.

Logan Wolf- Freshman from Cincinnati, Ohio. He enjoys sports games and shooters, especially Call of Duty. Huge fan of history related games and maps that take part in famous locations especially places from World War 2.

Fisher Evans- Freshman from Boyle County Kentucky. Enjoys shooter games as well as survival games. Big fan of games that allow the story to not be obvious or upfront and need to be discovered by the player (especially Subnautica)

Will Ahrens- Freshman from Sandersville, Georgia. He is a big fan or sports games such as Madden and The Show and first-person shooter games such as Call of Duty.

Edward Lee Major- Freshman from Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Enjoys strategy games, first-person shooters, and free-roam games. He finds interest in the underlying theme of the games and the storyline they follow.

 

Important Sources to Reference:

Bartov, Omer, and Mazal Holocaust Collection. 1991. Hitler’s Army: Soldiers, Nazis, and War in the Third Reich. New York: Oxford University Press.

Fraser, David. 1993. Knight’s Cross: A Life of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. 1St U.S. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

Grant, Bennington. “Just How Historically Accurate Was Tom Cruise’s Valkyrie?” CHARGE! May 23, 2018. https://watchcharge.com/just-how-historically-accurate-was-tom-cruises-valkyrie/.

Manvell, Roger, Heinrich Fraenkel, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, and Mazal Holocaust Collection. 1965. Himmler. First American. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

The History Place – World War II in Europe Timeline. http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/hitleryouth/hj-boy-soldiers.htm.

Weale, Adrian. 2012. The S.S.: A New History. London: Abacus.

Valkyrie. 2008. MGM.

 

In all, Team Decision Makers was able to enjoy Centre Term and still create a good game that focuses on moral dilemma throughout history. Our group met multiple times over break to discuss the plan for the week and to set short-term goals. The group’s dynamic provided a variety of perspectives throughout the game creation process. This variety attributed to the ten outcomes of Günter Schmidt’s life and the impact they have on the German state. The combination of our group members helped our group create an experience for players that will give them the opportunity to be a part of history. The Decision Makers would like to thank all of the contributors to our game and hope players enjoy their experience!

 

The Decision Makers: The Final Stretch

Today, our main focus was to shape our plan of action and put some definitive dates on our essays and presentation. Our script is completely in Twine and our game is finally coming together. We met over the past few days to discuss our progress and determine if the outcome of our storyline and the player experience that Twine provides is what we wanted. Twine brought our game to life in the way we had first discussed in the beginning and provides the player with more options to control their own destiny. After watching Valkyrie, our initial idea was to find how we could use the operation and the people involved to expand our game. We developed several alternate outcomes using Operation Valkyrie and how the outcome could have affected the war. In our counterfactual endings where the operation succeeds, the player has the opportunity to take over the German government and guide it towards a more democratic state. The varying outcomes enhance our games playability and provide the player with a new experience each time they play. Twine does a good job of taking these simple decisions and creating so many avenues of play.

 

The historical accuracy in our game revolves around dates, locations, and some of the characters that we focused on. From the first time we decided to make a game surrounding World War II, we wanted to create the most accurate storyline as possible by focusing on the actual dates and locations that things were occurring during this troubling time in Germany. In one playthrough, the player can go to Africa and be involved in a mission that is led by General Erwin Rommel. Our focus to accuracy continued into character selection when we chose General Erwin Rommel and Officer Heinrich Muller. Rommel is discussed in every pathway of our game and is part of several important dialogues discussing Operation Valkyrie. Muller was an SS officer that supported Adolf Hitler and his views so he is only present in the pathway when Gunter stays loyal to Hitler and tries to stop the plot against him. Both of these characters were present during World War II and fulfil their same roles in our game. The presence of historical accuracy in our game attributes to the playability and inclusive experience of the player. We believe that by providing players with plausible scenarios even when counterfactual, the player may find interest in our topics and do further research on Nazi Germany.

 

An idea that we discussed earlier in the creation of our game was the possibility to include pictures of the current scenario Günter is in. After working with Twine we decided that adding pictures is something that is very complicated and may negatively affect the commands and the storyline. We want to put our focus more on the script to enhance the effect that imagery will have on the player’s experience. Over the next few days, we are going to play through our game several times to review the pathways we created and the information provided.

 

We finished our plan of action today so now we just need to complete the tasks we have discussed. The development of our game has occurred mostly on schedule and we believe it embodies the majority of the ideas that we wanted to incorporate in our game. Our current goal is to have our portfolio finished by Monday so that we leave time for revision and can begin on our final presentation. We look forward to sharing our game on Wednesday!

 

The Decision Makers: Inspiring New Pathways

Before discussing the overview of the new pathways for our game, I wanted to give an update on the use of Twine. Yesterday we discussed exactly how we wanted the layout of our game to be presented. The beginning of our game is going to have similar aspects to the Call of Duty franchise campaigns, where players are provided background information and the scenario at hand before the start of each mission. When discussing military history, we want to be as close as possible with the dates and locations of the game so the players can feel a sense of realism. Twine can provide us with the presentation we desire while also helping us develop our decision based game.

 

Our group work today was very task-oriented. We have been discussing new pathways for our game over the past week, but want to determine our favorites to begin the construction of our game. Developing our protagonist, Günter Schmidt, is a task that is very complex. To provide players with enough information to understand the position that Günter is put in, but also ensuring that players stay interested is a difficult compromise. One of the problems that we are running into is that we are trying to be so historically accurate with our dates that our actual thought into the playthroughs themselves is being neglected. We wanted to get on the right path today by finishing two of our playthroughs involving Günter joining the Nazi army and his participation in Operation Valkyrie. Players will be given the option to join Operation Valkyrie or to remain loyal to the Nazi party and try to stop the plan from unfolding.

 

We further developed our storyline today by adding more options for the player to have control of the situation. After observing the script we have created so far, we believe that we can develop a game that will contain several historically accurate scenarios through the life of a made up character. Our game created in the World War II era and will provide players with the experience of a Nazi soldier. We met last night to watch the movie Valkyrie to get more ideas on how to interpret the operation into our game. The movie sparked several ideas about how we wanted to portray the assassination attempt on Hitler while still providing players the opportunity to make their own decision. We have discussed several outcomes of the operation including a counterfactual ending where Hitler is actually killed. The life of Günter Schmidt will be influential in the outcome of the destiny of the Third Reich and Adolf Hitler regardless of what pathway taken.

 

An interesting idea we played around with after Fisher’s presentation today was the idea of having a playthrough for Günter to join the Schutzstaffel (SS). The SS was an organization that was crucial to the rise of power for Hitler and controlling all resistance against his agenda. One of our sources, The SS: A New History by Adrian Weale, hopefully will provide us with a vision of what it was like to be a member of the SS during the rise of Nazi Germany. If we make Günter a SS soldier he could play a role in stopping Operation Valkyrie before the assassination attempt on Hitler can happen. The idea is not completely set in stone yet, but we believe this could add another exciting ending to our game.

 

Over the weekend we are meeting to work on our game in Twine and discuss the goals we want to achieve throughout the week. The plan of action we developed for this week went very well and provided us with a layout of the things we needed to get done. Our focus on the pathways today was very crucial to provide players with the opportunity to enjoy our game. We look forward to seeing our ideas come to life in the software!

 

 

The Decision Makers: Opening Thoughts

Our group discussion was focused on brainstorming game topics, deciphering a team name, and becoming familiar with the software options available to create our game. Before we started brainstorming for our team name, we wanted to decide on a topic so that we could relate the two. Everyone in our group was interested in the World War II time period and the events that were occurring in the early 1940s in Germany. This discussion helped our group bond and understand the varying perspectives that will help create our final project.

The idea that we brainstormed is a scenario in which a German civilian in the 1940s goes through a series of situations that determine the outcome of their life. In these scenarios, each decision will change the path that the subject’s life follows. The details of the scenarios are still being discussed and will be edited throughout the process. Our team name reflects the decision making situations that we wanted to interpret into our game to provide players with a hands-on experience.

Once we had an outline for our game, we browsed the different software options available to bring our game to life. The two software options we discussed using are Twine and RPG Maker because of the limited time available to create our game. We decided that Twine would give us the ability to create the images that we all desired our game to have. Each group member downloaded Twine so that we could become familiar with the software before beginning the creative process. Over the next few days, we plan to develop a more clear outline for our game and the goals we intend to reach within the projects. Kaden, Logan, Fisher, Will, and I are excited to keep you updated on our progress!