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!



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.

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.

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: Contrasting Our Game with Subnautica

Hey everyone,

Our game is based in Twine so it is a completely text based game with (potentially) some minor visual elements incorporated. There are many games like this out there and they have some advantages to them, like being able clearly state what is happening in the game and give the player certain paths that you want them to take. This allows for a streamlined story that can have multiple endings, but it also limits the player’s experience to the one you want them to have. In this post I would like to delve into a different game that I personally am a big fan of that has major contrasts with our game. I really enjoy survival games, especially one in particular called Subnautica. Unlike our game, Subnautica is not historically based (at least not based on real history), text based, or streamlined in its story line. Instead, it gives a terrific futuristic story driven almost entirely by the actions of the player. This can allow for the player to believe that they are the hero of the story but since there is not always clear options of what to do (or too many options at times) like in text based games, the progression of the player can be halted because they aren’t sure of what they should do.

Subnautica’s story starts with the player frantically trying to launch an escape pod from a ship in orbit above a planet that is only designated by a serial number (4546B). After both crash down onto the ocean world’s surface and after you puts out the fire in your life pod, it is up to you how to progress and survive. All that you have in the life pod is a PDA (tablet that tells you important information that has been collected), a fire extinguisher, two small bottles of water, two nutrient bars, and two flares. You have to manage your hunger and thirst throughout the game as they are always decreasing so these starting goods are only good for a pretty short amount of time. Your life pod crashed a kilometer or two away from the ship and the pod landed in a shallow area similar to a coral reef. Also in your life pod there is a fabricator and a damaged radio, both mounted on the wall of the pod. The reef is abundant with alien life, both plant and animal and it is up to you to figure out how to use items you are able to pick up. As you find materials and use the fabricator to make useful tools to perform a variety of tasks, you learn more about the world you are stranded on. One of the easiest and most necessary tools you can make is the scanner that can scan nearly anything and upload the data to your PDA so you can learn more about your environment to survive. You can make a repair tool as well and once you repair the radio you start to receive distress calls from other life pods and eventually from a ship that says they picked up the distress call and are on the way to help. The ship fails to rescue you for a completely unexpected reason (spoilers for those who haven’t played so I won’t go into detail) and the story gets a new twist. All the time you are exploring and crafting new items to go deeper and learn more you have more aggressive creatures and areas to deal with

This is all just in the first two or three hours of game play and it usually takes the average player roughly 35 or so hours to finish the story line because of how the game is designed to be led by the exploration of the player. While both Subnautica and our game are driven by story, our game, even if we were to turn it into a full fledged game with all of the details that we could want to incorporate to be included, it would not come close to the 35 hours to be completed. This is simply because text based games are usually not terribly lengthy games because it would be hard to keep the player invested and intrigued in the game for that long without an absolutely stellar story and way of presenting it. While both types of games are driven by story and are able to deliver fantastic stories, the way that they are able to do so are very different. Each style of game is better suited for a different kind of story. For example, being a soldier in Nazi Germany may be able to be a survival game but not in the way we are presenting it, being a game in which one character cooperates with others to achieve their goals in wartime. A text based game is much more suitable for this situation since dialogue is a major factor in the game we wanted to design. Likewise, the setting and goals of Subnautica would be difficult to make into a text based game because of the elements that it tries to give the player. Exploring and gathering materials and all of the other key aspects of a survival game are just not that well suited for text based games, like how our game is not as well suited for the ability for the player to sort of choose every action they may want to take in a game. However, both types of games can and have given great experiences to their players.

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: Defining Barbarianism

Hey everyone,

In today’s class we focused quite a bit about barbarians and what it really means to be barbaric. We came to the conclusion that a barbarian was somebody who appeared to not have a culture and were essentially simpleminded and violent. When examples were given of past barbaric groups, it was shown that the definition we gave barbarians may not have actually fit them. The examples given were the Mongols and the Vikings. While both are known for their vast military strength and desire to conquer, their other actions are oftentimes overlooked. While the Mongols did take over vast regions of land and were viewed by many as barbaric due to their apparent lack of culture, there actually was a culture there, it just was not the same as those calling them barbarians. They were just more focused on a more oral history than written and had different religious views from some, so some had no issue calling them barbaric after looking at their actions and beliefs. The Vikings have a similar story. They shared many qualities with the Mongols so it comes as no surprise that they are still oftentimes referred to as a barbaric society. However, like the Mongols, their society was simply based on different premises than those judging from a distance. While I’m not trying to defend their actions, some of which were brutal, there is little doubt that they would not call themselves barbarians and would likely see themselves as doing either the right thing or at least be easily justified.

Barbarians is a term that nobody really identifies with and for good reason. The term does not really have any good attributes tied to it besides brute strength, so it’s not surprising that it is a term that is only ever used to describe a group that is viewed as a lesser society. This plays pretty well in our game and how it will play out. Since it is centered around Nazi Germany, which was brutal and has been called barbaric, our group has to be able to show this in game in a kind of delicate way. We have to show it in a way that is both not horribly offensive and also in a way that is at least somewhat accurate to the actual culture in place during the time period. We worked on the story of our game today and this was one of the issues that came up (again). After today’s discussion however we have a bit of a different view on how to approach showing the culture of Nazi Germany. We can look into the reasons people have called the nation barbaric more and see how we can implement those aspects of the nation’s culture in a way that is both accurate and not too graphic in certain parts. Since we are using Twine for our game, the graphic imagery will be easy to leave out since it is a text based game, so we are looking more into setting through description than through imagery to combat this potential problem. While images are still going to be implemented (we are getting very close to putting them in Twine) the majority of the game will be text oriented. The story is getting close to completion with certain ending already being completed so after the remaining  paths are created, imagery can be prioritized and it will look like a more completed game. We agreed that the game should definitely be finished (or at least story completed and images gathered) within the coming days and then we can move to other tasks. For now though, we are looking at how to show the culture of Nazi Germany in our game in the right way.

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!



TDM: Handling Our Choices

For a large part of our group discussions, we spend a lot of time trying to figure out how deal with the choice of creating a Nazi character. If we decide to stay true to the history, then our character would not be relatable due to the harsh aspects of their lives. On the other hand, if we created a Nazi character that did not follow the ideals of the time period, we would be altering history. So therefore we decided to allow the player to choose. Sometimes people have the urge to be the bad guy in a video game. Games like Red Dead 2 give the option of being the bad guy, and some players think that is more fun than finding the moral high ground. So for some players they will have the choice to be loyal and play that role as the bad guy. For other players, they can try and change history through the July Plot. We decided to use this as the “good” ending to our game due to us being able to show how not all agreed with what Hitler was doing. One of the NPC’s in the game will be Erwin Rommel. A top Nazi general who was a part of the July plot.

In allowing our character to be a part of this, we allow the player to control the outcome of the game. They can either help it succeed and change history, or they can cause its downfall and stay true to history. For this we drew inspiration from different types of games that allow players to be an unmentioned person in history. The Assassins Creed games do this in AC3 with the protagonist Connor. He is an invisible force in the history of the AC games. He influences battles and choices of the founding fathers that will eventually lead to the creation of the United States. Connor was just an invisible force that played a major role in the outcome, but the games core lore allows for this to be okay. As the character is part of a secret organization. This is where we will find some problems. How do we tell the history of the July Plot with a character that does not exist. That is where altering history comes into play. If we add a character it could be the missing link they did not have.

The player will be able to make choices that impact the outcome of the game. We have created three kinds of ways to play this game. The first being a way to stay loyal to Germany during WWII. This will allow players to be the bad guy of the game. As in history they will be able to take part in making sure the July plot fails. Making enemies with the head leaders of the plot. The other choice is the ability to be a part of the July Plot. In this the player will have to make choices that will impact the outcome of the plot. This being that it will be successful and change history, or it will fail and the history will stay the course. Our character however will be forgotten to history as he is going to be forgotten for some reason. We still have not thought of the reason why he will be forgotten however.

Development of Gunter Schmidt’s Story

Hello Everyone,

After watching the beginning of the multiple game today, we had many examples of which was to and not to present our background information to the player of our game. We thought that the beginning of The Walking Dead game was an interesting, suspenseful, and interactive way to give background on the main character and the situation that he is in. We also liked the Indiana Jones beginning. The game had a funny and clever way of beginning the game while setting up the plot for the game: catching the Nazi spy that was confronted at the end of the opening scene. It had me interested in playing more of the game, especially since I like the Indiana Jones series. We took these two introductions into consideration when forming our introduction. We agreed to open the game with Gunter at his father’s funeral. Attending the funeral are many fellow Nazi generals that worked with Gunter’s father over the past years. One specific man that is present at the funeral is General Erwin Rommel, who is famously know as being a part of Operation Valkyrie. Rommel comes to speak to Gunter initially to offer his condolences but then brings up the topic of a secret mission Rommel and his father were plotting. He does not go into detail of the mission that he mentions which allows for us to keep the mission a secret but also plant a bug in the player’s mind about a possibility in the future.

Rommel also addresses Gunter about replacing his father in the Nazi ranks. The first decision by the player is whether to accept the proposition or deny it. If Gunter accepts the position, then he will go directly into command of a section of the Nazi forces. When Gunter arrives at Nazi Headquarters for the first time, Rommel is there to greet him and invites him into Rommel’s office. Rommel then explains the mission Gunter’s father and Rommel were working on. The mission is the Operation Valkyrie. Gunter is then faced with the most important decision of the game:whether or not to help with the operation and kill Hitler or momentarily deny the proposition and ask for more time to answer the enormous question.  If Gunter denies the promotion, then he will go into the army as a regular soldier that will be send around the world to fight for Nazi Germany. Gunter will then be sent to Africa and will be under Rommel’s command. He will have a coincidental run in with Rommel and the two will have a similar conversation as the other route. This route does offer a firm yes or a firm no as possible answers instead of a request for more time.

After coming up with the beginning our story, we began to start more specific research on the different routes that the characters could take. One specific aspect we are beginning to look more deeply into in the Operation Valkyrie. We have checked out multiple books from the library that offer different sides of the mission and are planning to watch the movie tomorrow night to provide some visual inspiration. We are also looking into the conflicts that Rommel was a part of in Africa and how we could accurately portray a common soldier’s life in Africa, making him want a way out which would be presented by Rommel.

The work that we did in class today set us up well for the next couple days in developing our different storylines. We are in a good position and are looking forward to finishing out our rough storylines by the end of the week!

A Second Character? Women in Nazi Germany?

Hello friends,


Today in class our group discussed and put into words much of the founding work for our storyline, including the start of Gunter’s role and how his life journey begins. As Will mentioned in his presentation today, we are working heavily on the game and allowing for the portfolio to be worked on after the bulk of the game is created. Our opening scene starts when our protagonist is fifteen years old, in Berlin, Germany, 1922. Gunter is recruited to join the Hitler Youth. Flash forward to 1938, and his father has passed away from old age. At his father’s funeral, he is approached by Erwin Rommel, and asked if he wants to succeed his father and become a general. At this point, our character is faced with his first decision. For now, this is what we have written down, but we are considering a multitude of ways to continue after this point.


However, the main point of this blog post today is to discuss an interesting point brought up in class after Will’s presentation. A student asked if we had considered bringing in a female character as a choice so that we would have more representation. During our group work time, we decided after some deliberation that although we completely understand that providing more representation allows for a happier and broader audience because it is more relatable to consumers, it also doubles the amount of work we have to do on an already strenuous schedule. Creating a new and completely different story for a another character is certainly a fascinating addition, as it could be quite refreshing, and allow for even more coverage of historical events in Nazi Germany. However, we still believe that in this particular case, the time constraint makes it very challenging. Also, our plan as a group has been to try and stay as historically accurate as possible, and when Hitler took over, he shut down all roles for women in society.


Before the Nazi regime, the Weimar Republic had pushed for women’s rights, seen through the passing of the Weimar Constitution, giving women their right to vote, equality in legal matters, and equal rights in marriage. Although some rights were still withheld from women, it was a step forward in society. When Adolf Hitler rose into power, women’s rights took a backseat. He utilized friendships with influential women in society when running for leader of Germany to gain sponsorships and trust from female voters. However, he quickly discouraged higher education for women, and basically forced women to slide back into the role of being bound to the household. He was a rarity, being single as a leader. Later on, he was married to Eva Braun, who was completely unknown to the German public, showing the housewife and hidden job that women in Nazi society earned. Even though he had lower votes from women, he still got women to convince their husbands to join Hitler’s army. Overall, adding a woman as a second option would not be viable due to the lack of futures. The plot has no “winning” outcome.


I know that we are not creating a second character, but this research has come to be very interesting relating to our game, as a woman would add more depth to our work. Thank you for the suggestion in class and the questions today! See you next week.


The Decision Makers: Preparing for the Work Ahead

Hey everyone,

Today was the third day of class and during our team’s work hour we were able to nail down several important details about our work to come that are going to be vital to help prepare for and set up some tasks in the coming days and weeks. We set up a relatively primitive timeline for what we plan to accomplish by certain dates, as well as if a single person is going to be responsible for completing it, and if so then we decided who would be the one to do it, or if we would work on the task as a group. An example is that we decided that since there are five essay parts of the portfolio and one non essay portion about our plan of action, each person would be given one to complete (I am responsible for the paper about the games we used as a reference for ours) and the plan of action would be completed as a group. We worked quite a bit on the plan of action today and were able to complete a significant amount of it.

During this time we also helped Will with his personal presentation tomorrow and decided who would present on for the coming presentations based on who wanted to talk about what topic. After this was discussed the potential story line that the character we are developing which will lead to several different endings based on previous actions taken in the story. However, since some of the actions the character will take will more likely than be based on actual events, it makes contingency a bit of an issue to work through. One example we pan to incorporate is Operation Valkyrie which was based on the idea that Hitler would be assassinated and the operation was where the Germans would arrest Nazi leadership and take over leadership of the nation. Since it failed in real life, the game could give a situation where it succeeded if certain choices are made or it could fail like it actually did if another path was chosen by the player. However if the player takes the path where the operation succeeds then we have to work out what that means for the impact it will have on the game play because we will have to base the remainder of that path of game play on events that did not actually occur but still has to be believable enough that it is coherent with the rest of the game and fun for the player. We talked about this issue for a decent amount of time and I believe we are coming closer to the best answer we can think of. As of now there are no concrete ideas about where the story could head after the success of the operation, only a few ideas circulating.

After discussing the potential future of our character, we realized we needed to first have a strong background story for him for the rest of the story and game play to flow coherently. While there are no details set in stone we agreed on the basics of the character: that he would be a German, most likely from the Hitler’s Youth program, relatively early on in the game the player would decide where his loyalties would lie, and his name would be Günter Schmidt. The rest about the stories potential endings and our character’s background were put off to tomorrow after we had thought about it more and when we had more time to work together.

At the very end of class we started to look up images to go along with the game and finishing that was put off to tomorrow as well since we only looked for a few minutes to get ideas in our minds. After today’s work I would say we’re doing pretty well for a start and we seem to be progressing at a good rate.

The Decision Makers: Creating a German Soldier

For today’s work we all went to the library to try and create a sense of what it was like to be a soldier in the Third Reich. We mainly found books about the life of a soldier and what they had to go through during that time. In a sense it is hard to create a soldier in the Nazi Military due to the actions of them in the Second World War. The perspective that all of the Nazi Regime was evil and brutal is something that we knew we had deal with when creating this character. Therefore, we decided to create a soldier who was not the blindly obedient to the regime and Adolf Hitler.

For our character we decided that he should be someone who is different than the rest of their fellow soldiers. Günter, who is our main character, will face moral dilemmas that can have good impact for people and bad impacts for the player or good impacts for the player and bad impacts for others. This will allow for the player to decide how they want to play the game. If they want to follow the regime or stand out and be different. One aspect will will try to incorporate different ending for the player depending on what they choose. Some even being death for the player.

The hard part about this is creating a character who is morally obligated to follow one path or the other. We gathered sources on the life of soldiers including when they were first introduced to the group of Hitler’s youth. We decided to allow our character to be able to choose how loyal he is to the Nazi regime. In different play through the player will be able to side with the regime or create his own kind of moral system.

The best aspect of our game we think will be the ability of the player to choose what they want the story to be like. they can choose to follow the path that most soldiers would have chosen which is a blind obedience to the regime. Or to follow a path of a moral high ground that would have been different in the time period. We decided to create the best possible role playing game where choices have impacts that would allow the player to create their own story. In doing so almost every play through will have a different outcome. The best that we could do is to allow the player the choice to choose. In doing this they can be the evil solider that people think of as the typical Nazi soldier. Or they can be the needle in a hay stack and find that moral high ground. Either way they will enjoy their play through.

We found several sources that we will use to describe a Nazi soldiers life in the world war. Allowing the most accurate representation of a soldiers life of that day. So players can choose to be the same. or they can be different. the choice is theirs.