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!

 

 

Historical Accuracy of Call of Duty World War II

For the past week and a half, I have been thinking about the historical validity of various video games. Mainly Call of Duty World at War. I have played this game for a few hours and have actively thought about many historical aspects of the game. I have also looked at the portrayal of the Nazis. Juxtaposing online multiplayer and campaign, it is instantly apparent that campaign is more historically realistic than online multiplayer. Although the campaign is more accurate than multiplayer, it is still historically inaccurate. Both game modes over glorify war by making fighting into a competition. For the most part, a player’s score is based on how many kills a player gets. I have noticed that the two game modes diverge from reality on many occasions, most notably with customization. In online, the main way to show ones skill is through gun camouflage. This is not historically accurate. One of the most prestigious camouflages in the game is solid gold. Preliminary research into whether or not soldiers used vibrant camouflages on their guns show it did not happen. The historical accuracy of online multiplayer is so limited, a review pointing out all of the flaws would be too long for a blog post. Therefore, I will focus mostly on the campaign. The campaign is thoroughly enjoyable and very marketable as well. War is over-glorified in campaign mode, which likely one of the reasons the game is enjoyable. The game wouldn’t have been as fun if it was less action packed, which makes the over-glorification of the game understandable for marketing purposes. Another inaccuracy of the game is the type of weapons used. On campaign, many German soldiers used Russian weapons, which is historically inaccurate. One common occurrence is on the Western Front, many German soldiers used the PPSh-41. The PPSh-41 is a Russian weapon and was never used by the German forces. There also weren’t any swastikas on German soldiers’ fatigues. The use of swastikas was blocked in the United States, Canada, and in Germany. This is interesting because many other countries heavily affected by Nazi influence have the swastika in the game. The swastika is still very taboo throughout the world, but is still especially stigmatized by the Germans and the North Americans.

I asked one of my friends about his thoughts regarding the historical accuracy of the game. He said, “I have never really thought about it, I just like the combat and first person shooter aspects of the game.” He went on to agree that the game is over-dramatized and over-glorified.

I believe that it is interesting to think about the historical significance of games, rather than mindlessly running around shooting people.

Group update: Team Senseless violence is making rapid progress. We have begun to write dialogue and are edging closer to the use of twine. Hard work and camaraderie have been good catalysts for Team Senseless Violence.

All the best,

Leland Gray