Today marked the last meeting of the Centrenauts in Young 246. On January 3rd, Alex, Clay, Jordan, Yue, and I all entered the room with no connection, but today we left that room as a team of individuals who spent the last couple of weeks creating a game together. I speak for all of my team members when I say that the time we spent inside and outside of the classroom working on Espionaut were times that we greatly enjoyed.
We would like to thank Dr. Harney for leading FYS 159. This class provided us the chance to exercise our creativity and cultivate it into something that we and others could enjoy. The lessons we learned throughout the course will affect the ways that we view history (specifically that it is not so much about dates and facts alone, but rather that it is also about processes and contingency) and how we view working with others. “History and Storytelling in Video Games” opened up a creative space that allowed us to have fun during CentreTerm—again I will speak for all of us when I say that that is something we greatly appreciated and enjoyed throughout the term.
As I am currently riding in a car to Louisville and suffering from intense car-sickness, I’ll keep this post short and sweet and wrap up by saying that I personally enjoyed every part of this course and I consider myself lucky to have gotten the chance to work with and learn from the amazing people that I met in this class. The opportunities, lessons, and time spent in this class were invaluable and I will carry the things that I have learned in this room with me throughout the rest of my time at Centre.
Thanks again, Dr. Harney, and thank you to the rest of my wonderful classmates and, especially, my teammates. I hope you all enjoyed your time in class as much as I did.
Happy Almost-Friday Everyone!
Today, The Centrenauts did what we normally do: we wrote dialogue, designed maps, worked on our portfolio, and continued research. However, today there was a certain weight over us. Earlier on in the class, Yue gave her presentation and, during the Q&A at the end, she was asked why Juan Pujol García wasn’t accepted as a spy by the British government. Yue gave the only answer she could and that any of us would have given: “I don’t know.” Dr. Harney quickly assured that that was a perfectly acceptable answer—and it most definitely is—but hearing that “I don’t know” really brought to attention all of the “I don’t know”s that comes with our project.
Our game is about a spy during World War II and Operation Bodyguard. But, what did a spy actually do during the war? Specifically, how did they collect and return information, how did they relay false information, and how did they keep their covers? I only have one answer to that question: I don’t know. There’s no way of knowing what an undercover agent did during the war, as it was and likely still is classified information. Methods, tactics, and strategy are unknown to us because there are no books that detail how exactly Juan Pujol García did what he did. The books only say that he did do it.
So, how do you make a game about the actions of a spy without knowing what exactly a spy does? With Dr. Harney’s favorite word, of course: research. While we’ll never know exactly how a spy did their job, we can get a solid idea through research. When a book says that pigeons were particularly important to a spy’s work, we can assume that these pigeons carried messages for spies. When it says that false information was relayed back to Germany, we can assume it was the spies who did the relaying. There are many assumptions that can be made if you have a good understanding of the context around a topic. So far, our group has a pretty good understanding of the contexts of Allied spies in WWII.
As we move forward, our focus shifts more to Nazi Soldiers and life in the Third Reich and that opens up even more “I don’t know”s. But, I believe our group is ready to meet the questions with no answers and give them plausible answers. With the term slowly coming to an end, we’re looking forward to keeping you updated on our progress on the game—which is directly tied to the process of solving “I don’t know” with research.