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A little background....

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  • Kevin Plummer
    A few years ago I created a project that I have recently dusted off and begun working on again. The project was called Histories in Minature or HIM for
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 1, 2009
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      A few years ago I created a project that I have recently dusted off and begun working on again. The project was called "Histories in Minature" or HIM for short.

      HIM was and is a concept of giving kids a way to get a look into history first hand by using miniature models in both a central museum and a travelling roadshow that schools could arrange to have visit.

      During the time that I was researching how to do this project, I was also an active gamer; mainly in the game that was the grandfather of all of today's games - Ultima Online. At the time, UO was owned by EAGames and a large amount of diehard gamers created the first ever gameserver emulator allowing for free play on private servers. There were lots of legality issues and copyright laws broken during these days but little was done about it as EA was still making money due to the fact that you still had to purchase the game disks from a store to play on the private servers.

      In anycase, what no one realized at the time what the effect this would have on the UO gaming community. The new private servers were capable of much more than just emulating the commercial servers. They were capable of allowing people to create new additions to the game (some of which EA took and incorporated into newer versions). Soon new creatures, spells, weapons, ores, objects, and anything you could imagine began to show up on the private shards. Hell it was fun just to visit a few dozen shards on a day off just to see the things they created for themselves.

      Anyhow, I was playing a shard one day and found a small stone tower, that looked somewhat like a combination between a hitching post and a tombstone. When I clicked on the thing I was surprized to see my computer's browser open and a page loaded telling me about a guild in the game... I was shocked and amazed at this new item...

      Then it dawned on me the possibility of this as a tool for teaching...

      I quickly studied up on things and learned how to setup and run a server and began playing around with it locally. My concept was to be able to let a child live virtually as a person in midieval england or rome or some other place. The stones were the key to the educational portion of the game.

      Imagine a recreation in game of Rome, a player comes acrose an NPC who offers a reward for the person if them can go to the Colosseum and return with the details of tonight's event.... The character then goes and has to explore the inside of the structure to find out the info. Inside each cage in the pit is an animal and a stone, the stone then opens up a page telling about the animal and how it was used in the events... On one of the webpages would be the info the NPC requested... hence the person playing has to explore not only the game but the pages to complete the quest....

      Anyhow that was just one example of a possible learning quest in game....

      For this Adrian version, you will not have to do all that stuff, but it will give me a live test server to experiment with more while letting you guys have some fun.

      Sir Rhydderch
    • Sir Dallan Crombie
      Great idea! Getting kids (and some adults, myself included) to learn in spite of themselves is definitely the way to go. Do you have a tentative timeline in
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 1, 2009
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        Great idea! Getting kids (and some adults, myself included) to learn in spite of themselves is definitely the way to go. Do you have a tentative timeline in mind for the final HIM game? Or are you thinking different releases/servers for different eras? For the Adria version, a rather... nonlinear view of history is necessary, but for the eventual edutainment title that might be a bit confusing.


        From: Kevin Plummer <sir.rhydderch@...>
        Sent: Monday, June 01, 2009 3:06 AM
        To: AdrianEmpireGame@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [AdrianEmpireGame] A little background....



        A few years ago I created a project that I have recently dusted off and begun working on again. The project was called "Histories in Minature" or HIM for short.

        HIM was and is a concept of giving kids a way to get a look into history first hand by using miniature models in both a central museum and a travelling roadshow that schools could arrange to have visit.

        During the time that I was researching how to do this project, I was also an active gamer; mainly in the game that was the grandfather of all of today's games - Ultima Online. At the time, UO was owned by EAGames and a large amount of diehard gamers created the first ever gameserver emulator allowing for free play on private servers. There were lots of legality issues and copyright laws broken during these days but little was done about it as EA was still making money due to the fact that you still had to purchase the game disks from a store to play on the private servers.

        In anycase, what no one realized at the time what the effect this would have on the UO gaming community. The new private servers were capable of much more than just emulating the commercial servers. They were capable of allowing people to create new additions to the game (some of which EA took and incorporated into newer versions). Soon new creatures, spells, weapons, ores, objects, and anything you could imagine began to show up on the private shards. Hell it was fun just to visit a few dozen shards on a day off just to see the things they created for themselves.

        Anyhow, I was playing a shard one day and found a small stone tower, that looked somewhat like a combination between a hitching post and a tombstone. When I clicked on the thing I was surprized to see my computer's browser open and a page loaded telling me about a guild in the game... I was shocked and amazed at this new item...

        Then it dawned on me the possibility of this as a tool for teaching...

        I quickly studied up on things and learned how to setup and run a server and began playing around with it locally. My concept was to be able to let a child live virtually as a person in midieval england or rome or some other place The stones were the key to the educational portion of the game.

        Imagine a recreation in game of Rome, a player comes acrose an NPC who offers a reward for the person if them can go to the Colosseum and return with the details of tonight's event.... The character then goes and has to explore the inside of the structure to find out the info. Inside each cage in the pit is an animal and a stone, the stone then opens up a page telling about the animal and how it was used in the events... On one of the webpages would be the info the NPC requested... hence the person playing has to explore not only the game but the pages to complete the quest....

        Anyhow that was just one example of a possible learning quest in game....

        For this Adrian version, you will not have to do all that stuff, but it will give me a live test server to experiment with more while letting you guys have some fun.

        Sir Rhydderch

      • Kevin Plummer
        Thank you for asking.... Histories in Minature is not devoted to any one era or timeperiod. The wonderful thing about the simple (yet complex) game engine is
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 2, 2009
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          Thank you for asking....

          Histories in Minature is not devoted to any one era or timeperiod. The wonderful thing about the simple (yet complex) game engine is that we can simply change the game to suit a different time by changing the graphics. For example a horse drawn cart that can carry 4 people (npcs or players) can be converted to a WWII military jeep by simply changing the graphics and a few properties associated with it's movement.

          And you are right on target by suggesting multiple servers; one for each time period and also possibly culture... That is the idea, multiple servers with one client offering a choice of where to explore. I was obiviously going to start with servers decicated to medieval/renaissance times and places as that is what graphics I have from the orginal game and it is the time I know the most about from a historical aspect. Other servers would come online eventually as the program develops.

          Kevin

          --- In AdrianEmpireGame@yahoogroups.com, Sir Dallan Crombie <sir.dallan@...> wrote:
          >
          > Great idea! Getting kids (and some adults, myself included) to learn in spite of themselves is definitely the way to go. Do you have a tentative timeline in mind for the final HIM game? Or are you thinking different releases/servers for different eras? For the Adria version, a rather... nonlinear view of history is necessary, but for the eventual edutainment title that might be a bit confusing.
          >
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