Engaged Archaeological Proposal
For this assignment, I plan on designing a card game that teaches the public about the field of Archaeology, but is also fun and engaging. I chose to do a game for this assignment because I personally enjoy designing games, but also because games are very interactive and engaging. My goal for this project is to take advantage of the immersive aspect of games, and pair it with learning. I will have to find the right balance between learning and gameplay to make the players have a good learning experience.
The core of the game will have 3 phases each representing a stage in the archaeology process: The Survey phase, Excavation phase, and Analysis phase.
Survey Phase: Players will draw a card on their turn from the Survey card pile this represents shovel testing. To get past the Survey phase, the player will have to draw a “Find” card. This means that the player has found an artifact, and they are ready to excavate the site around it. However, there will be hazard cards in the survey deck as well.
Types of cards in Survey deck:
- Allows player to move to Excavation phase
- Represents environmental hazards
- Player will have to skip their next turn
- Player didn’t find anything
- Enhances player’s ability to survey
- GPS or Magnetometry are examples
Once the player has obtained a “Find” card, they will move to the excavation phase. In this phase, a player will draw a card from the Excavation deck. In this phase, the player wants to find as many artifacts as possible. Some of the artifacts will be in the same category as one another, and be related. The artifacts are worth a certain amount of points depending on how much information the artifact displays about the past. Players may also find cards that will allow them to steal or trade artifacts to better their score.
Types of cards in Excavation deck:
- Artifacts will have their own typology and period they were from
- Some worth more than others depending on informational value
- Trade/Steal cards
- To spice the game up a bit
- “Nothing Cards”
- Player did not find anything
After Excavation, players will gather their artifacts together and count up their scores. This is also a time to make any last minute steals! Players will be given a score bonus if they have objects of the same typology or time period. The player with the highest score wins.
The gameplay has not been completely fleshed out, so I am very open to change. I may add a board to the game to represent the “grid” in which the players are digging in. Each square of the grid can only be excavated 3 times, and some of the grid spaces may contain environmental hazards.
One thing I am concerned about is the trade and steal mechanic. It doesn’t represent the field of archaeology too well, and it is not a part of the archaeological process. However, I do think that it will add a fun mechanic to the game and will be overall beneficial. That is if I do it correctly.