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Summer Semester 2022

The games listed on this page are the result of a course titled "'That belongs in a museum!' - Creating Archaeogames from idea to release" of the University of Cologne in the Summer Semester of 2022. Students in the fields of Archaeology, Digital Archaeology, and Digital Humanities have created eight games in small groups, that are concerned with the depiction of the past and/or the profession of Archaeology. The rights to these games lie with the creators themselves, who have given us the permission to publish their games here under the Creative Commons Licence (CC BY 4.0).

All games were made by small student groups within one semester (13 weeks). The games are therefore short and sometimes buggy. The course wasn't about creating a perfect game however, but instead to build a concept of a game. Some of the games come with directions, while others are for you to explore.


Did you always wanted to be an archaeologist like Indiana Jones or Lara Croft? Traveling the world, finding ancient cultures and bringing home the massive gold treasure? A life full of adventure and fame?
Then I’m sorry to tell you, but … this isn’t the life of a real archaeologist. Discover the real daily work of an archaeologist in the field and start your own digging campaign in Greece. If you’ve got the right spirit and the condition to be an archaeologist you can help discover ancient finds, learn what happens if you manage to recover it from the earth without destroying the sensible find and what to do until the find can be exhibited in a museum.

Version: 1.0
Platform: Unreal Engine 4 for PC
Language: English
Size: 7,8 GB
Download: 10.5281/zenodo.7245386
Manual: Unzip the file in one folder and start the file "Archaeios.exe"


Le Khanh Hien Giang (Institute of Digital Humanities) - 3D Modeling
Michaela Grundmeier (Institute of Archaeology) - Research, Texts
Erhan Gürleyik (Institute of Digital Humanities) - 3D Modeling, Story
Maryam Jäger (Institute of Archaeology) - Research, Texts
Martin König (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Co-Lead, Lead-Programming, Story
An Pham (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Team Lead, Co-Programming, Story

Boni's Level

We present you an educational learning game for young people based on the Roman military. Growing up, Asterix comics accompanied some of us and left us with a very specific image of the (darn) Romans. They have colorful arms, beautiful tents and can satisfy their hunger with grapes and wild boar clubs. However, according to today's knowledge, this is not how reality looked like: The tents were equipped with a clay floor and meager beds, and there was bread and gruel to eat. The gear - what it really looked like you can find out for yourself!

Playing a trainee in the archaeological institute, full of anticipation and motivation, you are allowed to look at artifacts from Roman times. The treasures from the military camp of ancient times make the player dream and you find yourself in his daydream, which is filled with false preconceptions. Look at the Roman's tent and find out what's wrong with it - your professor will help you and take you into her daydream, a representation of a Roman legionary's tent as it might have looked according to today's knowledge.

Our educational game aims to show the player the real world of the legionaries with visual and humorous methods. In doing so, the player can move around in the rooms: the office in the archaeological institute - a room filled with files and old things, a legionary tent decorated with prejudices from the Asterix comics, and a legionary tent that is more like reality.

Explore the world of Roman legionaries and get the facts right in the false romans tent to explain how it really was!!

Ave Caesar!

Version: 1.0
Platform: Unity for PC
Language: German
Size: 48,5 MB
Download: 10.5281/zenodo.7245217
Manual: Unzip the file in one folder and start the file "Boni's Level.exe"


Denia Biermann (Institute of Archaeology) - Sketches, Dialogues
Nikolai Kleinschmidt (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Programming
Adriana Rieger (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Graphic Design, Drawings
Frederic Zeiger (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Graphic Design, Drawings

Excavation Manager 2022

With our game „Excavation Manager 2022“ we want to show the steps and difficulties of an archaeological excavation. The player takes on the role of the excavation director and selects a level at the beginning. There are currently two levels to choose from: An excavation in south-eastern Turkey, in the remains of the ancient city of Doliche (medium difficulty) and one in the city centre of Osnabrück, in mediaeval layers (hard difficulty). Both campaigns are based on actual excavation projects, and many of the finds that the player can make really come from there. But it is not an exact replica of the real models and the player can also find things that were not made in the real world - or in the worst case nothing at all. However, before the excavation cuts can be made, an application for funding must always be submitted first. If the funding application is accepted, these funds must then be carefully spent on staff and tools. This preparation of the excavation takes place in several menus, while the campaign itself in the field is shown in a top-down-view and the player controls the excavation director as a movable avatar. The chance of success depends on these decisions just as much as the subsequent placement of the cuts and the careful uncovering of the finds in the field. Finally, the player receives a high score against which he can measure his success.

We would like to thank the Research Centre Asia Minor of the WWU Münster (especially Michael Blömer) and the City Archaeology of Osnabrück (especially Judith Franzen) for providing numerous photos of original finds for our game!
Thank you xDeviruchi for creating free 8-bit music and adding an acoustical layer to the Excavation Manager 2022! Check them out here:

Version: 1.0
Platform: Unity for PC
Language: English
Size: 52,4 MB
Download: 10.5281/zenodo.7245248
Manual: Unzip the file into a folder and start the file "Excavation Manager 2022.exe"


Lukas Lammers (Institute of Archaeology) - Idea, Concept
Lena Schleicher Baltrusch (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Textures, Art
Florian Hensel (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Development
Oliver Holka (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Development

Expedition Exhibition

What is a puls? When did Ramesses II. live? Which countries were visited by the Vikings? These are all questions that can be answered by a visit to the museum. But what happens if all these questions stand between you and your well earned end of work? Come to our museum, learn about different periods in short everyday situations and flee from the museum!

You are an employee in a historical museum and after a long day of work between objects, museum concepts and research, you totally forgot the time. Your boss and everyone else have forgotten you and locked you in. Now you need to find out the code to the security door. In order to remember the code, you have to mentally travel to the Romans, Egyptians, and Vikings and master everyday situations of different periods. In the same time, you can learn more about the context of the objects you are interacting with.

The game opens your view, away from shiny finds, adventures and magic reveals with the brush and to people like you and me. The experiences cover handcraft, religion as well as food. Maybe this game persuades you to view your next real-life museum visit differently and take a closer look on everyday finds.

Version: 1.0
Platform: Unity for PC
Language: German
Size: 57,7 MB
Download: 10.5281/zenodo.7245295
Manual: Unzip the file in a folder and start the file "New Unity Project.exe"


Dajana Ehlers (Institute of Archaeology) - Archaeological Research
Julia Kampf (Institute of Digital Humanities) - 3D Modelling
Greta Ihnen (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Textures
Lara Alyssa Neuhaus (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Coding (Unity)
Christopher Breninek (Institute of Archaeology) - Archaeological Research, 3D Modelling
Hanna Reinhart (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Coding, Animation


The game takes place in the near future, where the civilization has lost valuable knowledge of certain artifacts from the past. The character’s grandfather has this information hidden in a journal that the character finds and navigates through the world with. The user is playing a female character that has no name. Her name was left out, so more people might bond with her better. The task is to find three main artifacts that are scattered throughout the gameworld. One has to gather these artifacts through RPG-elements, such as an inventory and a quest system. In order to keep the world vivid, a dialogue system is integrated, which has several replies as choices. These dialogues serve the purpose to learn more about the Roman Empire and also to be engaged in the task more, since one has to be cautious on specific information. The main character and the NPCs are MetaHumans, a creation by Unreal Engine, that hands one the opportunity to have high-poly and realistic characters, made by the MetaHuman creator.

We know that ethical decisions and morality were a big factor in this project. Still, we have decided to leave the choice up to the user, how to play. There is an ethical level system integrated, that determines the outcome of the game. The point of the game is to gather the three main artifacts, while also gathering information about the Roman Empire through dialogues with the NPCs. There is a lot of information scattered, for instance about Roman pottery or Roman watchtowers. If a quest is accepted, the reward will be a potion, which will boost the ethical level of the user. If all three artifacts are gathered, three potions in total will be in the inventory, ready to be used. After using the third potion, the ethical level has risen to 100, triggering the ending of the game. The user can make their own ethical decisions, in order to critically evaluate the character’s behavior. One can also accept quests from the black market, which will promise more money and somewhat the same potions. These potions decrease the user’s ethical level, when used. Since the black market’s person mentions that the potions may be faulty sometimes or boost one up tremendously, the user can’t be sure if the next potion is going to be beneficial or not. In fact, none of the potions of the black market are beneficial.

After accepting a quest from the black market and bringing the artifact back to them and additionally using the potion, the good ending can’t be triggered anymore. Since the potency of the potions are a constant, the ethical level will never reach 100, even if one does the rest of the quests with the archaeological institute, meaning one is left in the void with no ending in sight and is somewhat forced to proceed with the quests of the black market, not knowing what will happen after reaching an ethical level of 0. Doing quests from both the black market and the archaeological institute creates an imbalance and this is how the void is created. That’s the punishment for the user for their actions. Although the choice was given, it doesn’t mean one should consider it. After the user realizes they're stuck in a void, the only choice is to restart the level, which can be easily made via the pause screen. This design choice was made to empathize the desperateness a person might have after making questioning decisions and not having control over it after. In this case, the power is taken from them. After reaching an ethical level of 0, a cutscene is triggered, hearing the main character having a monologue about the consequences. After that, the user is respawned to a checkpoint and is allowed to try again. The game might have different choice paths, but is still determined when it comes to the right ending and that is the ethically correct way, which was the focus of this project.

Version: 1.01
Platform: Unreal Engine for PC
Language: English
Size: 4,6 GB
Download: 10.5281/zenodo.7445602
Manual: Unzip the file into one folder and start the file "(Re)Discover.exe"
Readme: PDF file


Nadjim Noori (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Programming + Game environment design
Pascale Boisvert (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Programming
Julia Haschke (Institute of Digital Humanities) - 2D + 3D Modelling
Kara Neu (Institute of Archaeology) - Archaeological research
Tobias Thomalla (Institute of Archaeology) - Archaeological research

Rise of Zeus

Rise of Zeus takes place in the classical Greek period and is kept in the style of c. 6th-5th century art. It is inspired by Hesiod’s Theogony. It represents the myth of the birth of Zeus and how he rescued his godly siblings from his father's captivation.

Zeus, the player, runs to rescue his siblings. In the first three levels he must collect the main iconic attribute of each god to be able to progress to the next level. By collecting the attributes of Hera, Poseidon and Hades he can unlock new abilities to overcome Cronus at the final level by giving him a magical drink and lastly reunite with his siblings.

The player will be educated about some features of the classical Greek architecture, mythology, coins, real-world locations and setting of the Greek gods. The player can unlock new information in an encyclopaedia-style menu through progress in the game.

The game is designed in Unity as a 2D Platformer with a comic look. It contains some implementations to support the story like videos and texts. The combat- and movement system is used to allow the player to jump over obstacles and to overcome his opponents. With collection of the Peacock-Feather, the player unlocks the ability to double-jump. With collection of the Trident, the player unlocks the ability to shoot lightning bolts.

Version: 1.0
Plattorm: Unity for PC
Language: English
Size: 120,4 MB
Download: 10.5281/zenodo.7245319
Manual: Unzip the file into a folder and start the file "ArcheoGame_RiseOfZeus.exe"
Walkthrough: PDF


Lucas Göke (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Game Design, Scripting, Music
Jonas Scharnetzki (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Game Design, Scripting, Video-Design
Tom Schiffer (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Game Design, Scripting, Animations
Benjamin Spital (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Game Design, Scripting
Diana Fayek (Institute of Archaeology) - Archaeological and Historical Background
Lorenzo Canals (Institute of Archaeology) - Archaeological and Historical Background

Robbin' Goods

Robbin’ Goods is a 2D platform game with the aim of educating the player about acute issues in heritage and archaeology. In each level the player’s character is the owner of a stolen artifact that was taken from its homeland. The character will navigate through a museum to retrieve the stolen artifact in order to repatriate it to its rightful home.

Within the levels the character must fight enemies, overcome booby traps and have a showdown with a final boss, the person that originally took the artifact. Each level exemplifies actual contested artifacts found in museums and institutions. The player will learn about the artifact, the manner in which it was taken and its current status of return.

The objective of the game is to educate the player about the lasting effects of colonialism in cultural heritage and the damage of imperialist mindsets. With the aim to make the player more mindful when visiting a museum or other heritage site and to hopefully provoke a response from the player on the big questions in archaeology: Who owns the past and who gets to gatekeep it?

Version: 1.0
Platform: Unity for PC
Language: English
Size: 88 MB
Download: 10.5281/zenodo.7245334
Manual: Unzip the file in one folder and then start the file "RobbinGoods.exe"
Readme: Text file


Lisa-Marie Bassalig (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Illustrator, Designer
Isabel Mai (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Programmer, Animator
Ronan Sungeelee (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Designer, Music Producer
Dacia Benson (Institute of Archaeology) - Archaeological Consulting
Kai Schmitt (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Programmer, Game Designer


Enjoy a journey into an archaeologist’s memory. Discover the world of archaeology by searching for finds on various sites in five exciting Levels. Someone left equipment all over the site! Can you find them? What kind of artifacts can be found on a neolithic site and did you know that the open landscape as well as the city are full of wonders? After mastering a level you will find the most precious artifacts in a mind-tank where you can take a closer look and get more info. You need to look closely and be alert for this  rchaeological hidden-objects-adventure!


Version: 1.0
Platform: Unity for PC
Languange: German
Size: 193,5 MB
Download: 10.5281/zenodo.7245350
Manual: Unzip the file into a folder and start the file "Xcavate.exe"
Readme: Text-File (in German)


Joshua Gerhard (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Coding, Level Design
Jonathan Voß (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Textures, 3D Modeling, Level Design
Konstantin Kummer (Institute of Digital Humanities) - 3D Modeling
Lara van der Schüür (Institute of Archaeology) - Archaeological Consulting, Assets
Lia Tomfohrde (Institute of Archaeology) - Archaeological Consulting, Assets