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Games summer term 2023

Summer Semester 2023

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 2023. 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.

Mixed Up Museum

You’re a night guard at a museum. After taking a little nap you notice that suddenly everything is messed up. Artifacts are lying on the ground, vases are broken and information boards are missing. Oh, also the lights are not working properly, so you have to use a flashlight to find your way. But watch out! The battery does not last forever...

Can you find the missing artifacts and put them back in their intended places? Taking into account the fact that you are a night guard and not an archaeologist, you may have to look up information about the stuff you are guarding.

Version: 1.0
Platform: Unity für PC
Language: English
Size: 55,7 MB
Download: 10.5281/zenodo.8389155
Manual: Unzip the file in one folder and start the file"Mixed Up Museum.exe"


Elif Ada Ayaz (Institute of Digital Humanities) - 3D Design
Amelie Hupe (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Sound, 3D Design
Tim Schäfer (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Coding, 2D Design
Thomas Appel (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Coding
Rebecca Gnau (Institute of Archaeology) - Research
Victoria Nickel (Institute of Archaeology) - Research


Unearthed is a 2D game that was created with Unity. You will find yourself at an archaeological excavation site in Israel and you will be introduced to the excavation by your project manager. In the excavation level, you will be able to dig your way through different layers of soil and hopefully find some artifacts in the process. The digging system is designed to be similar to the actual archaeological process, so for example, you cannot dig somewhere if there is something on top of it! Back on the surface with a top-down view and look inspired by Pokémon, you will be able to learn more about the artifacts you dug up by gathering information while talking to NPCs and collecting notes. Problem is, all of Prof. Friedman's notes got scattered about during a heavy storm, so you will have to find them and sort them first. With the player having to use the appropriate tool for each layer such as a shovel, not being able to just dig anywhere and also learning about real artifacts, Unearthed provides a fun yet also educational experience that is  designed to be accurate to a real archaeological excavation.

Version: 1.0
Platform: Unity für PC
Language: English
Size: 45,1 MB
Download: 10.5281/zenodo.8393306​​​​​​​
Manual: Unzip the file in one folder and start the file"UNEARTHED.exe"


Dennis Bokov (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Design
Felix Wanke (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Coding
Florian Meul (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Coding
Judith Waltermann (Institute of Archaeology) - Research, Story
Leon Illmer (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Design, Music
Leslie Antwi (Institute of Archaeology) - Research, Story
Oliver Heldt (Institute of Archaeology) - Research, Story

Life along the Nile

Grasping a concept of Ancient Egyptian times can be troublesome, especially if it is about the everyday life of regular citizens. The game “Life along the Nile” portraits a realistic approach on how a farmers life could have been while using puzzle mechanics in a Jump ‘n’ Run Game environment. It provides opportunities to the player to learn about the circumstances of planting and harvesting crops as well as to take a glimpse into what everyday life could have meant back then while testing reasonable knowledge through a quiz mechanic.

Main focus while designing and developing the game was to keep the information about Ancient Egypt as accurate and truthful as possible without distorting the intention of this approach with unnecessary or misleading game design elements. This does not only mean to cut out overexaggerated design elements or function, but also to match the given media composition to this approach. In the end, players should not only be able to remember knowledge about crops farmed in ancient Egyptian times. The game’s reception is also thought to be included in this thought process to follow a holistic approach of Game Design.

Version: 1.0
Platform: Unity for PC & Mac
Language: English
Size: 298,1 MB (Win) | 306,9 MB (Mac)
Download: 10.5281/zenodo.8394794
Manual: Unzip the file in one folder and start the file"Life Along The Nile.exe"


Franziska Bauer (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Coding
Simon Jünger (Institute of Archaeology) - Research
Janik Lierfeld (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Design
Emily Berger (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Design
Ruth Grace Kingston  (Institute of Archaeology) - Research
Niklas Krämer (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Concept & Editing

The Schliemann Experience

The player acts as an assistant to infamous businessman and archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann at two of his most famous excavations; Troy (1870-1873) and Mycenae (1874-1876). By clicking on objects in the scene, the player is introduced to some of the less than ideal practices he engaged in at these sites, including but not limited to theft, destruction, forgery, and false documentation. The player ‘wins’/completes the game by selecting choices that Schliemann would have made at the time.

The goal of the game is to answer questions of Schlieman to satisfy him.

The game utilizes irony in an attempt to educate the on best practices, as one will also be offered a current and far more ethical and appropriate option similar to current-day practices.

What do we learn?

The basics of archaeological practice, in an ironic fashion by reviewing ‘bad archaeological’ practice (i.e. excavate carefully using a trowel vs dynamite)
A history of and reflection on previous archaeological excavation and documentation techniques

Version: 1.0
Platform: Unity for PC
Language: English
Size: 59,6 MB
Download: 10.5281/zenodo.8394807
Manual: Unzip the file in one folder and start the file "Schliemann Experience.exe"


Lukas Hoffmann (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Coding, UI Design, Sounds
Finn Gutkäß (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Coding
Lisa Heinrich (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Dialogue Writing, Music
Sandra Kurschildgen (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Design
Areti Michalopoulou (Institute of Archaeology) - Research, Texts
Sarah Roach (Institute of Archaeology) - Research, Texts


“Submerged” follows the 1980s adventures of a curious cave diver named Dan, who overhears rumour of a secret cave off the coast of France and sets out to explore. Little does he know; this is no ordinary cave. Within its dark grottos are traces of the immemorial tradition of palaeolithic cave painting, and within it a powerful force that brings Dan back in time to experience the Palaeolithic world of cave painting peoples. With the help of a friendly prehistoric mentor to guide him on his way, Dan must complete a series of quests to help bring good fortune to these ancients and along the way, find his way back to the present through the powerful conjuring forces of ritual and art. With each stage of the adventure, Dan faces puzzles and challenges that leave him better informed about the palaeolithic past, its environment, flora, fauna and artistic techniques that encompassed the Cosquer Cave and its ancient inhabitants. In addition, each phase of the game features different game play that frames the unique environment of the Cosquer in different contexts, depending on the time period and environmental circumstances of the past. In what starts as a deep dive 40m below the seas of the Mediterranean, becomes an equally engaging palaeolithic landscape, devoid of water due to transformative past changes in landscape.

Version: 1.0
Platform: Unity for PC & Mac
Language: English
Size: 83,8 MB (Win) | 89,6 MB (Mac)
Download: 10.5281/zenodo.8394817
Manual: Unzip the file in one folder and start the file "Submerged.exe"


Fèlix Miró Thiele (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Coding, Design, Music
Colin George MacKenzie (Institute of Archaeology) - Story, Concept, Research
Bianca Krebs (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Design
Maria Sotomayor Chicote (Institute of Archaeology) - Art, Stroy, Research
Fabian Kilian Olszynski (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Design, Mini-Games
Leya Viktoria Rodrigues Lourenco (Institute of Digital Humanities) - Coding, Mini-Games