Archaeogaming is the archaeology in and of games. This post describes initial work into an investigation of the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Discovery Tour more info locations and points of interest, specifically that of the temporal locations of the works of art and archaeological materials featured in the game.
To continue the exploration of the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Discovery Tour‘s static images as presented in their “more info” screens, there is an interest in the temporal locations of the archaeological materials and other works of art in terms of what periods are being studied. In the discussion of the Discovery Tour, we have previously discussed initial mapping efforts (see this post for more information on that). Using the same metadata as provided by Ubisoft for each of the images, the temporal location, meaning the time period from each image, can be explored and mapped using timeline software for easier visualization of information. This provides further interpretation and information for each of the materials that are presented along side of the written text as provided in game. The forthcoming archaeogaming investigation will further analyze the temporal locations in tandem with the spatial locations to provide insight into not only the game development but also into the presentation of materials to the audience.
The timeline software chosen for this project is TimelineJS, a free open-source program as provided by Northwestern University. The timeline is created through the filling out of a Google Sheet and the program auto populates the timeline. Within our Discovery Tour investigation of temporal location of static images, we have provided not only the image used, but also that of the metadata and accompanying “more info” text which is laid overtop the images. This also allows for the interpretation of the temporal sequence of the materials provided. Each of the over 200 points of interest and their metadata are being put into this timeline by myself and my colleagues Rebekah Munson and Madeleine Kraft.
Screenshot of the timeline’s front page to allow for easier interpretation and visualization of the period represented.
Preliminary results show a large cluster of static images in the periods of Archaic and Classical Greece. Interestingly there are several images that are of concept art or are simply labeled as “contemporary” so their more specific dates are difficult to determine, taking up a large amount of years on the timeline. The few 1st and 2nd Century AD Roman artifacts are of particular interest in their presentation as they are related to the life of Ancient Greeks. The choice to show the current condition of the site or that of a relevant artifact, such as a coin, are also of note.
The work on this project is still ongoing with the interpretation and analysis forthcoming.
–Kaitlyn Kingsland, Archaeogaming
29 November 2019