A few years ago, Nick Pearce reached out to the website to talk about his game: The Forgotten City. Based upon his mod of the same name, the game has been re-imagined into a First Century Roman city. For more on this, read the previous post written by Nick himself.

The Forgotten City is set to be released in the next few months with some exciting new trailers and videos having been dropped in May. The cinematic trailer certainly serves as an intriguing look at the story itself, showing that the player will be a time traveler visiting this ancient world.

Most interesting to me is the gameplay footage that was also released in May. The developers show and narrate a bit of the game and its premise. 

Choosing the landscape of First Century Roman provides a significant amount of material to work with in creating a urban landscape in ancient Rome since the archaeological sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum provide a significant amount of architectural and decorative information. Being able to draw from these sites which have been so well-preserved because of their burial after the eruption of Vesuvius allows for the creation of a rich landscape for the player to explore. It will be interesting to see what types of assets the developers could create for The Forgotten City based upon this information.

In terms of archaeogaming, The Forgotten City looks promising. The developers claim to have worked with archaeologists and historians specializing in Roman history to create a realistic First Century Roman city for the game world. I love to see developers working in historic settings taking the time to discuss and consult with experts in the field. As has been demonstrated in the literature, as well as in the backstories of many archaeologists, games set in historic periods have been a reason and gateway for kids and adults alike to value history and archaeology. I am excited to look around the Roman city the developers have created for the game. 

As with many things in archaeogaming, there is a lot of potential in looking at The Forgotten City through an archaeological lens. Not only was this game a fantasy mod, which would be studied as an artifact, the game itself is an artifact as well. It would be interesting to compare the two artifacts. Similarly of interest is the value created in the appreciation of Roman culture and history that may be generated from the release of the game, we may see aspiring Roman archaeologists or new interest in the topic who were so affected by the game to want to learn more. The game also serves as an artifact of what was known about the Romans and their urban landscapes during the period of the game’s development.

You can learn more about the game on the Forgotten City website, on the Steam page, and on the Modern Storyteller Twitter. I look forward to seeing the game and exploring a 3D reconstruction of a Roman city.

—Kaitlyn Kingsland
Archaeogaming, 28 June 2021

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