The general concept of the project, aims and the main idea
The Game of Gdansk is a part of an international UrbCultural Planning project which refers to cultural planning in cities. One of the project objectives is revitalisation of the Old Suburb, a district of Gdańsk, by implementing cultural activities, in cooperation with its inhabitants. Another objective of the Game of Gdansk is to invite young people of Gdańsk to participate in a dialogue about shaping the common urban space and strengthening local communities.
As a result of cooperation with the youth, an original urban game in a GameBook form, with the use of Minecraft elements will be developed. The game will be available on a website and it will be also possible to play it on computers and mobile devices.
Games, especially those popular ones played by children, are tools which allow us to obtain a high level of commitment in young people. One of the most popular games in the world, Minecraft, has been applied as a tool for cooperation with the youth at an early stage of the UrbCultural Planning project. Pupils of Gdańsk have participated in the workshops where they have mapped a model of the Old Suburb (Stare Przedmieście) district into the game of Minecraft. The model and the elements of the city district in Minecraft will be incorporated into the structure of our game.
The objectives and general description of the game
The game will combine the Minecraft model of the district with a storyline which will refer to the history, the local space of the Old Suburb and everyday life of its inhabitants. Visualisations in the game of Minecraft will become a part of its graphic design and scenery and background to the narration. They will also become inspiration to further development of plot lines.
The main theme of the game are memories and stories told by the inhabitants, presented in the environment of history and architecture of the Old Suburb. The plot reflects the historical character of the district, its natural assets, green parks, vicinity of water courses and its unique, cosy atmosphere created by the local community. The starting point and the inspiration for development of the plot lines will be memories of the inhabitants of the district, artefacts and archive materials, such as press announcements and postcards collected by the Society of Storytellers of the Lower Town.
The structure of narration in GameBook-type games
GameBook narration is of non-linear nature. It means that the storyline is divided into independent paths. Players can make their own decisions and they can affect further events in the plot. In this way, players gain more freedom and sense of empowerment. A non-linear game can be played several times and each time it will be different. Independent plot lines can intersect with each other at the nods.
In a non-linear plot construction, there are often several endings of one story. The aim of the plot is to catch and to hold players’ interest and also to involve them into the game.