View Full Version : A call for Battlefield Researchers!

08-04-2019, 10:31 AM
Hello everyone!

It's been an exciting week for us at Campfire Games as we've begun designing how the long-awaited "Guided Battlefield Tour" singleplayer mode, first announced during our Kickstarter campaign several years ago, is to be implemented.

The above design-craze(phase) has been initiated due to some very special opportunities emerging which we look forward to be able to tell you all about once they are entirely settled.

Much of the actual design of this mode is still being worked on, but we feel like the basics have been settled and thus we are asking you, our passionate and knowledge community: would you be interested in helping us shape the guided battlefield tour mode?

While it is still too early to go into the specifics of the mode, we've come to the conclusion that we want to tell the player about basically as much as possible about as much as possible: the terrain , the roads, the crops on the fields, the fences, the houses, the forests, the bridges, the overall strategies by the generals, the different HQ's, the batteries and, of course, the different combat actions that took place during the battle.

We plan on doing the above using two different kinds of UI markers on the battlefield. When activated by the wandering player, these will trigger a narration backed up by ambience sounds as well as several other visual effects which we'll dive deeper into at a later stage.

The two different UI markers are:

Minor Interactive Point Examples

Minor interactive points always only contain a single scene.

One example of a minor interactive point could be the player coming up to the body of a dead confederate. His dirty and bloody feet are shoeless, and on them is a minor interactive point. When the point is activated the narrator goes into detail about the lack of equipment some of the confederate units had to overcome during the Maryland Campaign (Quoting the Clear Spring farmer and Marylander, Otho Niesbitt: “The dirtiest men I ever saw, a most ragged, lean, and hungry set of wolves”

https://books.google.dk/books?id=fNspu2FxwUwC&pg=PA286&lpg=PA286&dq=confederate+They+were+the+dirtiest+men+I+ever+s aw,+like+wolves&source=bl&ots=l0-6klNZX0&sig=ACfU3U31yvM8PkrtEBSngAZy5WshgQqyyA&hl=da&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjx6ej30ePjAhUEwcQBHUahB0QQ6AEwAHoECAkQA Q#v=onepage&q=confederate%20They%20were%20the%20dirtiest%20men %20I%20ever%20saw%2C%20like%20wolves&f=false (https://books.google.dk/books?id=fNspu2FxwUwC&pg=PA286&lpg=PA286&dq=confederate+They+were+the+dirtiest+men+I+ever+s aw,+like+wolves&source=bl&ots=l0-6klNZX0&sig=ACfU3U31yvM8PkrtEBSngAZy5WshgQqyyA&hl=da&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjx6ej30ePjAhUEwcQBHUahB0QQ6AEwAHoECAkQA Q#v=onepage&q=confederate%20They%20were%20the%20dirtiest%20men %20I%20ever%20saw%2C%20like%20wolves&f=false)).

Another Minor interactive point could be on a bench within the Dunker Church. When activated, the player would be told about the practices of the religion worshipped there (while hearing sermon/choir singing as a faint ambience sound).

A third minor interactive point could be on a broken down snake rail fence. The narrator would explain about the use of farm field fences and that many of the easily dismantlable ones such as the snake rail fences would be just that by the vast armies passing by, needing fuel for its campfires used for cooking. So much so that the generals tried to create rules where only the top rail of the snake rail fencing was to be taken. While the narrator speaks you faintly hear men chatting and wood creaking.

A fourth minor interactive point could be at the Sherrick farm corn crib structure. This would explain how the majority of the harvested corn was dried up in the corn crib as it was intended to be used as fodder for the livestock come winter. You hear vegetation rustling as the narrator speaks.

Major Interactive Point Narrative Script/Submission Example

Major interactive points also initially just consists of a single interactive point. Once triggered, however, the player is taken on a journy from scene marker 1 to scene marker 2, etc, each time the next part of the story is triggered (via a new UI icon) the narrator will continue.

Below is a quick example of what a submitted script for a major interactive point at Pry House could look like.

Location: Pry House

Scene 1: Outside of Pry House

"Here stands the Pry House, which was taken over as headquarters by General McClellan and the Medical Director for the Union forces, Major Johnathan Letterman. While McClellan was directing the raging and bloody battle, Letterman was preparing a whole new system to care for the resultant casualties. For the last year the Medical Corps was a chaotic mess which was unprepared to face the tremendous task of caring for the unprecedented amount of wounded. Letterman, with a three-tiered care system and newly designed ambulance wagons, was set to change the corps from the ground up."

Scene 2: Inside Pry House

"In preparing for the massive workload of a bloody conflict, Letterman needed to develop a system of triage that could delineate care to those most in need once they had been able to reach a hospital in the field. The first station wounded would be brought to would be a field dressing station for initial dressing and tourniquet application, then to a field hospital at a nearby home or barn where emergency surgeries could be performed, and finally a proper hospital, where long term treatment could be done. (1) While Letterman's brand new system was efficient, medical supplies were scarce, to the point that when Clara Barton came to the battlefield to help as a nurse, she was horrified to see the surgeons were using corn husks as bandages when supplies ran out (2)."

(1) http://www.civilwarmed.org/surgeons-call/triage1/
(2) https://www.nps.gov/anti/learn/historyculture/clarabarton.htm

Scene 3: Close to a nearby ambulance wagon

"Wagons like these had freshly been designed in part by Letterman, which quickly became standardized throughout the Union military. Previous to the Major's reforms, wagons like these were often used to carry baggage rather than to carry wounded, and had civilian drivers that would not go near the fighting, where they were most needed. Letterman created a new military corps specifically for the driving of wagons with officers and military drivers, and forbid the use of ambulances for anything but the transport of the wounded. This new system with a dedicated crew and better designed method of transport allowed ambulances to clear the entire Antietam battlefield of wounded by the morning after the conclusion, an evacuation of over 12,000 casualties within 48 hours (3)."

(3) https://gettysburgcompiler.org/2019/01/09/a-complete-transformation-of-medicine-john-lettermans-ambulance-corps/

Scene 4: Inside Pry Barn

"Barns and houses throughout the area of Antietam both during and after the battle were commandeered to act as field hospitals for the wounded. After having been given basic treatment on the field, the wounded would have then been sent to a place like this for further treatment where needed. Surgeons, who had either apprenticed with doctors or had spent two monotonous years at a medical school learning the same anatomy lesson, would be the ones performing the surgeries for untold hours. One story tells of a surgeon working on the second floor of a house, only to find that the pile of amputated body parts started to pile back into the house again after only a few hours of work (4)."

(4) Ward E, ed Army Life in Virginia: The Civil War Letters of George C. Benedict. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books; 2002.

In short, Minor interactive points are suitable for simple scenes/stories that do not require relocating the player to different areas nor need more than about 4 sentences of narration while Major interactive points are great when wanting to present a series of events/scenes, taking the player forward in a chronological order (could be the forming up of a specific unit, the unit attacking, the unit faling back and the unit eventually breaking for instance). Again, each scene should be limited to about 4 sentences of narration.

All submissions should be written by you and contain links to the sources you used in order for us or other battlefield researchers to be able to verify your stories.

In order for this to work well and possibly end up being one of the most detailed digital interactive learning trips around, we will need up in the hundreds of interaction points spread out across the battlefield.

Without your help it may prove too big a task for us which is why we're pitching this to you now. Here's your chance in helping to shape what kind of information is passed on to the player. Your chance to make sure the absolute best story from Antietam you know makes it into the mode. Your chance to show that company/regimental pride and get your unit antietam story in there or simply your chance to be instrumental in making the game more than just a game but also a way for people to learn about the Civil War.

As a thanks, we'll be looking into giving the top contributors special "Battlefield Researcher" forum tags as well as more direct contact with the dev team as the production of the tour mode gets going properly as well as of course an invitation as a playtester when the initial version of the mode is playable.

Thanks to all of you for reading and for entertaining the idea of possibly contributing. As I said at the start, this is just to gauge the level of interest. Please let me know below if this is something you could see yourself be a part of and we can get started with an official submission thread and public database if you are up for it.

We look forward to be (hopefully) developing the battlefield tour mode alongside you to make it as awesome an experience as possible and we can't wait to share more details about what we currently have on the design table regarding it!

- Trusty

08-04-2019, 10:46 AM

If I got this right :

You're looking for people to 'speak' on 'historical aspects' implemented ingame ?
These become sort of 'markers' that can be activated ingame (plaques ?)
Are there 'reference points' listed that 'CG' would like to see or is the community expected to come up with them ?
Is this both 'text' & 'speech/sound' ? (they can deviate)
Is this going to be multi language ? (our community is very diverse ?)

All submissions should be written by you and contain links to the sources you used in order for us or other battlefield researchers to be able to verify your stories.

So there would be a submission dbase/post (per map/sort of reference point ?) to send in ideas/scenarios then go over them with the community/CG and execute them.
If same people have similar ideas, we expect them to work together ?

We do have talented people in the community for 'speaking' (language usage/voice …) -< or is GeorgeCrecy assigned :)

Ps : this implementation is ambitious and hope our history buffs and community is interested to put in the effort to make this interactive experience a success (this could give excellent exposure when done right and would be an excellent way for 'people' to learn about the civil war)

08-04-2019, 10:51 AM
No, we're looking for people willing to help by writing their knowledge down into a single 4 sentence minor scene or several 4 sentence major scenes and submit it to us, and the rest of the researchers to look at before it is then added to the database for implementation in the tour mode.

No reference points - it's free game as long as it is tied to the battlefield of antietam in some way we welcome it.

We're not looking for people filming clips in relation to the tour mode. :)


If same people have similar ideas, we expect them to work together ?

Once a story is submitted and has gotten the green light by the rest of the battlefield researchers and CG that story is locked down (no need for several versions of the exact same event) although we of course do reserve the right to alter the wording for a better flowing script when creating that for the narrating voice actor.

Also all of those edits, makes it hard for me to answer you. :D

- Trusty

08-04-2019, 11:09 AM
Also all of those edits, makes it hard for me to answer you. :D
- Trusty

I was trying to envision it :) You're just to fast !

08-04-2019, 11:17 AM
So that several of us in the community aren't talking over one another, may I "call dibs" on Dunker Church (being I'm the Chaplain of the community, seminary -trained AND a graduate student specializing in the Civil War) as well as a "minor point" about the severe wounding of Gen. Gordon at Bloody Lane?

Our time is valuable so I would hope we can do this in an organized manner. Possibly having a couple of people work on one "article" may also prove beneficial.

Chaplain Bradley has a point, whatever is chosen to submit should be easy to maintain/filter so we don't have 4781 enthusiastic people jumping on the bandwagon making a record posting :p and giving the devs 'migraine' (that's my job !)

Calling 'dibs' is maybe a strong word, but it might be good to have people with expertise make an 'entry post/submission' so people can work from there (bases on map/ref points?)
Like Trusty said : people can then add 'sources' or 'verify' things … only thing I'm afraid of an overload of info (all info can be usefull but at one point it has to be narrowed down to the '4 sentences')

Ps : if this is in practice, we should reach out outside the forums/site (not all people read up here)

08-04-2019, 11:54 AM
The general idea is that we have a public submission place such as a forum thread where nothing is allowed to be posted other than submissions or sources that state something else than what is being submitted.

That way we don't only get to pick the collective brain that is this community, we also use it to help us moderate submissions. Note that the counter-source posting should be kept to a minimum and only done when one feels entirely able to, in a proper manner, provide better sources.

The target of this is to get as many useable submissions as possible, not to discuss a single 4 sentence submission for ages. If we find that this is the case we will move said discussion to another thread and soft-lock any new submissions of the event in question until a later time in order to not get bogged down dealing with a single case.

The accepted submissions will be copied to the OP of the submission thread under different headlines (could be Union perspective, West Woods, 0900 to 1000 hours for instance). It will only be possible to publically submit a minor/major story on the thread, in public. This is to ensure that the moderation of the rest of the community can help us avoid including any missteps. :)

- Trusty

08-04-2019, 12:42 PM
@all -> an idea

Maybe a 'community discord' on this would be ideal, since you can post/discuss manage all information.
There has to be put thought in the structure though.

Burnside brigde
- Sources (to be checked for valuables)
- Minor ref
- Major ref
- The battle
- Union perspective
- CSA perspective
- Commanders
- commander 1
- commander 2
- Regiments
- regiment a
- regiment b

That way the community can work together and someone can be assigned to narrow the information and let the person who's finally treating the 'topic' make the submission ? -< some examples & guidance would be great on that part.

PS : no need to over haste things, we got time and it's better to have something good then having to adjust every 5 days.

08-04-2019, 03:09 PM
I would love to help! You already know I’ll present the 9th NY’s charge!

08-04-2019, 03:34 PM
Is Sharpsburg itself going to be visitable? Maybe the outer suburbs where some of the batteries were posted?

08-04-2019, 04:13 PM
Is Sharpsburg itself going to be visitable? Maybe the outer suburbs where some of the batteries were posted?

The focus for the tour mode will be close, if not identical to the skirmish areas currently on offer on the Antietam battlefield.

Do you have any connections with the park service at Antietam? They're like Civil War nuns, one of them has worked there in the basement at the Visitor's Center 30 years. The Battlefield Trust is also pretty active in trying new stuff recently especially augmented reality and specifically at Antietam.

We're in talks with several parties, one of them being The American Battlefield Trust, yes.

- Trusty

08-04-2019, 04:14 PM
Titanic Honor and Glory has a free demo out which sort of follows that concept with the points of interest and ambient noise http://www.titanichg.com/ You could go all out and make ghost armies at some points.

Do you have any connections with the park service at Antietam? They're like Civil War nuns, one of them has worked there in the basement at the Visitor's Center 30 years. The Battlefield Trust is also pretty active in trying new stuff recently especially augmented reality and specifically at Antietam.

08-04-2019, 10:29 PM
After a long days work I have finished the 9th NY's tour! When ever the devs are ready I will send it over for review! Sources are included.

08-05-2019, 04:43 PM
The submission thread is now open!


- Trusty

08-07-2019, 03:10 AM
I think this is a very good idea! I hope you guys will be able to make this happen without it taking up the time that's needed to further develop and improve upon the mechanics, UI and other features. I just got this game a few days ago and i'm very pleased with the game for the most part. I come from your average fast paced FPS game, and this game was a huge change in pace but a very welcome one at that. Obviously there is still work to be done but i'm already hooked! After a few hours I found myself looking for another feature to enjoy as a small break from the constant barrage of cannon fire and stern officers.

In my opinion I would love to see this "Battlefield Tour Mode" not only used to educate new players such as myself on the history of the battlefields, but as a much needed tool to teach us the basic combat and movement actions within the game. Since players must travel to different parts of the battlefield to find "scenes", you could have the "Guide" pop up on screen telling the player that they can press "c" to switch to double time to move at a jogging pace or "hold shift" to sprint. If their is a "scene" inside of a building, the instructions would be to tell the player how to attach the bayonet, enter melee mode and open the door(I still don't know, LOL!). Well I'm sure you got what i'm getting at here :). I'm confident that it could be thrown into the Tour without it pulling the players attention away from soaking up the Historical Knowledge bring dropped!!

I could go on and on about things i believe would serve this game well, but this is about the "Guided Battlefield Tour", and i'm all for it!!

08-16-2019, 05:45 AM
If someone need, I'm doing research about the battle of Harpers Ferry (september 12th-15th 1862), in particular about the history of the D'Utassy's Brigade and the 39th New York "Garibaldi Guard". ;)

11-17-2019, 01:47 PM
Being a Savannah native, living in Springfield, I'd be happy to photo/video or otherwise document and/or share knowledge of all things in the Charleston / Savannah area as far south as Olustee (Battle of Ocean Pond) and of course local battlefields such as Ft. Pulaski & Ft. McAllister, Charleston Ft. Sumter / Batteries Wagner & Monroe etc, James Island and etc .. plus areas south east of Clinton Georgia of skirmishes during the March to the Sea etc such as The Battle of Jenks Bridge west of Savannah.. etc etc ad nauseum. Whether a point of interest such as the haunted spot on Fort McAllister's wall where Major Anderson was decapitated by a shell.. OR just to assist to help the young and smart artists add accuracy in creating the mapping for such future places be they American Revolution, War of 1812 or War of Northern Aggression I'd love to contribute anything you need! That said, I HATE that I missed the kick-starter chance to contribute and support the creators in continued game development and those hosting servers! I'd love to "buy in" to help any way I can!

12-18-2019, 05:39 AM
I would help but I live in Spotsylvania within walking distance from Widow Tapp Field which the wilderness battle happend, I do not live or be able to go to any major battlefields such as Gettysburg or Antietam but if there is a need for a person to describe the events of the Wilderness battle I can surely help.