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Thread: A call for Battlefield Researchers!

  1. #1
    WoR-Dev TrustyJam's Avatar
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    A call for Battlefield Researchers!

    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”
    source:

    https://books.google.dk/books?id=fNspu2FxwUwC&pg=PA286&lpg=PA286&dq=confed erate+They+were+the+dirtiest+men+I+ever+saw,+like+ wolves&source=bl&ots=l0-6klNZX0&sig=ACfU3U31yvM8PkrtEBSngAZy5WshgQqyyA&hl= da&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjx6ej30ePjAhUEwcQBHUahB0QQ6AEwA HoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=confederate%20They%20were%20 the%20dirtiest%20men%20I%20ever%20saw%2C%20like%20 wolves&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/histo...larabarton.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/...bulance-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

  2. #2

    CSA Major General

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    @Trusty,

    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 ?)


    Quote Originally Posted by Trusty
    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)
    Last edited by Redleader; 08-04-2019 at 12:00 PM.
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  3. #3
    WoR-Dev TrustyJam's Avatar
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    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redleader View Post
    @Trusty,


    • 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.

    - Trusty

  4. #4

    CSA Major General

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustyJam View Post
    Also all of those edits, makes it hard for me to answer you.
    - Trusty
    I was trying to envision it You're just to fast !
    I write for my personal account and from personal experience, unless stated otherwise.

  5. #5

    CSA Brigadier General

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    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.
    An unprofitable servant of Christ Jesus,

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  6. #6

    CSA Major General

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbsmith7 View Post
    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 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)
    Last edited by Redleader; 08-04-2019 at 12:20 PM.
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  7. #7

    CSA Brigadier General

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    As far as "dibs" go, I'm just sayin' I've got my own thesis work to do on my project on the Confederate Chaplains at the Siege of Vicksburg and I'd hate to dedicate any time to Dunker Church or some other aspect of the history of this battlefield only to be "sniped" by someone who poached a Wikipedia article and e-mailed the devs before I could write up my report with legit., and personally checked, primary and secondary resources. Haha

    Perhaps a new section of our forum where the thread title would act as the point of interest and contributions could be submitted there?
    An unprofitable servant of Christ Jesus,

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  8. #8
    WoR-Dev TrustyJam's Avatar
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    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

  9. #9

    CSA Major General

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    @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.
    Last edited by Redleader; 08-04-2019 at 02:19 PM.
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  10. #10

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    I think threads would be best and contributors can share a google doc if necessary.

    ie.

    Thread title:
    Dunker Church

    Content:

    (Exterior Interactive Scene 1) explain what the Dunker Church is, when it was built, (2) that Dunker Church plateau was Hooker's objective and the focal landmark during the battle at Sharpsburg from which (2) Col. D. H. Lee had an emplacement of guns, (3) etc.

    Interior Interactive Points - (4) explain the odd placement of benches (men and women seated separately), basic distinction of dunkers, etc., (5) the building's function during and after the battle

    Article contributors: All involved in the Dunker research
    Editor: Bradley
    Last edited by rbsmith7; 08-04-2019 at 04:47 PM.
    An unprofitable servant of Christ Jesus,

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