Munich Quest: A Gamified Exploration of Central Munich
“Teaching geography and history through a hyper-interactive map.”
What it is about
Munich Quest is a video game created in the spirit of classic 1990s Dragon Quest games. However, in this case, instead of hunting down dragons, the quest consists of learning about Munich in a fun way. The player is free to roam around the city’s centre, visiting historical landmarks and speaking to the many locals who are ready to share their knowledge and trivia. Ultimately, if the player succeeds in passing the legendary test of knowledge, the mayor of Munich will recognise them as honorary citizens and award them with a priceless gift. Are you ready to explore Munich?
How we built it
We first decided to make Munich the city that should be the focus of the video game. We then specifically mapped the centre of the city, as it is the region with the largest concentration of historical locations. More specifically, we chose ten landmarks considered the most representative of Munich’s history and culture. The next step was to map Munich’s centre in pixel-art style using the tile-based RPG Maker MZ engine; we designed custom tiles for the landmarks to make them stand out and created unique Non-Player Characters to make the city lively and interactive. Finally, we added plenty of video game music to fit the ambience and aesthetic of the game.
Challenges we ran into
The game engine’s limitations meant we could only design straight streets; this resulted in a distorted depiction of the city. Moreover, programming a video game for the first time was a process with a steep learning curve.
What we're proud of
We believe the game creates an alive and explorable digitised representation of Munich by including many exterior and interior spaces, characters the player can interact with, funny side quests and a varied soundtrack.
What we learned
We learned how to divide the workload of a game development project by topic (graphic design vs game mechanics) and how to code with a game engine. We also gained experience in designing a map that is representative without necessarily being realistic.
The purpose of this game is to teach to anyone interested, the history of Munich, in an accessible way. Therefore, we would like Munich Quest to reach as many people as possible through a distributor interested in promoting tourism in Munich.
Juliane Cron, M.Sc.
Dr.-Ing. Mathias Jahnke
Dr.-Ing. Mathias Jahnke
mapping, interactive map, game-based learning, history education