The Amsterdam is an applied gaming project that supports the repatriation of the shipwreck ‘de Amsterdam’ from a beach near Hastings (UK) to the Netherlands. The Amsterdam sank in 1749 with a full cargo. This cargo is a fantastic example of how the city of Amsterdam was a centre for trade and innovation during the 18th Century.
Coinciding with the Netherlands chairing the EU parliament in 2016, the game shows where and how the Amsterdam’s cargo arrived in the city, who the traders were and where they lived.
The project constitutes a massive interactive touch table, supporting apps on the Play and Apple stores, numerous 3D printed models that use NFC chips to activate aspects of the table and a supporting projection telling the story of the Amsterdam.
The table is currently situated on the Marineterrein, near the Scheepsvaart Museum in Amsterdam. In August it will begin to tour various locations raising awareness and support.
The project has been developed in collaboration with the City of Amsterdam and Deloitte.
Best Applied Game Design: The amount of archaeological data available was simply enormous. To be able to make sense of this whilst telling a very dry story in an elegant and entertaining way was a challenge. We were able to categorise all of the artefacts into eight groupings: Food, Metals, Wood, Hemp, Glass, Medicines, Weapons and Wine. Each category could be represented by a high quality, hand finished 3D print. 'Wood' being printed in wood, 'Metals' in metal. With embedded NFC chips, whenever a 3D print is placed upon the table, the story of that category is activated, explained with dioramas, colour coordinated maps of Europe and Amsterdam and finally with every location of each trader and the dates, values and quantities of consumables they traded in.
The design is based upon the principle of 3 - 30 - 300. 3 seconds to capture the player's attention. 30 seconds to hold their attention and 300 seconds to understand just how much depth of information is available without it becoming overwhelming.
Motivatie 2e categorie
Best Serious Game: The story of the Amsterdam is unique. This is a VOC shipwreck, a trading ship, not a warship nor a pirate. The cargo is the star. The copper candlesticks on board (for example) can be traced back to the Amsterdam-based importer through tax registers and VOC ledgers. It can then be traced right back to the supplier - in this case the actual shop in Nuremberg.
The game has been developed to help raise funding and awareness to transport the shipwreck and her cargo back to Amsterdam where she will become a permanent museum. SuperBuff's installation consists of a massive touch screen "Nintendo DS" and although the subject matter is very serious, the look and feel of the experience is very gamey, with mascot-like characters (Dutch dolls) developed to befriend the player and welcome them.
Motivatie 3e categorie
Best Co-production: The project was worked from a number of angles by the City of Amsterdam, who provided the archaeological data and a close working relationship with Prof. Jerzy Gawronski and his team. Marketing and some UI design was provided by Deloitte, but where they added considerable value was to set in motion every stakeholder's overarching ambition to lift the wreck and bring her home. Both the City of Amsterdam and Deloitte allowed SuperBuff to deliver the entire software and hardware installation ahead of schedule despite a very aggressive deadline. The relationship between the three parties is now very strong and based upon hard work and mutual success.
Motivatie 4e categorie
Best Technical Achievement: There are numerous technologies working together in this project: Interchangeable 70" touch screens set into a folding wooden frame support the player's choices and interactions. 3D printed markers can be placed so that they 'speak' to the table via NFC chips, activating further interactions. The software was developed in Unity and deployed on Windows (for the table), Android and iOS (for tablets). The mobile versions of the game also support AR tech and players can activate dioramas with target images.
Prior to this SuperBuff had no experience with NFC, museum installations nor 3D printing. The team delivered an accomplished end product within 3 months that can easily be assembled, dismantled and move location.