By: Jack Lusted - Creative Assembly 

The Missing Dead Activity Pack to be used with the Missing Dead Game app 

What We Do

Creative Assembly has been making games inspired by history for decades. From medieval Japan, to the age of sail, and of course ancient Rome.

We love looking at time periods and seeing what we can use in our games. Our Total War series is all about managing empires and leading armies, and that means we have to research much of how people lived and were governed.

How we use history depends on what job someone has in the studio. A Game Designer will look for interesting ideas on how the game should play based on how people lived, or the jobs soldiers did. For a Concept Artist it’s about finding the right artefacts to use, to make sure what you see in the game is true to the time-period. In Total War: Rome II, one of our games, almost every helmet, shield, weapon, armour and clothing worn by the soldiers are based on actual historical finds.

FACT FILE: Roman Soldiers

How to Use History

For us the easiest example to give of how we make use of history is through finds. Helmets, armour, swords, shields; we always look to what examples we have from a time period as the basis for how soldiers look in our games.

The objects that we find from these past eras can tell you a lot about people. The most beautiful finds such as pottery, clothing and jewellery, show how people displayed their wealth and status, and also what mattered most to them. Think about an object you treasure and how you feel about it. Someone in the past cared just as much about the finds we dig up.

When it comes to using history for games, Vindolanda provides a treasure trove of information. Here soldiers from across the empire lived with their families. They ate, slept, worshiped and worked. Items came from across the empire to fill their needs.

The fort itself is an example of how the Roman empire maintained control over its distant provinces and their borders with the Barbarians beyond.

Example Games

Here are a few examples of how you could use the fort, its history, and the story of the people who lived here to make games.

The fort is a great one. Its design was based on centuries of Roman engineering knowledge, but how good was it? Imagine a game where you have to design a Roman fort and its defences to best fend off an attack. Could players do a better job than the ancient Romans?

Or maybe you could focus on how people lived in the fort and have a game where players must put buildings in the best place for the inhabitants. Do you place the baths near the walls, or central to make it easier for everyone to get to?

FACT FILE: Roman fort

Trade and worship also bring great inspiration. Jewellery could show which god/ gods a person favoured, or reflect where in the empire they were from. Taking the example of the many regiments from across the empire who lived at Vindolanda, you could make a game around designing temples to keep them happy. It could also involve trading with the empire to bring in the luxury goods to decorate the temples and the people who worshiped in them.

FACT FILE: Roman religion