In this weeks bulletin, we discuss Holdfast, The Settlers, Manor Lords, Attentat 1942, Bryn Celli Ddu, the lack of diversity in Archaeology and how a digital museum stole the National Gallery!

Holdfast: Nations at War update

An update arrived for first and third person shooter Holdfast: Nations at War which adds new marching animations, a new respawn system and a new management system. In the game, you can play through the Napoleonic era fighting as line infantry, artillery, cavalry or at sea! Some modding features have also been implemented in the game. Read more over at PC Gamer here!

The Settlers delayed until further notice

Ubisoft’s strategy-city builder The Settlers is being delayed until further notice. The new iteration of the long standing hit was supposed tto launch last year, but has now been delayed indefinitely with no real clear reason: the devs want to make sure the game is qualitively up to scratch before it is released. However, with other reports coming in, the actual cause of the delay is unknown. Read more on Destructiod here!

Video: Ubisoft

Manor Lords: city building and RTS

Do you like games such as Total War and Banished? Do you like the Middle Ages? Then you’ll like Manor Lords! It combines the best of boh worlds: building a medieval city inspired on 11th until 15th century medieval Europe, with the RTS aspects of Total War! It also features a fully flexible and free city building mechanic, freeing you from grid-like cities (which aren’t very medieval to say the least). The game will hit Early Access in September. Read more on PC Gamer here!

Video: MAnor Lords

Can video games handle Nazism? Attentat 1942

How do video games incorporate Nazism without making grave historical mistakes or glossing over some pretty gruesome things? More often than not, video games choose to not incorporate all the bad things the Nazi’s did. Attentat 1942 takes another approach. The game follows a family’s history after the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in 1942. Combining real-life interviews with animated scenes, the game explores the effects and aftermaths of war. Read more about the game in this feature on the Washington Post. We will also be streaming the game next Tuesday.

Video: Charles Games

Bryn Celli Ddu in Minecraft

Last week, we reported on the recreation of Bryn Celli Ddu, a Bronze Age site in the UK in Minecraft. Well, so did the BBC! In a piece, the BBC interviews the creators: Dr Ben Edwards and his daughter Bella. They talk about the creation of the site and how it can be used in schools (we already knew that of course, but it is cool to see bigger media also picking this up)! Read the piece here.

Image: one of the tombs in real life and Minecraft. Courtesy of BBC.

Why the whiteness of Archaeology is a problem

Unrelated to video games but important nonetheless: whiteness in Archaeology (and academia in general). William White and Catherine Draycott reflect on the lack of diversity in the field of Archaeology in a feature on Sapiens. I’m not an archaeologist, but my discipline (the historical one) also has a lack of diversity. In both studies, the people who look to the past are as important as the past they are looking at: white scholars often look at things different, ask different questions and interpret data in different way than BIPOC. The feature on Sapiens is an interesting read (even though the quite Anglo-American setting it is based on can be quite uncommon for those studying outside of these spheres, it is good to reflect on the lack of diversity in your field of study or work). Read it here.

How an audacious heist ‘stole’ all but two of the National Gallery’s paintings

You might know of the famous works in London’s National Gallery: one of Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, some of Da Vinci’s most famous altarpieces and 15 paintings by Botticelli. Well, they have all been stolen. But rather than criminals cutting out the paintings with a knife, the pieces of art have been made available in Occupy White Walls. In this game, players can curate their own museum with real life art pieces. It’s a MMO, which means people can visit other players museums, and look at all the artworks. That’s where the heist comes in: most of the famous paintings we know don’t have any copyright anymore and are therefore accesible in the public domain. So the devs could just photoshop all the paintings from the National Gallery (except for two which did still have copyright). Read more on Wired or on the Occupy White Walls website.

Stratigraph rundown

In our only Stratigraph of this week, we focussed on Ancient Cities, an ancient city builder in development by Uncasual Games. Even though the game has been through two crowdfundings, the devs have opened up a final crowdfunding open until the 15th of July. Backers will gain (if they back enough) access to a closed works version of the game. Read more in the Stratigraph!

Video: Uncasual Games