I came into my project in Witness to the Revolution and the class Boston Massacre 3D with nearly no knowledge. I knew that Serena was working on a Boston Massacre game but besides that, I had no idea what shape it would or could take. I also had little idea of how my skills would fit into working on the game. As someone who has little knowledge of coding or game design, I did not know what form my contribution would take. I assumed I would work more on the historical side of things but I was curious to learn more about the game design. My lack of knowledge definitely meant there would be a crucial learning curve. However, my familiarity with what I love in historical gaming experience as well as my natural curiosity to motivated me to lean into something I knew less about.

Since I was young, maps have always spoken to me. For this reason, I wanted to work on discovering what went into making a gaming map work. With the Revere Boston Massacre Map, I tried to put on the hat of a detective trying to piece together the events of the massacre. I often thought about the games that featured elements like this like the Batman Arkham games which featured a detective recreating events from a crime scene (not dissimilar to what we aimed to do with the Boston Massacre).


Batman: Arkham Origins crime scene recreation. Courtesy of WB Games Montreal

When editing and marking up the Revere Map I experienced the following problems:

  1. The greatest problem I faced upfront was conquering the positioning of the map assets. This was extremely difficult to fix with the UI elements but the anchor points feature made the greatest difference but it wasn’t able to fully fix the problem in all aspect ratios. This was partially due to the aspect ratio of the map itself which made it difficult
  2.   Figuring out how to pan and zoom the Revere Map and make it still functional was extremely difficult and a constant process. I found a code early on for this feature but it made the map appear like itself was moving across the screen ratio than moving the camera through the map. In the end, masking the image did wonders for this.

I also learned a great deal from this project. I had never used Unity before and through this course I learned the basic functionalities of Unity. I also learned how to use basic ArcGIS features, UI elements in Unity, and basic coding features in C#.

C# code which controlled zooming element of Revere Map

Overall, I learned how to collaborate on a project and to focus in on developing one small element. It was extremely rewarding working with Grace on the mapping elements and making it all flow together. If I were to have more time on the project I would like to clean up the map to making it more aesthetically pleasing and more clear. I’d also like to add more Witnesses to make it more toggleable. Hopefully, I will have time to add some of these features.

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