Using Game Mechanics to Simulate Aspects of a Historical Battle

Bernhard Raml

Battle of Mount Street Bridge

Long Room Hub

Trinity College Dublin

This paper demonstrates how common game mechanics and game design principles are used to model certain aspects within the simulation of the Battle of Mount Street Bridge during the Easter Rising in 1916 in Dublin. Certain interaction­ and game mechanics, which have been taken from Real Time Strategy (RTS) games have been proven useful to help users to take control over certain parameters of the simulation to shape the outcome. Furthermore it shows how some mathematical concepts from strategy and shooter games can be used to model specific aspects of the battle simulation, like the accuracy of guns and riflemen, penetration of bullets, advantages/disadvantages of different elevations or injuries and their effects on soldiers. The game industry has put a lot of work and effort into modelling those aspects to provide a realistic and entertaining user experience. We will show how these developed concepts can be used to improve our simulation. Finally the paper looks at the usage of common game design patterns, like iterative design and how those concepts can be used to improve the quality of the simulation. It will show how concepts from the game design world can be reapplied to create a dynamic model of a historical battle and help us understand and evaluate historical aspects of this event.

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