#lastseen visual investigation game

Learn about the deportations in Nazi Germany through a one of its kind learning game.

This project sits especially close to our heart. Why? We had to find a way for young people to learn about history, critical thinking and analysis. To learn for their future.

Our idea - A serious browser game

Keeping students and teachers in mind, we had the challenge of creating a game that makes learning about the deportations more interactive while ensuring a dignified epxerience. We developed a realistic setting inside an old attic populated with clues and pictures from a deportation. The goal was always to encourage the player to find out about the events of the deportation on their own. In cooperation with the #lastseen team we based the game play in today's time: The player would be an investigative journalist uncovering previously unknown images and sources. We consciously avoided historical role play or history altering storylines.

&why: lastseen game process

Dusty and full of discoveries. The attic.

The attic serves as the main room of the game. A natural motivation for exploration and discovery.
  • &why: lastseen game 3D render of a dusty attic
  • &why: lastseen game 3D render of a dusty attic
  • &why: lastseen game 3D render of a dusty attic
  • &why: lastseen game 3D render of a dusty attic
&why: lastseen toolbar
Taking notes and learning about the deportation

Letting the users write their own notes about the pictures was a way of abstracting the real-life work of historians into an exciting game mechanic. Even though the amount of keywords to be discovered in each picture is limited, the players are encouraged to keep paying attention to details by not showing how many are left to discover. Without noticing, the players are assimilating a great deal of complex information about the deportations in nazi germany.

&why: lastseen game notes

Unlock Paragraphs

When certain particularly relevant keywords are discovered in the notes, paragraphs and blocks of information are unlocked in the blog post. With this reward mechanism, we aimed to keep the players engaged and willing to keep discovering.

&why: lastseen game flow with old photos
&why: lastseen game 3D render of a dusty attic
The result. A rich serious game that dares young users to get seriously involved. A fully open outcome inspiring discourse.
Together with our amazing partners, we designed, tested and delivered a wholly new way to engage with an important part of German history. We used the newest in web technology (Three.JS and Next) to deliver an incredibly ambitious complex. We launched a new way of collaboration, integrating as one team and learning a lot along the way. And its fair to say our first release went well: Young people stayed engaged for over 25 minutes on average. Some total play times went up to 60 minutes. First ratings were positive and our analytics are pointing us to where we can improve. Stay tuned for the next release in November.
Average time played (minutes)
30
Parts of story uncovered
80%
Players since launch
2100

Design as a Participatory Process

We invited in groups of young people to test and improve the game with us. First on paper and later in first interactive prototypes.
  • &why: lastseen person testing the game on a laptop
  • &why: lastseen person testing the game on a laptop
  • &why: lastseen person testing the game on a laptop
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KKL Luzern
The web platform inspiring online venue booking around the world.