Sherlock’s Riddles of Biblical Archaeology (SherBA) is a two-part project created in Unity by a team of computer science undergraduates at the University of Central Florida to be used as part of a UCF course, Biblical Archaeology, taught by Dr. Kenneth Hanson. The first part, the ‘student build’ is an educational game to teach about history. The second is a ‘professor’s build’ where a professor can create new levels within the game to publish into the student build.
The Game (Student Build)
SherBA is first is an interactive educational game where students become virtual archaeologists. They select a city on the map to explore where they first discover an engaging educational video created by their professor, Dr. Kenneth Hanson. Throughout this video, artifacts appear on the screen. After all artifacts have been collected (at the conclusion of the video), students are tasked with sorting them into three categories: supporting, refuting, or irrelevant to the argument (in the prototype, this argument was “The Bible is a historical document”). If students sort the items correctly, they have completed that city and may select a new city to explore. If they do not sort all items correctly, however, they must return to the city and gather the artifacts all over again (by re-watching the video). Thus, the game is not ‘win or lose’ but rather ‘win or try again.’
The professor’s build allows a professor to add cities, videos, and artifacts to the existing student game. The professor can also create an entirely new game by uploading a new map image, positioning new cities, uploading videos, and uploading and tagging new artifacts.
Professor Build, Database, Website, and updated Student Build by Undergraduate Computer Science Team:
- Jeremy Libby – Student Build Developer
- Randy Ren – Student Build Developer
- Alexander Scheiner – Professor’s Build Developer
- Connor McBryde – Professor’s Build Developer
- Sarah Chin – Database and Web Application Developer
Initial Prototype and Art by undergraduate Digital Media students:
- Stuart Winslow
- Chris Ward