Historical Computer Game 'Teudogar and the Alliance with Rome'The author did not want to write a Fantasy-role playing game consisting of the usual mixture: Some prehistoric elements, a little mythology, J.R.R.Tolkien's fantasy world, a little of the middle ages, and problems, perspectives and characteristics of present times: All of the incompatible forced together, so that everything peculiar and special is lost.
What seemed much more interesting to the author was the historical reality, the unaltered model of most of the fantasy stories: The pagan and barbarian world of the Germanic people 2000 years ago. The author was fascinated by the contrast between this world and the Roman civilization, which was so similar to our own. Accordingly, the game's plot and this encyclopedia deal with the clash of these civilizations.
The author believes this topic is quite strongly related to our present times. For European readers it might be of interest how the Roman empire collapsed under authoritarianism, repression, bureaucracy and excessive taxes. But a closer look at the Germanic tribes' way of life will probably make most readers come to the conclusion that barbaric liberty can't be an alternative - for, after all, who'd really want to live like that?
American readers will probably find more interesting how the world's only superpower Rome fared during the conquest of a barbarian country. Certainly, there are parallels to the conquest of Afghanistan by the United States. But also how comparatively easy it was for the nation with superior technology to achieve military victory, but how difficult and costly to rule the occupied territories - and to keep them: Here, much is reminiscent of the conquest of Iraq by the United States.
But the author does not have a political opinion. He doesn't want to politicize, and he explicitly does not want to paint an 'ideal world' or backward-looking utopia. He rather wants to entertain and inform: His intention is simply to depict the mentality and way of life of these historic peoples in a colorful and authentic manner, as fair and objectively as possible, without either criticizing nor romanticizing.
He is not describing an ideal world, but rather a world that in many aspects was cruel and unfair: A world in which people were property of other people, and in which men had many rights and women had very few. Most people lived in poverty and in ignorance. Yet many people possessed a degree of liberty and autonomy unthinkable in today's world.
The convictions and religious beliefs of these people were very different from our own. They would have considered many of our values wrong, unjust, or simply stupid. Almost all peoples firmly believed in the right of the strongest to do to the weak whatever they pleased. They were convinced that violence was a legitimate means for solving problems. And most people believed in very traditional gender roles.
Correspondingly 'politically incorrect' are the plot and the behavior of the persons in this computer game. Certainly none of them can be role model for children intended to live happily and successfully in today's world. But the exploration of this foreign world in all its strangeness (and often ugliness) can give us a clearer and more objective perception of our own world, our own convictions, prejudices, strengths and weaknesses.
The author has thoroughly researched the historical facts. His description of the general circumstances and of the Germanic tribes mentioned in the game plot is in accordance with historical reality. History has handed down few details for the year of the game plot (12 B.C.): The historically known persons like Arminius or Marbod enter the scene only several years later, and it is not known who exactly negotiated this first defensive alliance of the Sugambrians, Cheruscans and Suebians against the Romans, and in what particular fashion the negotiations proceeded.
It's also unknown who was king of the Marcomanians back then (a sub-tribe of the Suebians), and if it was indeed the Marcomanians who joined this alliance, or other Suebian sub-tribes. (In 12 B.C., the Marcomanians still settled around the river Main. Only after their defeat against the Roman army of Drusus they withdrew to Bohemia under the leadership of Marbod.)
Also unknown is which members of the Cheruscans tribe tried to form an alliance with Rome already at this time, what their precise motives were, and why they weren't successful. (In the end, the tribe allied with the Sugambrians and Suebians in order to resist the Romans.) Neither is there any precise information about the political circumstances of the tribe of the Cattans.
Therefore the author could and had to freely invent all persons, places and events of the game plot. But he still has closely followed historical models from written history or sagas, so that at least theoretically, people or events might have existed or taken place as described.
The author has also tried to follow the conventions of the role-playing genre (single-handedly save the world, brave countless adventures, combat, wizardry, caves and treasures), but has designed them according to historical circumstances (political alliances instead of magical objects; only such 'magic spells' as are historically documented; combat against warriors, robbers or wild animals instead of Orcs or Goblins; caves and treasures only where realistic and reasonable).
Regardless of its historical accuracy, 'Teudogar' is a real computer game that is genuine fun to play. Playability and entertainment value were always top priority for the author. In how far he has succeeded in designing this game and encyclopedia equally exciting, informative and historically correct, only you can decide...
Thank you for your interest in this game!