DescriptionThe Forbidden City: Beyond Space and Time is an educational game where players can explore the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, as a partnership between the Palace Museum and IBM. The palace is presented as it was during the Qing dynasty, which ruled from 1644 until 1912, and it is rendered as a 3D world.
Players control an avatar using only the movement keys and the mouse to walk around in the environment. Different view options are available and the camera can be fully rotated. Basic functions are shown on a sidebar on the right. Players can choose to explore the palace on their own or can rely on attendants and tour guides as AI characters who provide information. As a game, MMO mechanics are used as multiple players can explore the same environment at the same time, watching each other walk about and chat. Advanced players can offer to take other players on a tour and lead them around. There are different characters to choose from.
Through a map specific locations can be visited directly. The sightseeing is divided into buildings, artifacts, scenes, tours and activities. Individual visitors can also be tracked down. Game elements are offered through three activities players can participate in: cricket fighting, archery practice and the ancient game Weiqi.
Notes about the locations can be jotted down in scrapbooks and the player can also take pictures of the environment to save in the scrapbook or to send to friends. Apart from the activities, the chatting and the walking around, no further interaction with the environment is possible. While most AI characters remain static, during activities players can watch the emperor have dinner, or observe the approval of memorials and court painting. Certain tours focus on specific parts of the palace and provide cultural background information, such as the dragons in the palace, feng shui or an overview of the garden.
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Related Web Sites
- The Forbidden City: Beyond Space and Time -- Official website where the game can be downloaded, free of charge.
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