I’m working on a docugame about the Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verdean War of Independence. It is a first-person shooter designed to explore concepts in propaganda, emotion and perspective.  I have many other things I should be working on, but the idea just grabbed me. These prototypes screenshots demonstrate my weekend’s work:


I thought it would be interesting to create a game where the player is fighting the anti-democratic colonial force.  Here’s the situation:


The player is a Cape Verdean recruit in the PAIGC, the organization that gained freedom for Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau in 1974.  The player’s missions are centered on the tactics of the PAIGC, and the environment matches the Guinea Bissau environment. The player fights the Portuguese, in the 1970s

It is an attempt at creating an educational game with more traditional appeal.   I also really liked the parallel to current “terrorist” campaigns and flipping the protagonist to someone with whom we did not clearly ally ourselves then, but in hindsight may have.  Interestingly, China, Russia, and to a lesser extent Cuba did.  I witnessed China’s strong consumer base in Cape Verde first hand – they are still very much “profiting from this investment.” Although that’s honestly conjecture, as I’ve never seen what the profit margin is on a Chinese Loja.  

There are plenty of anaologies to be made, but one of the interesting claims made by people reporting about the war is that Portuguese effectively lost to the PAIGC because the incumbent Portuguese party was going bankrupt. I’m still doing the research, but I’m finding some really interesting info here.

Project Activities:

I completed the following so far (this took about 24 hours of this weekend – I let it consume the weekend)

·         Create 3D Models of environment (Portuguese Colonia Barracks, Portuguese Colonia Soldier, PAIGC Solider, Guinea Bissau Village Hut, Chinese weapons’ box)

·         Create Game Environment (trees, grass system, artificial intelligence, etc)

·         Create Game Missions (Mission 1 is to sabotage, mission 2 is to fight, mission 3 is a surprise J )

I have the first two missions completed, and if I have time I’ll move on to the next. 

The AI is pretty basic:  a way point system with incidental logic. The players have individual attack logic (or greet logic for friendlies), group attack, etc. I put together a subtitle system for giving missions, and I slapped together the rough models you see in the screenshots.  


·         Military I could only find a few reference images of the war, which is listed as one of the worlds atrocities (15K died during the 10 year “war for independence”).   
Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Cape Verde: Lobban and Lopes

·         A couple of websites via Stanford’s library, that offer 1960-1974 era pictures of Africa (Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Senegal and Cape Verde)

·         A few records of Mar Verde, one of the big offensives from the war.


I can share the rest when I pull them all back together.  I’ll need to do this for the website I’ll create anyway.

Oh, and I might have just coined the term docugame, but who knows, someone must have used it before me.



About admin

Lindsay Grace is a teacher, software developer and designer. He has served industry as an independent consultant, web designer, software developer, entrepreneur, business analyst and writer. Lindsay has a joint position between Miami University’s Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies and the School of Fine Arts. His research areas include human-computer interaction, creative and critical gameplay, and web design. He writes regularly about interactive media design and education.