In this week's update on the making of Trekking Through History, we hear from our CEO and cofounder, Hasan Hasmani. Hasan is a self-confessed history nerd, and he even thought about becoming a history teacher at one point. He never dreamed he'd go on to help make a game about history instead.
As our CEO at Underdog, Hasan is always encouraging us all to get involved, give feedback, and share opinions. He does the same, and he always brings a unique and valuable perspective. As someone who loves both board games and history, he was the perfect person to help improve and make the most of this game. Watch Hasan talk about history, and then read his Q&A below.
You wanted to be a history teacher when you grew up, right? Why?
History is a giant book of stories that’s never ending. Every corner of history, good and bad, is filled with the background of who we are and how we got to where we are today. It’s an insight into everything that surrounds you and also affects you.
Becoming a teacher is something I always envisioned so I could pass on that passion to others. Many people view history as boring. Yet, I believe that for a lot of them, they just haven’t found the thing that’s intrigued them enough to set off that spark.
When Underdog set out to make a game about history, what was most important to you?
I wanted it to capture the sense of wonder of what’s possible to accomplish. I also wanted it to incite the spark to want to learn more.
What do you hope people get out of this game?
I hope this game creates a sense of curiosity among people so then they'll continue to research more on their own. We're all drawn to history in different ways when it comes to what we find interesting. I hope people find a few things that match their personal interests and then go learn more!
Did you get involved in choosing the events for Trekking Through History?
Very much so. We are a small company, so pretty much all of us are hands on at some point or another. After the initial research was complete and the first few rounds were finished about what to include, I combed through them to make recommendations. This sent me on a massive, weeks-long reading spree because I really wanted to make sure we were looking at the entire history of civilization. I found some awesome websites and resources to guide me, and I was able to suggest some events and dates that we didn't yet have.
Are there things you wanted to include in the game that didn’t make it in?
Of course! There are a ton. We encompassed all of human history into 108 Cards! We tried to pick out the key aspects of critical parts of history. For example, the entire game could be made out of just ancient Greek/Roman history. Yet we wanted to be more well rounded. One particular passion of mine is the civil rights movement in the United States. Charles Hamilton Houston was a lawyer who was essentially the architect of the civil rights movement, and he led the legal strategy of the NAACP for decades before achieving the big victories we know of today. He didn't make it into the final game, but other civil rights moments did. We had to make some really tough choices, which is why we worked with so many different people and perspectives along the way.
How does this game fit into your vision for the company as a whole and how Underdog Games is growing?
Our biggest goal in making games is to spark curiosity to learn more about the world. It started with national parks, then world travel, and now we’re going through time. Nature, people, and cultures are all around us, and I hope we encourage people to connect more closely to the world around them.
Read about the challenging process of selecting the events for Trekking Through History here.