Aristotles Assassins

Aristotle's Assassigns Logo


Aristotle's Assassins takes place in and around ancient Athens, including the town of Stagira, a caravan trail through the desert, a rural bazaar, and the peripatos at the outskirts of Athens. It is constructed on six large tile sets: if a player were to walk from one side of the world to the other (unimpeded) it would take approximately twenty real-time minutes. The landscape varies from barren to urban, and it features several small, water-based features such as springs and oases. Palm trees and desert scrub are the primary forms of vegetation, and there is at least one deep crack/cave on one of the tile sets where the assassins' guild resides.


The design team of the Creative Learning Environment is currently committed to adapting Bioware's Neverwinter Nights into an immersive, educational experience based in ancient Greece. The lab uses dual processing computers installed with graphic design software like Maya, and Bioware's own module design tool, to generate a Grecian world rich with history and mythology. The custom module requires the collaboration of multiple academic disciplines from universities around the country: game studies, instructional technology, rhetoric, creative writing, graphic design, music, history, and computer programming.

Players control the bard Mellifluous. Players quickly discover an assassination plot against Aristotle. However, in attempting to foil the assassination, the player actually facilitates the assassination. The player's responsibility is to interact with the history and mythology of Greece on a journey that not only gives the player the choice to restore Aristotle to health, but the player is also able to choose between democracy and aristocracy for Greece. The Creative Learning Environment design team is not only excited about challenging features and a compelling electronic narrative, but also believes in the pedagogical value of the research project: the utility of stealth learning, the benefits of play in education, the advantages of multidisciplinary collaborations. The project is also a practical means to study, teach, and build according to the constructivist model of teaching theory. Therefore, the design team will also be researching classroom applications for learning games and software (like Aristotle's Assassins) as well as seek out venues for publication.

High Concept

Aristotle's Assassins is a role-playing adventure game set amid the political turmoil of Ancient Greece. Players uncover a conspiracy to assassinate Aristotle, but the game really gets hot after players realize they are the assassins.