Waterworks! - a game about the former water supply system of Grudziądz

A free to play, strategy video game Waterworks! tells the story of the former water supply system to the city of Grudziądz. Its creation was based on the results of historical and archaeological research conducted by Dr Wacław Kulczykowski from the University of Gdańsk.

As a player, you are responsible for supplying the medieval city with water and must use your skills to ensure that there is enough water in every house. Your task is to employ water carriers, expand the water supply network, develop new technologies, and apply new inventions.

The game was created by Mateusz "scriptwelder" Sokalszczuk in cooperation with Dr Wacław Kulczykowski from the Faculty of History of the University of Gdańsk, who conducted historical and archaeological research in the city of Grudziądz. The research was financed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

"We wanted to reach the broadest age group. The content is prepared for secondary and senior school students” - Dr Kulczykowski told the PAP. He added that the game is addressed to both local history enthusiasts and strategy games fans all over the world, as an English version was developed as well. "In this way we promote Grudziądz and also Polish science on the international arena" - he added.

The story begins in the Middle Ages, shortly after the town was founded in the 13th century, and ends with the advent of the 19th century, when modern waterworks and sewage systems were created. The game is divided into several stages, closely related to the history of water and waterworks in Grudziądz.

The development of the game took about a year. The substantive basis for the game was the data obtained during the collection of information by Dr Kulczykowski for his doctoral thesis on hydrotechnical objects in and around Grudziądz. The scientist made an archival search also based on foreign archives (including Swedish and German), and then carried out field research using non-invasive methods: three-dimensional scanner and geo-radar.

Dr Kulczykowski noted that no historical knowledge is needed to play the game. On the contrary, its participants will gain knowledge about the history of the city. The authors of the game claim that it was necessary to introduce simplifications into the game to help maintain the balance between "playability" and science and the actual image of the former city.

This is the second free online game of this type to be developed in cooperation with Wacław Kulczykowski and Mateusz Sokalszczuk. In 2015, they created the game "Excavate!" based on excavations conducted in the destroyed 17th century Evangelical cemetery in Nowe Monasterzysko.

Grudziądz is a city of around 95,045 inhabitants, located on the Vistula River in northern Poland. The city dates back to the 11th century and is now a part of the Kujawy-Pomerania province.

Waterworks! is available in both Polish and English.