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Program Design | Content | Playing Tips | Lesson Helps | Extra Resources
Joseph's Story CD ...
This CD teaches all the major elements of the Joseph story in sequence. That's it's major objective. You'll want to bookend it with Bible Study and discussion. Several Bible studies are provided in the game, but you'll have to alert your students to stop at them and work on them.
Joseph's Story CD is a "video-game-style" 3D game. Your students navigate "Robin" the onscreen player from her dormroom to the ruins of Joseph's "Lost Palace" in Egypt. Robin progresses through a series of underground rooms and passageways which contain the Joseph story. There are obstacles and puzzles to solve. Joseph's story narrations provide the content. In some cases your students must listen carefully to the audio content in order to correctly navigate the game. At the end of her expedition Robin meets up with her Grandfather --Sir Dabney MacTavish -the leader of the dig. At that point the game itself is over, but there are additional learning/study materials Robin can go find. These include --a song with lyrics, interviews with 6 of the brothers, and a seven-question Bible study.
Of course, the premise of finding Joseph's "lost" palace is made-up. But the Bible does say he had a nice house and was second in-charge in Egypt. So for our purposes it was a palace. Joseph has left his story for future generation to discover. His palace ruins hold his secret.
AT THE BEGINNING OF THE GAME.... Robin listens to the phone message in the dormroom, goes out the door, flys to Egypt, finds and flys the helicopter to the Dig Tent. After getting an H2Ozinator water cannon in the Dig Tent, Robin goes down the stairs into the ruins. From there the story unfolds sequentially. Example: in the first underground area Robin encounters a narration about Joseph's coat. In the next area she encounters Joseph's "wheat" and "stars & moon" dreams in order. You can't do it backwards. We do not force Robin (your students) to stay and listen to each narration. But we have designed the game play and graphics to encourage it! Left on their own kids will want to blast through to see what's at the end. Therefore, we suggest that a teacher/parent ASK students "WHAT DID THAT MEAN?" during the course of the game. Questions about game content can also be put on a handout which they must fill-in as they go through the game. This will help pace them and teach them. A sample handout is provided below.
This CD requires no previous knowledge of the story. However, this CD is not meant to be the "first and last word" on the story. We hope you have other learning experiences in store for teaching this large and important story.
One of the primary goals of THIS CD is to teach the scope & sequence of this long story (it fills over a dozen chapters of Genesis). We have compressed the story to fit one class-time, and allow for other activities and discussion. (On a related note: Regardless of the amount of time you have, students will still not fully appreciate the l-o-n-g period of years this story covers unless this issue is discussed. God takes God's time. Patience is certainly one of Joseph's virtues).
3rd graders and older -it should take them about 35 minutes to get Egypt and through the ruins. How fast the game plays depends on how familiar students are with 3D style gameplay and how much "extra" content they slow down and read. The basic story line cannot be bypassed in the game, but Bible studies "left behind by the Dig Crew" are optional. Having a teacher by the side will slow things down -which is good because it means they are talking about content!
Younger children love Joseph's Story CD but may have some trouble manipulating the keyboard to maneuver Robin through the ruins. They might get lost in the 3D maze (simply because their spatial senses are easily somewhat confused). They will need extra time. We recommend having older students available to help them. All the important content is NARRATED, and we have made an effort to keep complicated vocabulary to a minimum. For very young children, have them run the "go forward" arrow key while you control the left-right direction using the mouse. Some smaller children get afraid of Potiphar's guards or the Slavetraders. Nothing brutal, the kids just have wild imaginations. Help them through!
Strongly encourage your players NOT TO RUN through the prison and Pharaoh's maze. Instead, stand still and listen to the voice files before proceeding. If you RUN, you may trigger voice files on top of each other!
Creating a Lesson:
Suggestions for extending your discussion and use of the CD past one class period of use:
Here are the Main Story Elements in the Game:
The biblical story of Joseph spreads over a dozen chapters. In this CD, we have stuck to the main storyline (which unfolds after Robin gets to the Dig Tent):
This CD does not go into Dinah, Judah, or Tammar. Frankly, they are a little difficult. For the sake of clarity and brevity the events of Joseph's life are "retold" by Joseph himself --as translated by the clever "Hiero-Translators" the dig crew has placed next to the "Joseph Hieroglyphics." It is essential that your students be able to hear these narrations, not only to learn, but in some case, to know what to do next in the game.
The CD's main "life application points" are these:
In addition, Joseph narrates that his brothers were more concerned about their own position in the family than with what God was trying to tell them. The CD does not go into the issue of dreams, but we do suggest you discuss it with your students, vis-a-vis "how God talks to people."
We recommend reading background on Joseph in a Bible commentary. Joseph's story does not merely describe "how the Hebrews ended up in Egypt." It expands upon the theme of GOD'S FAITHFULNESS even in seemingly impossible circumstances. God has a plan to deliver the message of his Covenant to the world, and he must first deliver it through the family of Abraham (which isn't always easy). One of the things you will want to teach is "where in biblical time" is this story happening. The computer presentation in the Dig Tent touches on this.
To operate the HELICOPTER you must using the following keys:
There are some places where you can "SEEMINGLY GET STUCK." The rats in the hallways of the prison can get in the way. Some of the objects in the hallways, including the torches and some uneven flooring can make it seem like you cannot get by. Keep wiggling. Use your arrow keys to move around to get unstuck. You may have to jump over something. If you are by an opened door, hit your spacebar again to close it, then walk away a little bit and hit the spacebar again. Sometimes Robin's foot gets stuck on a door.
If you get "trapped" by the slave traders after falling into the well, try jumping and wiggling past them, or going back and then around them. They may eventually move out of the way. Same goes for the guards in Potiphar's house. ...Or they could trap you and end your game. Do not let the slavetraders or guards surround you. They can trap you and force you to quit. Be quick. Stay out of the prison water trap and Pharoah's fountain. Do not fall into the water trap in the prison hallway. Stay on the plank. **Save your game as soon as you fall down the well, and as soon as you enter Pharaoh's court. We also don't recommend going behind the tent. Some of the terrain back there gets freaky.
Sometimes Robin's foot gets stuck on a stone, corner or object. Press either the left or right arrow and Forward arrow at the same time to slide and keep moving. Sometimes you might need to make Robin jump to get unstuck (Home key)
Once you progress through a level you can't go back to a previous level. The only exception is at the beginning in the Dig Tent where you can go back up the stairs to get an H20zinator if you forgot one. (or unless you reach the end of the game where we have installed "jump points" that allow you to go back anywhere in the game).
Pressing F7 will show you ROBIN in the game, however, this viewpoint may cause some problems in the game. In "third person" mode (you see her on the screen) the helicopter may fly too fast on FAST computers, and the point of view (camera which trails Robin) may take you outside of walls or cause bouncing against the walls. Plus, in the third person mode (when you can see Robin onscreen) may cause the study note panels to be too hard to read. Switch to FIRST PERSON (F7) where there is NO Robin character on screen for best performance. We do not recommend using the "third person" mode.
MAZE and Voice File Triggering Advice: Strongly encourage your players NOT TO RUN through the Prison and Pharaoh's maze. Instead, stand still and listen to the voice files before proceeding. If you RUN and don't listen, you might trigger additional voice file triggers before the previous one has stopped playing. This can become a problem in Pharaoh's maze. Plus, many of the voice files have information in them about how to proceed.
There are SIGNS at the beginning of the first Prison Maze which alerts you to the fact that IF you agree with the audio narration at each intersection in the maze, you should follow the direction of the EYE. If you disagree with the audio narration (if it is wrong), go the way of the SCARAB.
When Robin brings the cup to Sir Dabney on the scaffolding at the end of the game she must walk right up to him to give him the cup. Then AFTER he is done talking, do as he says: walk the cup into the heiroglyph on the obelisk to activate a change in the game (the brothers will appear below and you can go talk to them). It is important that you tell your students to wait for Dabney to stop talking before inserting the cup in the obelisk.You cannot get back to the Dig Tent without putting the cup in the obelisk at the top of the scaffolding.
Climbing the Obelisk scaffolding requires some dexterity. Because of Robin's wide stance, you will have to skooch her left and right to position her correctly before jumping up & forward to the next level. See more about this below....
SAVING A GAME Position:
To SAVE a game location and "load"
that saved spot at a later time:
It is a really good idea to SAVE YOUR GAME AS YOU PLAY. That way you can restart just a little behind, rather from the beginning if you get stuck somewhere. When you turn the game off, the saved names won't appear on the save menu. But keep reading for an inside secret....
Here's a NEW SUPER HOT TIP: There is a quirk which allows you to reload a position from a PREVIOUSLY SAVED game AFTER you have completely quit the game. If you quit the game completely, then start it up again, press ESC key and the Saved Game positions will appear to be empty, …but in fact, if you press ENTER on the top saved position, it will load whatever saved game position you previously saved there when you last played the game, even though the game doesn't show you the name of the position you last gave it. There's more: After you load a position from another game you once played, and press the ESC key again and Load Game buttons again, the list of all your previous saved positions will appear. It's a quirk of how the game reads the names of the saved games, so please feel free to exploit it!
The game begins in Robin's Dorm Room...
Once you get to the Cairo Airport...
STEERING ROBIN AND AIMING THE H2OZINATOR
WHAT TO DO INSIDE THE TENT
WHAT TO DO IN THE HALL OF
GETTING OUT OF
GETTING PAST POTIPHAR'S GUARDS
GETTING THROUGH THE PRISON
GETTING THROUGH PHARAOH'S PALACE
Warning: Going through the WRONG DOOR in Pharaoh's Palace riddle will send you back in the game. Listen carefully to the 3 Heiro-trans solutions and pick the correct one. When you hear the correct interpretation of the dream go through that door. Down the hallway there is a stairwell where sand must be blasted away. Read the translation notes left behind by one of the workers in this area. It will continue the story (and is the only part of the story NOT narrated). You will not get out. Hidden Feature: Walk close to some of the guards to hear them warn you.
GET THE CUP!
CLIMB THE OBELISK -- MEET WITH SIR DABNEY
Climbing the scaffolding may take some practice. Remember Robin has kind of a WIDE STANCE, thus if you don't line her up to jump forward onto the platform just exactly, her foot may catch on the pipes. Line her up properly. Scooch her left and right while you press the Forward arrow key to help her slide around poles.
AFTER MEETING SIR DABNEY...
1. Read Dabney's Bible Study Questions...He's left them in the desert. Find them and they pop open to discuss.
2. Interview the Brothers and discuss possible answers to their questions.
3. Walk up to the Dig Tent Sign and that will jump you to the Dig Tent where you can find the helicopter, Joseph's Song, and the Hippo Wash Maze. Inside the tent are "jump" points back into the game. We highly recommend you SAVE your spot in the Dig Tent before jumping to new locations. (In version 1.0 and 1.1 the helicopter is sitting right in the sand and plays the song. You cannot return to the dig tent). Note: you cannot go down the stairs.
Extra Questions for review or for use in a handout:
1. Joseph's dream had several
wheat sheaves bowing down to one sheaf of wheat. What did that
Questions like these can be copied onto a handout and given to the students to fill-in as they move through the game, then discussed later. If you are viewing this guide on the web, you can use your mouse to "drag & copy" these questions into a wordprocessing document to create your own handout.
If you experience any technical problems installing or playing Joseph's Story, go to www.sundaysoftware.com/joseph/joe-tech.htm for explanations and solutions.
About our 3D Models: We designed this program to run on older computers as well as new. Thus, we used low-polygon (ram saving) character models. Their hands and faces can look a little odd at times because of this technical decision.
Extra Teaching Resources
"Hashem's Study Notes"
& Dabney's lost "Notes for Today's Bible Study"
Clicking this link will download an Adobe Acrobat PDF file that includes the two graphics seen below, and a blank copy of it to make your own study pad, and a copy of the LYRICS to the song. The PDF file is at www.sundaysoftware.com/joseph/dabs-notepad.pdf
Super-techie note: You can put your OWN Bible Study graphics in the Joseph game simply by redrawing the legalpad tablet graphics (as seen above) found in c:\joseph, file names p-note.bmp and notepad.bmp. Please note: the game engine will interpret the color black as invisible. Do not change the size or resolution of the graphics either or you may get an improper display. Warning: Changing any other accessible graphics may cause them to display improperly or the game to hang up when you get to that section.
This guide, its content, graphics and the song lyrics, copyright 2002-2006, Neil MacQueen, www.sundaysoftware.com. They may be reproduced for non-commercial teaching use provided this copyright notice stays with the material.