I study history and there is one point you should always, always, always
remember. When you read about a certain period or theme from the point of a historian he will more often than not be focused on political history (who were leaders, when did something happen etc.). There are, of course, a lot of others who focus on social and religious history, but again they very often talk about masses and only very important people get into the spotlight. Historians are not psychologists nor are texts that deal with history novels full of character. They will focus on the things a person wanted and did, but they will tell you this in need to explain why something happened. To shorten the whole story, they do not focus on the human, but rather his position in a much larger scale of things.
What does this mean for you? When you want to make a game like this remember to use the history as a setting, but don't overuse it since you will get a game filled with info but no character. Allow the people to move story. It's not different than setting a game in a fantasy setting. Really, it isn't. In those games you used the story to move you around the world which was, again, a stage. They key difference here is that you don't have to create a world or a setting since it already offered to you. Character, character, character. Channel the story through
the facts, not the other way around.
I am sorry I can't help you with your current idea since I've only gotten as far as the medieval ages in my studies, but I'll help with something different.
Since the most popular settings (including fantasy settings) are very "medievaly" in nature, I recommend to the people that they read this book by a famous historian called Jacques Le Goff called Medieval Civilization 400-1500. Available here: http://www.amazon.com/Medieval-Civilizatio...f/dp/0760716528
By seeing how things moved in reality it can greatly help you enhance and deepen your world as well as make it more believable. It goes without saying that if you want to set a game in a true medieval setting, get this book
This post has been edited by longfellow: May 4 2011, 07:26 AM