Ideas on People and Performance, Team Building, Motivation and Innovation

The Search for the Treasures of Göbekli Tepe – a new team building game

We are well along with the main design of our newest team building exercise, The Search for the Treasures of Göbekli Tepe, an exercise focused on engagement, collaboration and implementation. It is a fascinating story to become the basis of this new exercise.

Göbekli Tepe means “hill with a belly” in Turkish, noting that this hilltop gave a full view of the surrounding countryside for many miles. We are polishing the metaphors, enhancing the design to capture some of the optimized features of our other games, and looking to release this soon in a number of languages.

Modeled after many of the main design features in PMC’s flagship team building exercise, The Search for The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, this new simulation will be set in the ruins of the forgotten people of Göbekli Tepe , a neolithic hilltop sanctuary thought to have been constructed around 14,000 years ago in southern Turkey.

Numerous websites describe this location, which is vaguely reminiscent of Stonehenge, but that contains intricate carvings and animal depictions and an pillars. Many of the pillars found weigh over 20 tons with some more than twice that large and archeologists have estimated that it took a work force of at least 500 people to cut them from quarries up to a kilometer away, and bring them to the site. And then there are the exquisite carvings and depictions.

The Search for the Treasures of Gobecki Tepe

The site predates Stonehenge by 10,000 years and is far older than the pyramids and the ruins in Egypt. It appears to be spread over an area of 22 acres, although new information is being understood almost daily and little has been excavated thus far. It is speculated by its discover and chief archeologist, Klaus Schmidt, that hunter / gather bands met here periodically over man decades. If you have read the Clan of the Cave Bear books, the gatherings may have taken on some of that flavor of worship, competitions, and sharing of information and even resources like seeds and tools.

In play, teams will leave civilization for an excursion to the site of the dig, where we have information that can lead to the discovery of some new and as of yet unseen treasures that depict the life of the people. To succeed, teams will have to plan, share information, and work together under the normal pressures of time and seasonal changes in weather. The isolated nature of the area and the oftentimes difficult climate will make for a fun and educational event along with a solid exercise in organizational improvement.

Contact me for more details and some delivery timelines,

For the FUN of It!

Scott banking LDDr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant.
Connect with Scott on Google+ – you can reach Scott at

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  1. Continued research into this theme is interesting and we will be making an “optimized” version of this, taking what we think are the very best features of the Lost Dutchman team building exercise and embedding them into the design.

    One specific goal is to make this exercise a great followup program for Seven Seas Quest and other vendor products like Gold of The Desert Kings and Promises, Promises. The Search for The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine is a better game design now, and we think that “Tepe” will stretch this improvement even further.

    You can find a comparison of GDK and Lost Dutchman as team building game designs at:

  2. Bill Richard

    Hi Scott, very interested in hearing more about your new game -The Search for the Treasures of Göbekli Tepe. I’d be interested to seehow far it can push people’s ability to problem solves and make decisions, plan, communicate, delegate and inspire their teams!

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