I awoke rather ill this morning, so I must apologize for my brevity. Nevertheless, I have found for you the scans of Hero’s Automata, a text by a Greek inventor which includes diagrams of clever machines that do various things, from pouring wine to opening temple doors. The image shown above is of the temple door mechanism. (If you want to know more about Hero of Alexandria, click here.)
It is, unfortunately, still in Greek; however, I recommend looking at the pretty pictures for two reasons. One, if you are technically inclined, you might be inspired to replicate these as a part of a game. Two, no matter who you are, it is always important to realize that humans haven’t gotten dramatically smarter in the last half a dozen millennia; our ancestors were often capable of feats of engineering just as inventive and breathtaking as anything we do today. We truly do build on the wealth of our ancestors. Go forth and invent, my friends!