The Crimean War is a historical educational card game that takes players back to 1853-56, and tells about interesting facts of the Crimean conflict between Russian, British, Ottoman and Second French Empires. To make a game entertaining and educational at the same time, we conducted research and user testing; and alongside with the deck of cards, we created cards with questions about really bizarre facts and events about the war.
Predominantly young people / history students who are interested in history and culture of different countries, and who are eager to have face-to-face communication.
The UK, alongside with Germany, Italy, Spain and France, is the biggest card / board games market in Europe, making up to £ billion annually. The various games can be divided into a few categories by the complexity, as well as are of either a fictional or educational background.
Looking closer at the educational card games, I noticed that they are quite hard to play and require a lot of preparation. A good example is the card game “Fauna”, to play which one will need to know precisely the geography, weight and heights of 360 rare animals. Sentence building cards or words flash cards, even though often created for children, are memory stimulating and are exhausting after a while.
The Crimean War aims to gather people around an easy fun game and tell them about rare interesting facts from the history of the mid XIX century, not overindulging them with an excessive information.
The game was tested on a number of people of different cultural and educational backgrounds, and proved to have commercial potential in the future.
Furthermore, there can be developed the whole series of historical card decks and games featuring different events and con icts between four and more countries (like World War I, World War II, revolutions, etc.).
To create a brand new educational card game that would be playable, we’ve conducted some research on types of card games:
We decided to go with a Shedding type of a card game for our game when players aim to discard their hand as fast as possible to win.
The deck of cards is similar to standard cards, but for each suit is marked with a colour rather than a standard card suit. Each suit stands for an Empire: Russian Empire, British Empire, Second French Empire and Ottoman Empire.
Ace is substituted with an H (headquarters);
M (Monarch) stands for King;
C (Consort) stands for Queen or Prince Consort;
O (Officer) stands for Jack.
Each suit is colour coded. Each colour is widely used and has some special meaning in the tradition of the country it stands for.
Blue (99/0/0/0) – Russian Empire – loyalty, faith, tsar; present in the flag of Russian Empire;
Red (0/99/40/0) – British Empire – nobility, brotherhood; present in the flag of British Empire;
White (0/0/0/0) – French Empire – law, equality; placed in the middle of the flag of France concidered the most important colour;
Black (90/90/10/50) – Ottoman Empire – is the historical flag flown by Muhammad in Islamic tradition.
There are also an infographic timeline (for players to get a brief summary about the Crimean War) and question cards.
The cover of the deck of cards is a graphic representation of the Crimea with 3 battleships around:
When illustrating cards, we used photo references or pictures, so they fully represent the empires.
We tested the look and feel of cards a few times and ended up with a deck like this:
In order to make the game more educational and interesting to play, we collected bizarre facts about each character featured in the game, and created a questionnaire:
For the game, we also provided the infographic about facts and people, as well as a brief timeline:
We also created a one page website, which shows the visitors an interactive timeline which gets darker and darker with the progress of time. The website is also an online store where one can buy a deck of cards and learn more about the rules:
December 31, 2016