The collection of board games, online, and theater projects
The Ekaterinburg History Museum has developed six board games with different plots and themes of urban history. Some of the projects were implemented entirely by the museum staff and others: professional game designers.

The games were prepared for certain exhibitions and were available either as part of the exhibition or in souvenir shops.

Our first game is called Key Hunt. It was developed for the exhibition Uralmash: Courtyard Entrance. The players could compete for an apartment in the socialist city and deal with the harsh realities of the recent past, including unauthorized homebuilding, "volundatory" neighborhood clean-ups, and the implementation of five-year industrial plans. In a playful, theoretical manner, the game shared the secrets of getting an apartment in a socialist city, while the game events were based on real facts from the stories of Uralmash residents. This game was not released but remained part of the exposition.
Another game, available only within the exhibition space, is dedicated to Ekaterinburg of the 19th century and the permanent exhibition of the museum.

Other games of the museum became mass production. You can buy them and play at home. For example, the Battle of the Coaches game was created for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the opening of the Before:Urals photo exhibition dedicated to the establishment of the Ural football team. A professional game designer was involved in the development. This collaboration allowed us to create a real strategy game you can play multiple times.

The game cards were designed using photographs from the archive of Fyodor Rybakov, a photo reporter of the factory newspaper called For Heavy Engineering. The photographs showed the path of FC Ural over several decades: from an amateur team of employees of the Uralmash plant to a professional club that managed to get into all football leagues of the country, including a brief stop in the USSR top league in 1969. The mechanics of the game are as follows. Two players act as coaches. They have a team of five people (cards) on the table and three in hand. They can decide which card they should lay on the table (some team members are stronger than others). And then, with the help of their "coach" cards, they can power them up or take away the power of their opponent. The one who gets more "power" of the opponent wins. There are also special cards, such as Goalkeeper or Captain, which bestow special properties on nearby players. One round lasts 15 to 20 minutes. To win the game, you need to win two rounds. This board game is not very difficult and is somewhat similar to the mega-hit Munchkin game. It allows players to develop strategies and get into passionate fighting with opponents. There are no age restrictions. The game will be interesting for teenagers from 10 to 12 years and adults.
For the exhibition Who is Tolebok?, the game titled Street Faces was developed. It is dedicated to the toponymy of the city and 50 famous persons, after whom the streets in Ekaterinburg are named. It was made following the mechanics of matching pairs but is a bit more complicated. The players don't have two identical cards. Instead, they need to find one card with a portrait of a city character and one card with some text about them, containing their last and first name, and patronymic (middle name). This greatly increased the game difficulty and made it much more exciting.
The game Museum Oracle ­was created as a special project for the Ekaterinburg Guest Card and the Night of Museums in cooperation with the Culture of Ekaterinburg portal. The game consists of 33 fortune-telling cards, the backs of which are decorated with artistic photographs of various exhibits from six Ekaterinburg museums: the Ekaterinburg History Museum, of the Integrated Museum of the Ural Writers, the Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts, the Ural Branch of the National Center for Contemporary Art, the Glavny Prospekt International Center for Arts, and the Ekaterinburg Gallery of Modern Art. Paintings, sculptures, artifacts, and objets d'art give the players a hint of what to expect, in a funny and witty manner. There are several ways you can play this game, or you can even invent your own. The trick is to trust the power of art.
The largest game in the entire history of the museum was the Mega Weekend in Ekaterinburg. Designed in partnership with the MEGA shopping center, the project included not only a board game but also a large offline program within the framework of which the characters of the game came out into the streets of Ekaterinburg.

This board game was the first game of its kind about Ekaterinburg.

Its principles are simple but they don't make it any less interesting. The game invites you you to go on a weekend trip around the center of Ekaterinburg. You will walk along its main sights and learn the history of places, people, and events. You can also immerse yourself in the whirlpool of festivities, concerts, and plenty of other events. And finally, you go shopping. Shopping, whether serious purchases or cute trinkets, is an essential part of a great weekend. The game features 55 iconic places of the city, 25 city holidays and events. This turns the Mega Weekend into a kind of gamified encyclopedia of the city. However, this game is not just an insightful quiz. It is full of interactive and creative tasks, questions to test general erudition and wit. This is a great family leisure activity and a game suited for large companies.
The game pieces take the shape of characters from 7 different administrative districts of Ekaterinburg who "come" to the city center to have some fun.

The characters were created in close cooperation with the city community. On the basis of citizen surveys and the opinions of professional historians, a line of characters was created that reflected the identity of each district. Selecting the characters turned into a separate information campaign. Voting for the best characters from each district was held in the city media and the characters who received the most votes ended up on the board.

The real highlight of the project was bringing the characters "to life". Each of them had a customized costume and the city superheroes came into the streets. They traveled around the city districts for three days, taking pictures of local residents and sharing great vibes with them. The whole game was later brought to life within the framework of the City Day when a large-scale playing field with an area of 400 sq.m was created in the very center of the city, on the Plotinka dam, and the same characters decked out in superhero costumes greeted the guests. After the City Day, the game moved to the venue of the Ural Industrial Biennale. The game received the other continuation. For example, game quizzes and performances by game characters were held on September 1 in 7 schools in 7 different administrative districts of Ekaterinburg, attracting more than 2,500 spectators. More than 200 media publications have been released about the game development process, including a whole series of materials about the game characters on E1, ETV, and other major Internet portals. Voting for the district characters was also held on the website of the largest city public page called Typical Ekaterinburg. The total reach of the project publications was more than 500,000 people.

The game itself was printed in 1,000 copies and is now a collector's rarity.
In addition to board games, the museum is actively developing online games dedicated to the city history. Most of them are dedicated to the history of the city districts and are available on the website of the City of Seven Districts project. The museum also develops performative theatrical and playful projects, such as Family Album or The Nineties. You can find more detailed information about these projects above, in the section about the museum's theatrical platform.
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