DIY Time Line cards game

In 2016, one of my sisters proposed to craft a gift for our parents coinciding with their 50th wedding anniversary that would work as a photo album, but more fun. She proposed that we would make our own game with family pictures following the same idea than Timeline.

Timeline General Interest Tin Box

During those years, Timeline was a popular cards game with a very simple mechanic. Each card pictures an event happening in a very specific moment in time. In one side, the card only states the name of the event while in the other side of the card it reveals the year that event happened and, sometimes, further details about the event.

The game consists in placing those cards in a time line from the further past to the present. Hence, its name. Additionally, the game was visually beautiful and, at the time, was done with quality materials in a nice embossed tin box.

Opened Timeline tin box

We decided to follow the same style but, since we wanted it to work as a photo album, the cards would be A5 instead of the tiny size of the original game. My sisters did the heavy work of finding the bulk of the pictures while I created the artistic material and selected the best pictures from the very big selection I received. In the end, we expanded from 1942 to 2016, for more than 120 cards.

As a FLOSS lover, in my creation process I used GIMP, Inkscape, Scribus and Krita and placed the basic templates into a repository to allow its usage by other people.

I used Inkscape to create the banners at the bottom of the pictures, GIMP was used for the modification of the source pictures so they will nicely sit on the cards, and Scribus was used to generate the PDFs to be sent for printing.

Ideally, the cards would be in portrait orientation …

“Los padrinos bailando” – Front
“Los padrinos bailando” – Back

… but, unavoidably, some needed to be in landscape.

“Me quedo” – Front
“Me quedo” – Back

We would also need a place in which to store the cards. An embossed tin box would have been great but way too expensive to the very limited amount we wanted to order. In the end, we decided to order an A5 cookies box from a provider which would be able to print on the lid.

I took heavy inspiration from the original designs of the existing game to make a custom cover with Inkscape and converted the resulting PNG with Krita to a TIFF using the desired CMYK color profile.

Custom “50th anniversary edition” Time Line tin box

The final result was quite nice.

Feel free to use the templates from the public repository. Contributions are also welcomed!

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