It occurred to me today, while reading Brett Gilbert's blog about goodlittlegames: www.boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/16573/microgames-small-is-bea... that Muses fits into the emerging category of microgames.
I certainly wouldn't say that it's in the same class as games such as Love Letter, Coup or BraveRats but, with just nine cards, two dice and three counters, it definitely belongs in their category.
So what is the irresistible lure of microgames? And why now?
I think one of the big changes is in the way that people buy games. While I still try to support my friendly local gaming store rather than buy all my games online, I go in looking for particular games due to reviews, ratings, buzz or word-of-mouth. Gone are the days of browsing the shelves and being drawn in by the biggest, shiniest box. Some companies (who will remain nameless - unless you want to name and shame them in the comments) still insist on putting tiny games in massive boxes for the sake of shelf-space but most have realised that many buyers no longer equate big, heavy boxes with value for money. Gamers - and therefore publishers - are far more willing to give small, smart games a try.
So, what's the advantage? Obviously, none of these games are going to give you a three hour, brain-burning strategy-fest but what they do provide (at least in the case of the examples above) are quick, engaging games with loads of player interaction - and they're small enough to fit in your wallet! If you have to travel to get to your gaming session then sure you're willing to carry one, maybe even two big-box games but you can also carry half a dozen micro-games and card games.
Finally, as a designer, microgames are a real education in tight, efficient design.
So, check out Muses at www.printandrollgames.com and check out goodlittlegames.co.uk - once it's up and running.
This is a project that I've been considering for quite some time now - so it's exciting to be finally embarking on it. I've been designing games for about two years now. I particularly enjoy dice allocation games such as Alien Frontiers, Troyes, Lords of Vegas and Castles of Burgundy and have been working on a range of dice based games of my own. I have looked at conventional publishing and self-publishing but found that the cost of repeatedly shipping dice would make the games rather more expensive than I would wish. So, I hit on the idea of a print and play website - providing the rules, boards, cards and everything that you would need to play the games, except the dice. As a gamer (first tabletop then euro-games) I already had a large selection of dice and have found a great many affordable sources for the few that I was short of - I hope that this will be the same for plenty of other gamers. I currently have two games coming towards the end of beta-testing and two more at the early prototype stage. I hope to be posting new games over the coming months and years. Each one will be available for a few pounds (GBP) and will use common and readily available dice and counters. I hope to have the site fully up and running within the next couple of months with the first two games available to buy. As soon as the site's up and running, I'll post a link on this blog. Adam Taylor June 2012
12 Feb 2013
- [+] Dice rolls