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Subject: What does "microgame" mean to you? rss

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Eric Jome
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Are you familiar with the term "microgame"?
Yes
No
      119 answers
Poll created by cosine


What does this term mean to you?
 
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Kevin L. Kitchens
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cosine wrote:
What does this term mean to you?


Small, portable. Few components. Simple rules.
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maf man
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small, portable
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Daniel Rodriguez
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minimal amount of components, very small package
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Brandon H
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Small package, 15 minute or less game time.
 
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Carl Nyberg
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game within a game
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Chris
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Pocket games. Typically quick to play with few pieces.
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Kevin L. Kitchens
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bill437 wrote:
game within a game


Wondered if someone would go there (not wrong, just had that as a second thought, but it's not what it means to "me", so I answered otherwise)
 
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Joe Salamone
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It's what Ant-Man plays.

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Josh Sauer
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bill437 wrote:
game within a game


That is the meaning of "minigame" to me, but "microgame"...I guess I will echo a lot of the other sentiments here, and say I had the impression that meant a game that was small in physical size and complexity, and generally in playtime as well.
 
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Rich Keiser
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Vampyre
 
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Kent Reuber
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When I hear "microgame", I think about the series from Metagaming. From the back of the box of Ogre, Microgame #1:

[q]This is the first in a new series--MicroGames. Small in format but big in play value, MicroGames are for the person who enjoys games but doesn't want to spend a lot of money--or spend all day playing.

But MicroGames aren't kid stuff. They're challenging, fast moving, and fun. When you finish one game, you'll want to play more...and you'll have the time to do it.[q]

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Jeff Warrender
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18 cards or less.

(Not sure why 18 should be the magic number, other than that it's 1/6 of 108).
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Scott M.
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Not to be mean but Microgame to me means not meaty enough, insta-pass.
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Eric Jome
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How does play time factor into your understanding of this type of game?
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J. Alan Henning
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Highly portable, few components compared to traditional boardgames - should fit in a box suitable for a deck of cards.
 
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Tomello Visello
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1.) small to transport (not much more than a sandwich bag)

2.) small to play (over before you really feel you're done)


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joe_salamone wrote:
It's what Ant-Man plays.


LOL

Yes, 2p vs The Atom.
 
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Chris Talmadge
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cosine wrote:

What does this term mean to you?


Small footprint, few components.

Short Play Times maybe, but only if it's a "filler microgame".
 
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Quazi Kenshin
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Something that'll get me over the "$100 free shipping" hump.
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John "Omega" Williams
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[q="kentreuber"]When I hear "microgame", I think about the series from Metagaming. From the back of the box of Ogre, Microgame #1:

Quote:
This is the first in a new series--MicroGames. Small in format but big in play value, MicroGames are for the person who enjoys games but doesn't want to spend a lot of money--or spend all day playing.

But MicroGames aren't kid stuff. They're challenging, fast moving, and fun. When you finish one game, you'll want to play more...and you'll have the time to do it.[q]



Same here. When someone says microgame I think of the real published micro games like Ogre. Intruder, Chitin, Melee, and so on.

So it gets a bit lauchable when someone here says those arent "real" microgames. What they think of as "real microgames" seems to be what is sometimes referred to as "filler" games.

So stop trying to co-op the term microgame.
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Andrew Walters
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Metagaming hit on something really special in the late '70s: physically compact wargames with short playtimes that used sci fi to explore some really interesting corners of tactics: one super tank against many, rock-paper-scissors insects, player-designed fighters, diceless starship combat, highly asymmetrical forces, quality vs quantity, terrain transformation, and the extreme abstraction of packing a multi-year, global struggle for all of humanity into a couple dozen units and forty minutes.

Sadly, the term "microgame" has come to mean any very small game, even a euro. That's okay, it happens, "literally" has lost all meaning, words get the life sucked out of them all the time. I suppose we need a term for a very small game, and "microgame" is probably as suitable as any.

Unfortunately the dilution of the term may cause us to forget an interesting little form factor that deserves more attention. Like the short story, the microgame in the Metagaming sense can pack a lot of punch in a little space. Since it's only about one thing, it can really take that one thing somewhere. Microgames are like an amuse bouche or a ballad; they simplify and interesting point so that's handy enough for us to turn over this way and that in our minds. Not only is the exploration stimulating, it helps us understand more complex things, too.

So I'm not doing the "get off my lawn" thing about words changing meaning. Words *always* change meaning, it's a thing they do. I just don't want the awesome form to get lost just because it's label moved on.

Victory Point Games and a couple other companies occasionally put out something pretty close to a microgame, but play times are usually longer than the Metagaming play times, and while they often do a great job of portraying history they don't do the sci-fi-as-excuse thing to explore interesting fringes of the wargaming concept.

Maybe we just need a new word...
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J T
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Small, easily portable game (i.e. I could fit the whole thing in a coat pocket) with a play time of 30-90 minutes tops. Microgames, to me, don't need to necessarily be simple or shallow ('not meaty enough' is how someone put it an that's as good a way as any) but they also don't have 40 page rulebooks or take 45 minutes to set up. Ogre really is the benchmark for microgames, imo. Endlessly replayable, set up in 5 minutes done in 60 and just lots of fun in between. When SJG reprinted the original game to celebrate their massive Kickstarter campaign's success I ended up buying 3 copies and keep my eyes open for any others I can find (my FLGS can't seem to get them in anymore).
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Eric Jome
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It is interesting to me that people focus on Ogre as a "microgame".

If Ogre is a microgame, what would you call Love Letter or One Night Ultimate Werewolf?
 
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Eric Jome
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Omega2064 wrote:
What they think of as "real microgames" seems to be what is sometimes referred to as "filler" games.


I would consider Splendor or Pandemic as "filler" games. But apparently others do not... indeed, Ogre is filler to me too.

What is "filler" to you? To me it's weight and play time.
 
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