On my walk yesterday, I listened to Jamey Stegmaier's "A Crowdfunder's Strategy Guide". I was struck by inspiration when Jamey mentioned the benefits of microgames to growing your community. Of course, increasing the community of people surrounding my games is important to me, but more so, it's what that actually means that really motivated me. Getting games into the hands of as many people as possible, bringing joy and entertainment to as many households as possible. These ideas are more easily achieved with a microgame as I can decrease costs for backers both in terms of the actual price and shipping costs.
What is a microgame?
When I first heard of a microgame (yesterday), I was intrigued to find out what a microgame actually was. There's a couple of exciting forums on Board Game Geek, such as this one here, but it seems that the general gist is a game with 20 components or less. So games like Love Letter, Coup and others would fit into that category, but despite the Tiny Epic series taking on a small game's persona, games in that series often exceed 50 or even 100 components, so they wouldn't count.
Then I thought that dice are easy to create fun moments in a casual experience, which most if not all microgames are. After the cogs started to turn and steam bellowed out of my ears, I settled on this ruleset which I quickly wrote down.
Instructions as they currently stand.
If at any point, no player can initially place down a card, to begin with, you then roll a second dice and add up the total value of the two dice to create the new dice value for that round. If, again, no player can initially place down a card, then you reroll the first initial dice and put the second dice back to the side until it is needed again.
Once the players' total card values equal the dice value, the cards go face down in each player’s personal draw piles, and the subsequent player rolls the dice. This continues until one player has no cards left in their hand, and they are declared the winner!
The Thematic Description of Don't Wake the Dragon
Don't Wake the Dragon is a two-player microgame in which you take turns attempting to mine for gold in a dragon's lair without waking them up.
Each turn, you roll a d6 to determine how heavy a sleeper the dragon is; if it's a high number, it's a heavy sleeper; if it's a low number, not so much.
After the d6 is rolled, players take turns placing down a card numbered from 1-6, representing how much of a disturbance you created when mining. These cards add up to a total value between the two players, and if a player plays a card that takes the total value above the value of the d6, they must pick up cards equal to the difference between the collective card the d6 value. The first player to have no cards in their hand is the winner.
First Playtesting Session
Check out this video here for the first playtesting session on Tabletop Simulator with my friend Lewis. From concept to first playtest, about four hours had elapsed, so many of the rules I have just written down were worked out in that playtest yesterday. On top of that, there are a few moments in the video where I play the game slightly wrong. For example, in the first game, I absent-mindedly pick up cards into my hand when I should have put them into my played pile.
I plan to post about this game monthly as I continue to playtest and iterate on the design. The next step for me to most likely add in mechanisms that affect the winner of each round and decide on a round amount. This could be the case of having no rounds and just winners after one game, but we shall see.
If you have any feedback on the game based on the rules, please comment down below. If you are interested in seeing how this game develops, the best way to stay informed is by signing up to the mailing list on the page's right. I send out a blast about once a month with all news and blog posts listed concisely, so you can see what might interest you based on the titles.
Niall from Crab Studios
Hello, my name is Niall Crabtree, and this is my comprehensive blog showcasing all of my game development endeavors and successes, as well as essays on game design.
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