Best laid plans . . .

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Dang, we so wanted a Kickstarter in May but life got in the way . . . a little bit.

Some health issues, starting a new role in my day job, and blah, blah, blah, have all given me an excuse to not be 100% on our next game.

But . . . we all have challenges in life and they’re the stuff that makes us all who we are.  =)

From Mint Tin Odyssey to Mint Tin Mineshaft to Mint Tin LUNASYR, you and I have been on a tiny roller coaster.

Mint Tin Odyssey will definitely happen – it’s a big project with tons of professional art and it’s both a game and a 100+ page printed book. The book is as big a project as the game and the entire project will be the biggest we’ve done – and it will happen, just a matter of time.

Mint Tin LUNASYR (loo-nuh-SEER) is almost complete, we have to do loads of documented play testing to tweak the scoring range. Right now it’s super low with scores like 4-5 and 4-6 – very Eurogame in nature. I’d like to get the range a bit higher like 8-9 and 8-10 for most games. The difference is a balance of event costs and a higher score will mean a few more transactions per game and allow for more strategy development during game play.

And we’re trying to get the Mint Tin LUNASYR to play in about 30 minutes.

It’s looking good and most of its art is done (including a retro aluminum space coin). *fingers crossed*

Thanks for all your encouragement and truly being awesome!  =)




2017 – change in plans – maybe?

posted in: games | 0

Life’s up and downs sure can impact your gaming lifestyle and that goes for game publishing as well.

I’d love to launch Mint Tin Odyssey in April but the window for prep is closing quickly.

Mint Tin Mineshaft might be a better candidate for April (possibly May, drat) because there are fewer parts and no “deluxe” component.

Both games are developed, play tested, and pretty solid – some tweaking to the difficulty of Mint Tin Mineshaft is needed and may involve consulting a professional statistician – no lie! o_O

This game is hard AND . . . due to overlapping game mechanics, it can be precisely tuned.

It’s semi-coop to get to the endgame where both can survive, both can perish, or only one makes it out!

For Mint Tin Odyssey, there’s a deluxe reward of a 120+ page colouring, rules, and story book that’s very much its own project.

The issue for Mint Tin Odyssey isn’t the art – the illustrator is phenomenal and 90% of the art is complete – it’s all the other bits that need pulling together, plus typesetting the book, that are looming larger and larger as February slips away.

Tentative parts for Odyssey:

  • 54-64 mini cards
  • 3 12mm meeples (2 colours)
  • 2 Minotaur coins
  • 5 Artemis coins
  • 3 skull tokens (maybe a glass one too)
  • 8 life tokens
  • 3 magic tokens
  • 1 rondel marker
  • 1 boss encounter marker
  • 2 Chessex mini d10 dice
  • a tin (possibly home-pressed lid)
  • 30 minute epic soundtrack
  • colouring book
Mint Tin Mineshaft play test card

Tentative parts for Mineshaft:

  • 64 two inch square cards
  • pair of fancy speckled d10s – Chessex, of course
  • 3 glass markers (2 colours)
  • 6 silver coins
  • 6 brass coins
  • 1 home stamped loot/carry bag
  • 1 first-player coin
  • a tin (possibly home-pressed lid)

Mint Tin Mineshaft may be the one to launch just from writing about it in this post (for me, this is like talking out a problem with someone – in this case, that someone is you!). =)

Mint Tin Odyssey would then launch in the fall – we want to share both of these games with you this year.


So fingers crossed and lots of awesome support from you and we’ll do it!  =)

What’s planned for 2017?

Incredible artwork continues to be created for Mint Tin Odyssey which may launch May 4th. *fingers crossed*

Stephanie has created a bulk of the art for both the card deck and the colouring book. I’m very excited about the “look” and am continually blown away by her talent.

Mint Tin Odyssey

Mint Tin Odyssey is heavily inspired by The Legend of Zelda and involves the exploration of 49 kingdom cards.

It’s currently a solo game meant to be played in a relaxing manner in around 30 to 45 minutes. It should be ideal for times when you want to unwind and maybe even a sleepless night. We’re trying to work a method into it that allows you to stop partway, pack it up, and then restart where you left off.

It uses the Delta d10 system which is a dice system allowing up to 3 values to be read from one dice toss. The idea is not to hamper anyone with the need to update stats. It’s not like RPG dice systems – it’s a standalone system for this game and Mint Tin Mineshaft.

Mint Tin Mineshaft has been undergoing play testing and tweaking for six months and is nearing completion.

This one’s a semi-cooperative 2-player game intended for about 30 minutes of game play. It also uses the Delta d10 system and is easy-to-play (but hard to win) and has decent replayability.

Mint Tin Mineshaft will, hopefully, Kickstart in the fall. =)

Natalie, Michelle, and I have created “version two of Mint Tin Pirates” which introduces a krakken and some real coins. It builds on the current rules and adds 2 crew to each player for a bit longer game play as well as more time for strategy to evolve.

It’s meant to be a new game and not simply a new edition of Mint Tin Pirates – both versions have their audiences and niches to fill. I’d like explore a 3- and/or 4-player option to make it truly stand apart from the original, and still popular, Mint Tin Pirates.

Speaking of popularity . . .

We continue to enjoy steady internet sales of all three games:

with our Triple Play Deluxe offering being the most popular.

We’ve switched from a PayPal shopping cart to Shopify. The flow’s better for customers plus it allows us to run discount codes from time-to-time (which are listed on the online store page).

That’s it for now – Happy Gaming and Win Often!

a colouring page from the Mint Tin Odyssey deluxe Kickstarter reward

subQuark Shopify storefront

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PayPal updated their checkout experience and removed the “shipping calculator”.

That’s unfortunate because it allowed people to see exactly what shipping was going to be.

To help address the anxiety that can come from a “different” checkout experience, we decided to give Shopify a try.

It’s slick and behaves in a manner that most people will find familiar and time will tell how good it actually is.

Happy gaming and win often!


Google World Map of Mint Tin Games

This was easy and lots of fun to make with Google Maps.

This shows where Mint Tin Games have been sent to from both Kickstarter campaigns and online sales.

The map is made up of layers:

  • Mint Tin Pirates and Mint Tin Aliens Kickstarter (666 cities)
  • Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse Kickstarter (1789 cities)
  • Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse Kickstarter (1152 cities)
  • Online Sales (469 cities)

Each layer can have a maximum of 2,000 data points so Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse takes two layers. You can toggle layers on and off.

There’s only one flag per city even though some cities have many games and only the last layer’s colour shows if multiples exist for that city (toggling the layers will change flag colours if games were shipped there from various projects).

All-in-all, here are the final numbers, plus or minus a few, for our tiny games:

  • 6,900 Mint Tin Games out there in
  • 2,217 cities in
  • 49 countries.

Kind of a fun thing for literally a mom and pop operation! Go Maker Movement! =)

Thank you for making all of this happen and for sharing these games with friends.

Happy Gaming and Win Often!

updated – August 16, 2016

Introspective Rambling to a Backer’s Question

I think most would agree I’m pretty transparent and open. I’ve learned so much from others sharing their ideas with me and consider them as collaborators in many endeavors.

Kickstarter backers have pushed this way beyond anything I could have imagined and it’s wonderful. =)

Backers are far more than just some dollar amount – they’re the ones that decide if something is worthwhile. Without that support, a Kickstarter’s project is probably crap. o_O

This morning I read a nice message from the Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse Kickstarter and it made me focus on what’s next.

What follows is exchange between two Davids with some additions in my response:

Greetings David,

If I’ve done the math right MTMA exceeded MTP/MTA by about 400% in both number of backers and funds raised. Given the loyal following you are building it is not outside the realm of possibility that your next project would maintain that trend. That’s 12,820 backers (I would consider that the bare minimum number of games), and $234k-ish (assuming similar reward costs).

Given those numbers a couple of questions have come to mind.

  1. have you given any thought as to how you will mitigate those numbers, i.e. by having a bunch of staggered reward levels?
  2. will the delivery schedule have time built in to ensure you don’t end up divorced?

:o ;)


Looking forward to the next installment.


Hi David! That would be a great problem to have! So let’s take a look at it.

The next game would have to be as well received, or better, to surpass this one in my opinion.

Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse hits several notes just right. It’s very simple and doesn’t pretend to be anything more than it is. The secret of why it’s fun to play is the nature of a pair of d6s.

I wish I could claim I was clever but a pair of dice is a lot more than game components used as a randomizing mechanic. That’s why 1,985 books (Amazon) are written about Craps. (wiki)

I take some credit for wrapping the theme around it but can’t take credit for being original in that theme! I tried to stay true to monster, sci-fi, and apocalypse memes.

The biggest thing I can claim is getting the logistics of the game components to a point that they fit in a really small tin! =)

I think those are some of the factors that made this one successful.

To repeat that success is quite intimidating to me – the bar has been set high – that bar was set by your support for this Kickstarter.

I’d love the next game to be 4 times bigger but I don’t think it will be.

We would need reviewers like Rahdo and Tom Vasel to make that happen (and they would need to be stellar reviews). Since we are independent publishers and don’t sell through game stores, that may be a factor as far as their reviews go.

We’d love to sell through game stores and do sell in our FLGS – DiversionsPG – but since we source in the US, our game costs are higher than offshore manufactures and that doesn’t allow for enough profit margin for normal distribution channels.

The reviewers who have been gracious to donate their time, skill, and talent to our games tend to be independents like us – I am humbled by their work and value their time (so much so it moves me to tears to think about how wonderful they are – I’m hugely sentimental). =)

But . . . if the next Kickstarter did go bananas, we’d probably do something similar to the Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse Kickstarter – add a later reward delivery just like you mentioned (not more than three dates though).

AND . . . we’d hire some local folks to help make the rewards.

BUT . . . the bigger challenge isn’t the labor.

It’s the supply chain.

We bought out all inventory from Chessex twice during this campaign for the colors we used. That was stressful.

We could reduce that by not specifying colors in the final games, although that would open this up to backers wanting specific colors and that wouldn’t work for efficient shipping (because that makes the inventory issue a problem again).

Another factor that would likely keep the next Kickstarter from being bigger is the nature of its game.

Right now I’m all hyped up about Mint Tin Quest which is a solo game. That’s a smaller niche than a 2 player game.

It would also be in a normal-sized tin. While that’s still novel, we’ve done that with Mint Tin Pirates and Mint Tin Aliens.

Having Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse fit into a mini-sized tin added novelty and was a part of its success, albeit game play is the single most important factor, the diminutive size did raise its visibility and create online buzz.

Saying all of that, Mint Tin Quest could fizzle out.

At such an early stage in design, it’s easy to be excited about it but it has to end up being fun to play.

Mint Tin Villagers is much farther along than Mint Tin Quest. It has some final artwork and all the components are figured out. The label’s even done and there’s already a Kickstarter project page for it.

It was supposed to launch with Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse as a 2 game Kickstarter (like our first), but the last minute or two of game play is flat. I haven’t given up on it but there came a point where it was preventing Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse from going forward.

Dang David, this sparked a lot of introspection and I think I’m going to turn this into a blog post!

Thank you for asking and getting me thinking about it more concretely.

Thank you for the tremendous support and for being a true collaborator – you made this Kickstarter a reality and have shaped the next one more than you know!

Happy holidays David and happy gaming!



from Update#2:

the beautiful Bell Curve of 2d6


the actual probability formula for 2d6 – that’s some serious math!

Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse manhole cover question

posted in: mini apocalypse, Mint Tin Games | 0

An excellent question was posed on BoardGameGeek regarding the manhole expansion and it’s one I’ve had on Twitter as well.

the rules go out of the way to state you cannot save a 7. So if you need a 7 to throw the manhole cover to open the FoS, you need to roll a 7 at the exact same instant your opponent rolls a 7 to close the FoS?

this seems to either be useless or could lead to a lot of bickering over how long you wait to roll again.

It would make more sense that whoever controls the cover should be able to throw it to open the FoS at anytime to prolong the game, but all other action need a 7.

I like that “bickering” was mentioned. That’s to be expected with the apocalypse . . . but here’s an easy way to clarify almost anything about Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse.

First (me and my tangents), I would recommend that most people play Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse a few times without using the Manhole Expansion.

Kate also had a hard time understanding the manhole cover but if I can explain it well enough, it should be an ah ha moment for anyone having similar issues.

The game is meant to embrace all the memes and cliches of apocalypses and ALSO reflect what could happen in real life under the conditions set in Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse.

Imagine you are in a small downtown or even a strip mall setting. There’s a school with an old fallout shelter or maybe a bank with a vault nearby.

There’s a crashed Red Cross truck just a few hundred feet away that boxes of food rations spilled out (that’s what the boxes are in my head). Or there could be a convenience store nearby. It could be a corner shop or a grocery store – some place with bottled water and twinkies (okay, you can be healthier and grab energy bars).

Then something happens, it could be an EMP, some military test, inter-dimensional warp, or who knows what – but a monster can be seen over the tree tops – holy crap!

You don’t get knocked out but your friends or family do.

With rolled 7s representing things going your way, here’s how to frame questions you may have about the rules:

What would you do in real life?

If you get knocked down and no one else from your side is up, you’d have to get up before you could help someone else (like using smelling salts or a slap in the face). If only one person is up, could they get into the fallout shelter?

Yes they could, but who would help others get up?

That’s why the rules say “You need 1 standing meep to help your meeps or knock down others.

That makes your standing meep the hero of your group and that means you! You are the standing meep helping your confused and panicked friends – you are the one with the cool head that can get save them –

be the hero you were born to be! =)

Okay, let’s get the manhole cover into the mix and back to that BGG question. So you get shut out of the FoS – bah, that sucks, but it’s not over yet.

It’s only over when the monster’s die is on 1 and someone rolls snake eyes and no one’s willing to sacrifice themselves.

The basic game rules are really not changed with the Manhole Expansion – only the part about the FoS being closed ending the game.

That ends the basic game because it’s assumed that the monster will eventually get to 1, snake eyes will be rolled, and everyone outside will be eaten.

Adding the Manhole Expansion to your game means that you can now play until that very end.

But you know what they say about assuming things . . .

So, what would you do as a hero once the FoS was closed and you had a way to open it and save your friends?

You’d do your best to open it of course! *cue heroic music*

The person who closed the FoS has a lot of incentive to roll as fast as they can and get the monster to a 1 and roll snake eyes. They want to ensure their win.

You, as the person shut out, need to claim the manhole cover (if you don’t have it yet) and then throw it with your adrenaline supercharged hero self to reopen the FoS (rolling 7s are still needed – you’ve got to able to get the manhole cover and then be able to throw it accurately).

Even if the monster gets to 1 and your opponent rolls snake eyes, normal rules still apply.

You can sacrifice one of your meeps to stop that snake eyes.

Both of you keep rolling. You want to toss them out and save your team. If you sacrificed one meep, you can still win.

And now your opponent also has reason to sacrifice one of their own. They can still win with 4 in.

In fact, you could keep sacrificing and kicking them out to keep them under 4 meeps in FoS and eventually cause both of you to lose.

Why would you do that?

It’s the apocalypse and people get bitter and do weird things under stress!

2015-10-20 10.46
blue closed FoS, yellow used manhole cover to reopen, one of each sacrificed, and if fate smiles on yellow, they could possibly win! or maybe both will lose!

Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse – Call for Reviewers

posted in: games, mini apocalypse | 0

Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse was born the week before the Mint Tin Games – Pirates & Aliens Kickstarter started in September of last year. The inimitable Kate tossed an empty Altoids Smalls tin onto the table and challenged me to create a game with it.

Mint Tin Pirates and Mint Tin Aliens are pretty small in their Altoids-sized tin, but the mini tin for Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse is less than half the volume – it makes microgames look monstrous!

A game Kickstarter is nothing without reviews.

There’s no doubt that most of the backers for Mint Tin Games – Pirates & Aliens backed the project because of reviews.

Here’s what we’re looking for in a reviewer:

  1. Online presence. A half dozen reviews online as blog posts, BoardGameGeek reviews, audio podcasts, and/or a videos.
  2. Accuracy and thoroughness. Reviews that are accurate to the gameplay and style of gamer who would enjoy the game. Matching potential backers’ expectations is more important than being funded. While this game is highly affordable, I hate seeing someone spend their hard-earned cash on a game that won’t get played..
  3. Availability. It takes a lot of your time to play, ponder, and think about a game. As a reviewer, you’re able to imagine how the game will feel a year down the road after many plays with time to explore strategies. This is a tiny and light game, but there are still some subtle strategies that can be applied (and many lightning fast decisions). Grasping that in just a few plays makes for a well trusted reviewer. Then it takes time to photograph, record, write, edit, and publish a review. Only you know your schedule and timing is tight. The Kickstarter starts August 11th and runs for only 20 days. But reviewer copies may not get in your hands until 2 weeks before the KS.
  4. Location. We had some non-US reviewers on the last one and that worked out fine. The cost and time for shipping makes it challenging but if this game fits your style and you have reviewed other small light games, then you’re be a good fit.

Our first games went to many reviewers including a few that don’t like short casual filler games. I’m not sure why they asked to review them so I thought I’d spell out what I think this game is to help see if it matches your style.

  1. Filler, light, and casual. It’s a 5 to 10 minute game. It can be played with different strategic approaches but it’s still only 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Simultaneous and competitive. No turn order, just simultaneous live play as fast as you can roll dice. It’s about surviving with limited resources available. You have to get your team into the fallout shelter faster than your opponent.
  3. Tiny components. 12 millimeter dice, mini meeples, and 8 millimeter cubes. It’s small to handle and requires fast rolling. This can be modified and you can play one roll at a time (great for kids and maybe even helps with math skills).
  4. Self-published and direct distribution. I’m all about making games at home and showing that if I can do it, anyone can (and should). This means some creative manufacturing and not big corporate polish. I emboss these lids manually, I affix the game label by hand, and I “hope” to hand ink stamp some of the game components (read: they are not laser centered). I source 100% in the US and don’t make these for retail distribution to keep player cost down. BUT . . . they’ll be available online after the Kickstarter, on Amazon, and in our local friendly Portsmouth game store.
  5. Family-friendly. Like Mint Tin Pirates and Mint Tin Aliens, the text is gentle without words like kill or dead. I’m a big kid at heart and the worst in this is mentioning that the monster will eat you which I may change to the monster will get you. Overall, I hope this is pretty innocent for the apocalypse.

In return for your review, I’ll ship two deluxe games to whoever you like. Maybe you do giveaways, run contests, or want to donate to a charity (so far we’ve donated over 100 pairs on the first Mint Tin Games). Both can be shipped to one person or one to two different people – whatever works best for you (even to you for stocking stuffers).

Plus you’ll get the final and complete Kickstarter Deluxe edition. The reviewer copies have the complete base game and mini game mat, but not the custom minted manhole cover and not the mini game journal or mini game poster. Pennies and prototype images will be included to help visualize the deluxe goodies.

We have some reviewers lined up but would love more. Of course we want great reviews to include in and help the Kickstarter.

I hope this helps match this game with the type of games you personally like.

Those are the best reviews, when the player identifies with you and trusts your recommendations.


Kickstarter Rewards (may change and multiples are also available):

MTMA – 1 copy of Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse with Manhole Expansion, 1 Mini Apocalypse Mini Game Poster, and Mini Apocalypse Soundtrack download.

Total pledge with shipping: US $12, Canada $17, World $22

MTMA DELUXE – 1 copy of Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse with Manhole Expansion PLUS an extra manhole cover coin for your own variants, 1 Mini Apocalypse Mini Game Poster plus 1 Mini Apocalypse Mini Game Mat with 1 Mini Apocalypse Journal, and Mini Apocalypse Soundtrack download.

Total pledge with shipping: US $19, Canada $24, World $30


What this kind of plays like:

Escape – The Curse of the Temple except it’s competitive and has a monster that will eat you. Also, instead of dealing with jewels, your team functions a little like a worker placement game.

You can “block” the Fallout Shelter (FoS) by getting your 5 in first (Kate loves doing this). It’s also a little “resource management” if you decide to grab a cube with your RECON PAIR because once you “create” this pair, they act as one meep, so 2 can move back in on one move (I like doing this and activating the monster asap).

At first glance, this game may seem all luck-based but keeping it as open as possible with few rules allows it to maximize the mechanics of a simple pair d6 dice. A Google search of “strategy for craps” yields 9.5 million results and millions of dollars have changed hands with Craps. Amazon has over 1,400 books on Craps!

But this isn’t Craps, it’s the apocalypse and it fits in your jeans’ watch pocket!

Chaotic real-time rolling keeps this fast and it’s not so easy to make decisions in this highly disruptive environment. While 7s are the highest probability in rolling a pair of d6s, it’s what you do that can mean the difference between a win, a loss, or devastation by the monster (two endgames – one player wins or no one wins).

  • do you get your entire team to their feet first?
  • get one to their feet and then into the shelter?
  • keep knocking your opponent down?
  • keep tossing them out of the shelter?
  • get your entire team in to block your opponent?
  • get a recon team in and out right away to get the monster to notice you, putting pressure on your opponent?
  • claim the manhole cover on the first 7 to really amp up the monster?
  • go for a quick win or save your entire team?
  • be a hero if you’re losing?
  • fling the manhole cover to reopen the shelter and maybe lose to the monster?
  • sacrifice yourself to keep the game going and possibly win?
  • decisions, decisions, decisions





I have a list of some reviewers who have expressed an interest for Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse and I will reach out to you by Saturday (I hope!).  =)

I’m hoping for two dozen interested and available reviewers on this short notice.

If you think this game fits you and your readers, contact me via Twitter with your review site URL.

Thank you! =)


part of the game play's decision tree
part of the game’s decision tree


Reviewer Update

It’s easy for me to miss someone, here’s a list of who I have addresses for as of July 19th:

  • Kurt A.
  • Matt B.
  • Tiffany B.
  • Mike B.
  • Jacob C.
  • Maurice F.
  • Michael F.
  • Erin H.
  • The Hatc…
  • T.R. K.
  • Roger L.
  • Timothy M.
  • Amy P.
  • Reuben Q.
  • Christoper R.
  • Francois S.
  • Tess VB.
  • Page W.
  • Curt W.
  • Diversions Crew

If I’m supposed to have you here, bonk me on the head and send me a Tweet.


Deadlock endgame in Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse

posted in: dice, games, mini apocalypse | 0

A Mexican Standoff is a cinema cliche.

I prefer the term deadlock with a definition of

a situation in which two competing actions are each waiting for the other to finish

It’s an exciting point in a movie and hopefully exciting in Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse. It can be the actual endgame or the penultimate endgame (lol, I love that word!). =D

I didn’t map this out and I’m not that clever; I let the numbers do the work and get out of the way (by being careful that rules don’t constrict these interactions).

It’s like the ancient pyramids.

In 1859, John Taylor wrote that ancient Egyptians understood the mathematical concept of Pi and the proportions of the great pyramid represented the radius and circumference of Earth. The latter being a phenomenal accomplishment since ancient people were supposedly clueless about the size of Earth.

Perhaps ancient Egyptians understood Pi very well, but Taylor’s “discovery” was due to something simpler.

Measuring tools used to build the great pyramids included wheeled instruments. They would mark out X revolutions for various measurements. The nature of using full revolutions automatically means everything is related to a circle and thus to Pi.

I apologise to big math brains out there (looks at Tessa) but the point I’m trying to make is that what I call “natural systems” have automatic interactions that you don’t have to plan out.

That’s the case with this deadlock in Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse.

In this pic, the fallout shelter has 6 inside so only one more can go in. Both players have sacrificed a meeple onto the monster’s die to keep the game going (this cancels snake eyes which would have the monster win), and both have 1 standing outside. Another snakes eyes has been rolled and blue calls it out – Snake Eyes!

  • If neither sacrifices another meeple, the monster wins and each player gets 0 points.
  • If yellow sacrifices a meeple and blue rolls a 7 to get its last meeple in, and rolls another 7 to close the lid (you need 4 in to close the lid), blue wins with 3 points and yellow gets 1 point for being selfless.
  • If yellow sacrifices a meeple and either player rolls snake eyes (both keep rolling till the end) before blue closes the lid, then the monster wins and we each get 0.

The deadlock boils down to taking an action for possibly 1 point or taking no action for 0 points (and the ethical issue of humankind’s survival!).

Why would you ever care about earning 1 point if it means your opponent earns 3? If you’re keeping score in a journal for a badge (bragging rights) or playing in a tournament.

You can view the game as being luck-based (and it is) but you can also view your 7s as “luck-based” resources. You’ll roll 7s 16% of the time and you both have the same odds – the luck is balanced – it comes down to planning.

What you do with those 7s.

Kate uses an overarching strategy that helps dictate what she does with her 7s. I tend to be “spontaneous” and all over the place (read: spaz). She wins more often but my games always feel different to me (lots of “dang, should have done this, not that” moments).

Note: in this pic, I decided to “use” the manhole cover to knock down the monster rather than risk Kate claiming it as a second chance to open the shelter (but that “consumed” two of my 7s).


Fostering an “open” game culture

posted in: games, mini apocalypse | 0

Hmm, that title is funky and what I’m trying to accomplish is having Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse be a bit of an “open” game system.

By open I mean that its play can be modified by gamers and that its components can be used in different ways.

One of the ultimate open game systems in the world is a deck of cards. There are thousands of games possible with a deck or a subset of a deck.

Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse will never be that versatile but it would be nice if gamers felt they could make their own variants with its game components:

  • 5 blue meeples
  • 5 yellow meeples
  • 1 green monster meeple
  • 2 blue d6s
  • 2 yellow d6s
  • 1 green d6
  • 1 fallout shelter

Expansion components:

  • 1 game mat
  • 1 manhole cover (maybe 2 depending on your feedback)

This “open” perspective started with this week’s shift of the “deluxe” Kickstarter reward game mat going from a themed dice rolling mat to being a true game component.

The game mat was simply a top view of Meepleton, the game’s setting. But with a slight modification, the mat can turn into “zones”. At first I thought about numbering these, but that constrains what you can do or at least tends to create a linear path (1 to 2 to 3, etc).

If these are zones are named buildings and access points to the sewer, does that make the game more open?

For example, in the original incarnation a simple T intersection divided the mat into my side and your side. We place our meeples down and roll the dice like mad.

With a zoned mat, would people do things like:

  • one of my players is in the Bob’s Burritos and two are in Mary’s Smoke shop
  • one of yours is in Cat’s cafe and two are in the Cinema Magic
  • rescue your team and get them to the shelter, grab the manhole cover and use the sewer to bypass the school and get directly into the fallout shelter

It’s not a huge departure from normal play but it would be your own variation. The more conditions you place – like getting more meeples out of zones, placing the supplies in a zone (rather than just in the street from a crashed truck), getting the manhole (which takes time but possibly provides an advantage) – the more likely it is that the monster will win.

You could also do things like place the monster in the sewer and require it to bust through the manhole cover . . .

I know it’s hard to envision (lol, it is for me) but this is kind of what I mean by open.

Please share your thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, it would be great to have a community driven expansion to the base game.  =)

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Thanks and have an awesome weekend!

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