Balancing components with game play time

Can a light and casual game playable in 10 minutes have some “extra” components?

Our mint tin game has to be social – you have to be able to carry on a conversation in an environment that could have distractions (like family cooking at home or ordering burritos at lunch). *yum!* =p

To keep it around the 10 minute mark and easy to keep track of what’s going on, I’ve resisted having too many components (unlike my overly complex Zombalamba that will be years in the making!). =D

Driven by the pirate theme, I wanted a tad more complexity, something more than tokens (pirates), cards (attacks), and dice (randomness for attacks).

But not at the expense of adding time or adding something difficult to keep track of.

I added a pirate ghost to address the possibility of a “runaway leader” like a Eurogame might do. To help offset the time the ghost adds, you play with 3 cards instead of the normal 5.

A pirate ghost might be wicked cool, but probably not as robust as non-ghost pirates. =)

The game also needed something for rolling doubles, since those are somewhat rare, and snake eyes certainly has to be part of any pirate game using dice!

A quick shout out via Twitter to my fave game reviewer Erin from The Geeky Gimp was all it took to add gold!  =)

She suggested looking at the game budget and I found MeeepleSource cubes at 6 cents each, so adding one cube is possible (darn, it’s not real gold! maybe a Kickstarter stretch goal? a centimeter cube of gold would be about $800 – hmm, from a $12 game to $1200!).  o_O

A roll of doubles claims the gold and gives that player an extra card.

The extra card means more chances to attack which then speeds up the game just enough to negate the added time of the Pirate Ghost!

Funny how stuff kind of works out.  Thanks Erin! =)

2014-05-23 09.10
The yellow cylinder will be replaced by a “gold” cube – oh noes! the Pirate Ghost is going for the gold!