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!