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GameCon (Post 5) - Micro Strategy Games

If you've checked out my other blogposts about GameCon, you know the premise is players are attendees at a gaming convention, visiting publisher booths, and playing short micro-games that take anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes to play.

There are 3 genres of micro-games, each with unique setup and rules: Dexterity, Party/Social Deduction, and Strategy.

The Dexterity and Party/Social Deduction games have been relatively (keyword) simple to design and develop, at least compared to the strategy games.

So how do you design a short mini-game that has a high level of strategy? By short, I mean plays in 3 minutes or less.

Also, the game has common components used among all the mini-games. Right now the mini-game components are:

  • Meeples
  • Dice
  • Cards
  • 30 and 60 Second Timers

Here's one strategy mini-game:

Players: Cooperative 2-Player
Setup: Place six Dice in the table center, numbered 1 through 6
Rule:
-Start the 30 Second Timer. Players cannot talk until time is out.
-Players alternate choosing 1 Die and doing 1 of the following actions:
-Reroll it
-Flipping it to the opposite site
-Add/Subtract 1 from it
-Players may not pick the same Action as the previous Action performed.
Winning: If all Dice have the same number before time is out, both players win 4 Experience.

Players: Competitive 2-Player
Setup: Place 15 Face-Down Cards in a 4x4 grid on the table center.
Rule:
-Starting with you, players alternate rolling a Die and placing it on an empty card.
Winning: Once all cards have a Die, the player whose Dice have the highest total among any given row or column win 2 Experience + Draw 1 Merch.

Designing short strategy games has been a tremendous challenge, especially ones that take 3 minutes or less. (Mostly because the strategy behind a game generally comes from long term planning.)

Do you all have any thoughts or input on the two strategy mini-games above?
What suggests do you have on how to create strategic micro-games?

Thank you for reading!

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blog | by Dr. Radut