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Economics of microgames

I took Shape Up! to the Playtest meeting again last weekend, and got lots of very positive feedback (some on BGG…)

This is the point where for a 'normal' game (like Fishy Business) I would be thinking about trying to get it published.  However being a microgame, I'm not sure that is really practical. I don't think established games publishers are going to be interested, because basically it's impossible to make any money out of publishing and selling such a small and cheap thing. This article by Michael Mindes, who knows a thing or two about making money from games and otherwise, explains the problems.

(There is of course the option of self-publishing, but really I'm too busy to take on all the work required in sorting out manufacture, finding distribution, marketing and selling.)

T suggested coming up with two further microgames each using 18 cards, so they could all be printed and packed together as a set ina  conventional pack-of-cards-sized box. That is quite appealing as a designer (particualrly as Shape Up! only took three months from initial conception to reach this point) but I'm still not sure a publisher would really be keen.

So I guess I might end up just giving it away as a print-and-play PDF. Which would still be very cool if lots of people did so, but it does seem a bit of a shame when the properly-printed cards are so nice to look at and handle.

Anyway, this is all very much first-world problems; the main thing is that people have been playing Shape Up! and liking it! Which makes me very happy.



27th Apr, 2013 07:43 (UTC)
Plus the potentially irritating aspect that I'm hopeless at the game myself, so for the AI to be any good I'd have to use a learning algorithm or something...
27th Apr, 2013 10:55 (UTC)
Oh, but those are really fun to write! :-D

If you do ever find yourself doing stuff like that, feel free to email me for tips and/or assistance.
29th Apr, 2013 10:54 (UTC)
Thanks! I will at some stage, although probably not for this particular game.