I am fascinated with print and play board and card games and recently in small games I have the capacity to create. That is how I stumbled onto the Mint Tin Design Contests through Board Game Geek. This year is the third annual context where designers are challenged to create a game where all the components fit inside a mint tin (think Altoids). The amount of creativity I have seen from the first two contests is amazing! Quite frankly, with the limited constraints, I am in awe at the designs that these folks come up with! I know there are folks out there that only want to play big games, published by ‘real’ publishers, with ‘quality’ components. But I think that is all subjective and somewhat steeped in privilege. There is something cool about making a mint tin game and I am happy to have it in my collection and I WILL be bringing it out to share with folks to play.
This year (albeit late in the game) I decided to get more involved in the community, printing out contest entries to give them some playtests, give some feedback, and of course, vote once the submissions are contest ready. One game in particular I took an interest to was Microbrew – a pretty thinky worker placement game all about brewing beer and winning loyal customers. I had a great time playing this game in prototype form and I am excited to play it now that it is tweaked and contest ready!
I also think about how privilege plays a part of these contests and who has the time and the resources to design in their spare time. Unfortunately, we already know that board gaming and hobbies in general are for the more privileged. Design also falls into this category. While I love the idea of print and play creations and these design contests, I also wonder how it can be more accessible to designers who may not have the resources to participate.
I have since printed out more contest entries and will be playing them before I vote – I would encourage you to check out all the work these designers have put in to this contest and maybe print out a couple of them to try.
Check out the contest here: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1834478/2017-mint-tin-design-contest