Hatching Dragons - Mint Tin Challenge

I have been looking into game design competitions lately. I see it as a good way to focus my creativity. Sometimes have specific restraints on a design can help you come up with new ways to make a game work.

My first ever entry into a competition was one held by Button Shy Games. The challenge was to come up with a game that contained 18 identical cards. Whilst this is quite a severe restriction, I was rather pleased that I managed to come up with a fun game idea. I playtested with a couple of different groups, and it was quite well received. I made a rather amateur looking video and sent it in. I had no expectations for success, and after seeing some of the other entries that made it into the top 20, my expectations were proven accurate. However it was a great experience and really helped look at my own designs with a more critical eye.

I then came across the Mint Tin Challenge on The Game Crafter. This is a great site where you can upload your game designs in component form, and they will make and sell your game in single order quantities. The competition was to make a game that will fit into a "Mint Tin". This is a metal container that can fit about a deck of cards, or a few less cards but with a few dice or tokens.

However, when I saw the competition, there were only 8 days left until it closed.

So I had a crack at an idea, made a quick prototype, and tried playing it with my kid... and it did not work. It wasn't very original, and there were enough problems with the mechanics that it was far from a working game. So I thought I'd let this competition go and keep an eye out for the next one.

Then, later in the week, I was struck with inspiration.

Again I made a quick prototype, played 1 game with my daughter, and it worked really well. She loved it. So, now I had a good idea, but there were only 4 days left!

I had already thought about using The Game Crafter, so I may as well have a go at getting this game up there. Even if I missed the deadline, I'd still have my very first 'published' game.

I used some stock images that I had purchased a few weeks earlier, and threw together the card designs. Multideck has been really useful in this task. I wrote the rules (which is a difficult challenge in itself) and put everything into The Game Crafter.

48 hours later, Hatching Dragons is now live and available for purchase.

It is really satisfying to have my first game officially available to the public. I can't wait to see what happens next.


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