Diary #21 – I Am the Miniature

poseidonmini

UPDATE: scroll down for a picture of the real Mini-Me

Today the team at Inside the Box Board Games were offering an unusual service: an infrared scan of a whole person standing on a turntable, which would then be used to create a miniature. That’s right, visitors can now literally reproduce themselves in board game component form, for a very modest fee. As if I didn’t have enough of a God complex already, what with the fancy dress. Long after I hang up my trident, the miniature me will continue to look imposing in board and roleplaying games.

Miniatures Games are an entire genre of their own: above is the Poseidon piece from Mythic Battles: Pantheon, sculpted by Amaud Boudbiron (to clarify: this is NOT what I look like). In that game, Poseidon moves around the board and executes one of two combat abilities as described on his associated card. You may be wondering why a game needs such a beautiful, complex model when a simple pawn would suffice, and you’re not alone. Nevertheless, if done right, miniatures games provide engrossing experiences and fly off the shelves.

After my scan I tried hard to gain interest from passers by during the heaviest traffic of the Expo, with limited success (even with my sneaky take over of some empty space adjacent to my stand). The problem is apparent: as soon as I mention to those precious interested groups that the game plays in 90 minutes, I lose them. All this time I’ve spent doing clever things when I should have been following advise from way back: creating an easy demo of the game. I’ve been toying for a while with making a very small board specifically for two players which would, I expect, play in one hour: I should have trusted my instincts and finished it. Well we know for the future: this is why we try stuff like exhibiting, right?

I had a quick catch up with the team from Playtest UK and other old friends, some from very unexpected places. In the evening Sarah and I were joined by James, another Birmingham Game Designer, to playtest the game’s expansion, which raised some very interesting questions. I just managed to prevent a three-way tie and claim victory, though Sarah’s calling of my bluff left me in dire straights for most of the game.

I should be asleep.

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