Design Exercise: Microgame

Oakleaf Games

I like microgames, and I think they’re an important part of the hobby. What I learned in defining microgame is that it isn’t simply a number, it is more of a design philosophy. At the root, designing a microgame requires you to deeply analyze the mechanics of a game, to understand what parts are essential to the gameplay, and what parts are there simply to round out the experience.

One of the ways that the microgame philosophy can be useful is by applying it to other games, whether existing games, or designs you are working on.  Turning a game into a microgame can be a fun mental exercise, but it can also be a valuable tool to learn more and practice game design. Here are some of the benefits.

A microgame lets you focus on a limited aspect of a game. You don’t need to consider 50 different things at once; you can pick specific behaviors or…

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