Mint Tin Challenge Results

#116 – Mint Tin Challenge Results

If you've been listening to my show you probably heard about my game Mintsugi. 

I entered Mintsugi into the Mint Tin Challenge on The Game Crafter

  • The deadline was October 28 2019
  • And the results are finally in!
  • There were 183 entries into the contest
  • And Mintsugi got 3rd place which I’m pretty pumped about!

First I want to talk about the detailed results and feedback from the contest.

Then I want to talk about what I want to want to do with Mintsugi moving forward

Contest results

Let me start with what the judges said about Mintsugi. I am going to omit one line just because it gets really technical about the game and it doesn’t make sense out of context. You can find the judges remarks on The Game Crafter blog and I’ll try to link to it in the show notes.

Here’s what they said

Mintsugi was unanimously decided as the most artistically appealing of all the finalists. We felt like such care was taken to present the theme which significantly added to the gameplay experience. At first glance the mechanics seemed simple, but as we all started playing there was so much hidden strategy present. The game flowed smoothly from start to finish and each of us took a different starting strategy, with the only confusion being how certain patterns matched. We didn’t know if it was just color or color and pattern.

[During our first game Chris went for cups and saucers, Nick went with plates, Tim went with Jugs and Steve went with vases. We each tried to mix up our strategies as we continued to play, and scoring continued to be pretty close each time we played.]

We all thoroughly enjoyed our time with Mintsugi, however it did lack some of the depth that Starforge and Tinny Towns presented. This was the driving factor behind it’s placing.

Mintsugi is a solid, publishable game but it just didn’t have quite the umph to place higher than third among the finalists. Also, we felt that although the ingots were a nice touch, the components weren’t as incorporated into the theme as the components of Starforge and Tinny Towns. Regardless, the game has enough to it for great replayability and is just downright nice to look at

I spent months on the graphic design so it’s nice to know someone noticed

You can look through my Twitter history or look up #Mintsugi on Twitter and you’ll see a ton of back and forth just on the background color. 

Moving Mintsugi Forward

First things first I plan to change the name to Kintsugi

  • I originally way back before the contest called the game Kintsugi
  • Then I heard there was a game by Buttonshy with the same name. And I spent a lot of energy thinking about should I rename my game or live with the same name?
  • Eventually I thought Mintsugi was clever since it fit in a mint tin. And that pushed me over the edge and I renamed my game.
  • But after explaining the game to dozens of people maybe 5% of players are already familiar with Kintsugi so I have to explain the pun to them. And puns like jokes aren’t good if you have to explain them.
  • So I think I’m going to change the name back to Kintsugi.

Keep the game more or less the same

  • I’ve played this game numerous times and people say it’s really tight.
  • If you’re not chatting too much you can finish a 4 player game in 8 minutes.
  • So one of the few changes I’m considering right now is building a round structure into the game similar to Sushi Go where you have to tally points between rounds.
  • And maybe there’s some abilities or resources that span across rounds.
  • But this is hard!
  • I have a publisher who reached out to me about the game and I don’t know what I should do. They have really good suggestions on adding X or Y to the game.

They are really good ideas but I think they’ll make Kintsugi a fundamentally different game.

So I’m debating what I should do. I really like the game as is with some minor changes.

Find a publisher

This is something I didn’t do that well in previous years

At conventions I have 2-3 publisher pitches setup and from talking to guests on this show they might have 8 pitches or 12 or maybe even 20 over a con weekend. Now I don’t want to do that many. But I think I can do a lot better than 2-3 pitches.

And I’m going to submit to a lot of publishers ahead of time via their website which I think I’ve only done once so far.

So this is my main board game related goal this year.

That’s all! I hope you learned something about how I make games and how you can make your games and hopefully do well in a contest.

I’ll have a normal episode for you next week!
Happy designing!

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