Episode 54: Miniature Ideas and Sandy Boxes

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Intro and Welcome:

Jason is now just like Clark Kent and Superman

Whatcha been playing?:

Jason has been playing: Sandbox Showdown

Rob has been playing: Ticket to Ride: Europe


“Mechanic” of the Week:


Other Games we mentioned:

Four Taverns

Settlers of Catan

Practicing the Pitch:

Jason pitches Sandbox Showdown.


Episode 54: Miniature Ideas and Sandy Boxes — 3 Comments

  1. Just listened to this episode (running a few weeks behind). First let me say that I really love your show. About two months ago I started planning my own podcast/blog on game design and started hunting around for others who might already be doing the same thing and that’s when I stumbled across your podcast. I subscribed and immediately listed to all the back episodes available in ITunes (I’d listen to the older ones too if you made them available there – not sure why but ITunes only has your last 10 episodes).

    While I liked the mechanic discussion on miniatures, I think part of your difficulty in coming up with ideas is that in my opinion miniatures aren’t really a game mechanic – they are a component. While you last idea of matching up minis to see who hits and who misses is a good one it’s not really a “minis” mechanic. Sure it can be done with minis but it can also be done with cards (I think Decipher’s Fight Klub TCG had a similar mechanic). Certain mechanics can be implemented better with certain components (and this mechanic seems like a good fit for minis) but I think the two concepts are separate.

    I enjoyed the Sandbox Showdown pitch but couldn’t visualize how it would all come together to make a good game until I listened to the follow-up playtest. Wow! I think you’ve got a hit on your hands. I like the expandable angle and the ability to give each deck it’s own theme. The gameplay seems fun while presenting the player with a series of interesting decisions. Jason, if you’ve got a few minutes free I’d love to interview you about this game on my blog or podcast – let me know. I would of course love an interview with Rob as well – you both have so many great ideas.


    • Roger,

      Thanks for the comment! I would love to talk to you about Sandbox Showdown. Can you email the info to Building the game podcast @ gmail . com ? Thanks!

  2. Normally I skip commenting old episodes because it feels kind of weird looking on its date. But this time I have to. 🙂

    In case you don’t remember each fact from that show almost two years ago – there was a discussion about if you could miniatures for something else than marking the point of something.

    Well, first of all what is a miniature? In the end it’s a three dimensional object. So in theory it can do everything, that other three dimensional objects could do for you in a board game, right?
    That brought me to the idea of dice. A die is a three dimensional object too. And in fact, there is a game out there, where you roll miniatures. It’s called “Pass the Pigs”, you can look it up on wikipedia. I’m not saying it’s a good game (in fact I think it’s kind of stupid), but I had to think of this one, while listening to the show.

    I think the big problem with miniatures and mechanics, comparing them to cards, is the lack of information a miniature can give you. You mentioned Heroclix, but then, the infoamtion you have on that is very limited.
    In general, a miniature has a mechanic connected to it, but the information of that mechanic has to be known by the player, which makes miniatures a little bit more complicated to learn, maybe.

    On the other hand, I thought of a miniature biulding game, where those rules are very basic. Maybe a game with magnetic miniatures that you can attach stuff to. Could be a monster game.
    You have a body and you can attach arms, legs, heads, eyes and/or maybe even tails and tentacles to it. For each arm the monster has it gets +1 dexteritx or strenght, for each leg +1 speed and so on. So you can have a bunch of different miniatures, but it’s up to you how you design them in the course of the game. And it’s very simple ruleswise.
    Of course you could have the same game with finished miniatures and just let the players counting their tentacles and eyes…

    Just a quick thought I wanted to share with you. Going on listening now. 😉

    P.S.: Sandbox Showdown sounds great.