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Independent Games Summit; Expanding the "Miniverse": Designing Deep, Minimalist Games

Tana Tanoi  (Technical Designer, Dinosaur Polo Club)

Location: Room 2009, West Hall

Date: Tuesday, March 21

Time: 3:50 pm - 4:20 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass, Independent Games Summit Pass

Topic: Independent Games

Format: Lecture

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Intermediate

The indie hits Mini Metro and Mini Motorways form the first two games of Dinosaur Polo Club's "Miniverse", a collection of games that combine minimalism and abstraction with real-world inspired simulations. Players are introduced to very approachable mechanics, but with invested playtime, will slowly see the depth of the simulation.

The successful release of Mini Motorways has established a set of expectations for how a third game in the collection would play. In this talk, Tana Tanoi will explain how "Miniverse" titles are designed, how Dinosaur Polo Club uses a "Mechanic-first" approach to prototyping, and how prototyping a third game has taught them more about the "Miniverse" than creating the first two games.


Attendees will gain insight into how Dinosaur Polo Club designs the core of their games, how their company values influence the game's pillars, and an understanding of the specific challenges in creating successors and pushing the boundaries for unique minimalist games.

Intended Audience

This is for developers who are considering, or are in the process of developing, a successor to an existing game. It will also be relevant to those looking to design casual simulation games with accessible but deep mechanics.