Tiny Islands (2019)
**** Hold the spacebar or the mouse button to speed up the scoring phase! ****
Tiny Islands is a digital roll-&-write game that uses cards instead of dice for generating the random items you get to draw.
Turn the cards over and pick what and where you want to draw the items to create your own islands.
Mouse over the images on the cards to get a reminder of how each feature works.
Share a picture of your tiny islands along with your score with #MyTinyIslands and compare with other players.
Coverage and Mentions of Tiny Islands:
Warp Door: http://warpdoor.com/2019/11/11/tiny-islands/
Welcome Collection: How to Play in Secret: https://wellcomecollection.org/articles/XeEGrREAACEAte8K
Unwinnable Present: Unmissable: http://unmissable.libsyn.com/unmissable-17
Design 100: https://design100.org/48-2019-highlights-part-2/
Game Design Variety Hour #2: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/789792945
Events showing Tiny Islands
Goldsmith's Games Library Night - 21 Feb 2020 https://www.gold.ac.uk/calendar/?id=13196
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Have you thought about porting this to mobile?
I literally just wanted to ask that. But this game is 1 year old so...
I'm slowly reworking the game to upgrade it a bit, not sure how long it's going to take but I'm hoping to get it out there in different formats.
#MyTinyIslands Not much but it's honest work.
Holy Heck 28 point for mountains! I somehow got this without even trying for a big tree and mountain thing. Plus I did it with a church that does nothing! This game is so satisfying.
For some reason all of my best scores have the 1 square island lol
I just played this for the first time and really enjoyed it. However, I lost 25 points and I have no idea why. :)
I figured out the scoring and didn't lose any points on my second try. This is a great game and very addicting! Thanks for sharing.
My personal best
I really Love this game! honestly one of the best games I found here. Here's my best score on a random.
Man, what a cool game.
I love this game so much! A friend asked me what a roll-and-write is and why they were fun and my response was "Here, play this game called Tiny Islands". It's clever and satisfying, and it even makes cute little maps at the end! It's surprisingly deep, too-- I was amazed when I realized the amount of thought I could put into just one choice, and it always feels good when you shape your island thinking about beach or boat placements and it pays off!
I'll echo some of the sentiments below: I'd buy this on the Android store, and I'd love the ability to seed the run. Often what happens is I show somebody the game, we both play the daily, and they're like "That was fun, can we play again?", and it'd be cool to be able to play on the same seed as my friend.
Great game. Simple and yet solid.
II really like this game! Super chill.
Though I would also like a setting to be dealt more cards? Maybe a toggle for number of cards dealt? I find that the game ends before I get to suffer for my choices early game.
Fantastic game, been playing it quite a lot over the past week + and still am not tired of it.
Really appreciate the balance on the pieces and the scoring interaction means most high scoring boards generally strike a good balance of the 6 pieces which makes the game thematically satisfying no matter how long you play it.
The RNG nature of the game is surprisingly manageable given what you'd think on first look. There's numerous optimizations and tricks to build better boards and score well. Most of the really noticeable variance is in just a few cards that are more finicky: forests & mountain adjacency (any forests not adjacent to mountains are a big drain on points) and waves only having one way to contribute more than 2 points (house adjacency).
A bit beyond the scope of this great game, but one thing that can be really satisfying for games like this is a score mode that averages multiple runs together. It can give a little something more to work towards that doesn't rely quite so much on hitting great draws eventually.
Fantastic game. Am I correct in my belief that there is a 26/27 chance that you get dealt 5 chapels, and a 1/27 chance that you get dealt 4 chapels?
There's 5 church cards in the deck, 54 cards in the deck. As two of the cards start face down, it's possible you'll see 3, 4 or 5 of them during play. I haven't worked out the odds for each of these events occurring.
Gotta say, that I really like this game! Nice and "laidback", good for getting my thoughts out of other things, when I get to focus on this for a few rounds.
I've read the comments below a bit. And (sorry if I spam here a little) I don't agree that boats are the weakest pieces. They are mostly a great alternative pick for me. Also, in my opinion waves are the weakest. They are rather difficult to handle and they are always set to 2 points only (which is why I like to set them next to islands for house bonuses)
I think there should be an option wether I want to make a third island or not. Because most of my games are made with 2 filled islands and a third 1x1 small empty island or I use the third island to cover a forced misplacement. And the only effect that a forced third island has is an unlikely scenario in which this third island takes away like maximum 2 points of boats. (again, this was my experience)
Other than that I totally like this game! Im playing it daily now haha.. I tried it once and it got me immediatly.
Thanks for your feedback, I'll give it some thought.
I even managed to make it impossible to complete the game. ( though it was definitly my fault).
In this instance you could still draw an islands inside an island to make a lake, something that's not explained in the rules. It is however possible to make it hang in a manner similar to this.
loving this. the perfect little game. i'd like the ability to enter seeds manually so that me+friends can compete on the same shuffles, and i'd buy this for 5$+ if you released it for android.
thank you for making this amazing game.
Having a lot of fun with this. Would like to compete blindly in the daily shuffle against friends in different time zones. Can you explain at what time it changes?
It will match their computers clock, so as long as you play on the same 'date' in your respective timezone you should be able to compare your scores.
Never seen anything like this game!
What's considered a good score? I got 52.
The scores that I usually see are between 40 and 60, however some to go up to 80ish. You can look at other scores here: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23mytinyislands&src=recent_search_click&f=live
Very nice little game!
at first i playd thinking i was drawing out the water
This is a really neat concept. If there was sound and music, it would be superb.
LOVE THIS! I got my boyfriend to start playing too and now we can't stop competing with the daily shuffle.
I'm so amazed at the design of this game!
And on-boarding was so easy too!
And the polish! Damn! I love the little details like the animations in each pixel piece, the fact that the end-game colorizes land vs. sea things differently to help you, and the accessibility of the help function plus the tool-tips.
Gwah. Having just developed a mobile game myself and struggled so much with affordances & on-boarding, it's amazing to see this game pulls it off so easily.
Really clean use of procedural generation too! The daily shuffle is amazing, it introduces a competitive edge by keeping randomness constant.
Dude. I could go on forever about how much I love the play and the design of this game >_>
It took me one play through to figure out how islands worked, but I think thats okay. A single play through is fast so I don't feel punished. One thing i kept forgetting is "Near" vs "Far", but the "?" let me keep tabbing back to it. I tend to avoid boats, not sure if its because I haven't found a way to utilize them well. It seems hard to use since islands (combined with churches and houses) have so much more potential and versatility.
But gwad damn i love this.z
I'd love to volunteer to do art for this game if you're interested <3
This is super entertaining and charming!
I'll echo the commentary that the boats are the weakest pieces for now. Because their region is randomized, they inevitably end up too close to an island to be worth anything. I think they could really benefit from a point boost for being near waves, or a scaling score system like the person below suggested. Everything else is great!
Another comment, now that I've spent an afternoon enthralled: beaches seem *insanely* profitable right now, and I feel like they should be tweaked. It's very easy to get a safe three points per beach by drawing fiddly borders for your islands, and unlike most other high-value pieces (houses, mountains), their value doesn't rely on placing any other kind of piece, which makes them less interesting as something to plan your strategy around. While I like them conceptually, maybe giving them the wave restriction (no being near/sharing same row or column as another beach) would be good?
Love this game, I play it every day!
I'd like to throw out two possible scoring tweaks that might make the game even more interesting. The first is incremental scoring for boats. Right now, it never seems like there's a value play to be made with boats. Instead of 1 point per square, consider 1 point for one square, 3 points for two, 6 points for three, etc.
The other suggestion is to create some bonus for placing a wave next to a beach. I feel like it's aesthetically pleasing to put waves next to beaches, so maybe toss us an extra point when we do that?
Again, love this game!
I like the changes to Tree and Church scoring, even though it's thrown off my strategy (had moved towards Trees and Mountains as more valuable than most houses and churches). New scoring is a lot more fair, although my scores have definitely deflated while I adjust.
I can't explain how much I love this game. Every time I see an update for it, I go and play it again, and it's just so delightful and interesting that I never want to stop!
Do you have any plans for a printed/paper version of this game?
Please add a share picture button which will make a screenshot of your score and island. And then be able to download it or share on Twitter with the hashtag #MyTinyIslands. I love this game!!!!!!
This is an awesome game,
One recommendation for easy starting, don't put rules to read, give a quick optional intro game (like a tutorial, but less written instructions, more visual score calculation)
Maybe have a score tally going for the initial runthrough and then remove it for the main game,
Awesome stuff though, keep up the good work
**Also, I love that there is a daily shuffle that stays consistent, but keeps you coming back the next day,
Would love to see a community around this
I love this little game. The different game modes - daily and random - while using the exactly same rules, provide different experiences. In random, you have to constantly take into consideration whether placing certain locations will net you more points in the future (e.g. whether starting a new forest chain is a good idea or not). Daily always has the same cards inside, so you learn then and optimize the islands as much as possible, to score as high as you can.
However, the rules are not clear enough. For example, it's not specified that forests are only "touching" when adjacent orthogonally, which is contrary to what other locations, which only have to be "near" (i.e. adjacent orthogonally OR diagonally) something. Additionally, I've only learnt about creating "lakes" on islands through the comments. While it's often not the best way to score points, it would be nonetheless good to know that it's a possibility. Those are my biggest gripes with the game.
Next, about the game design itself:
- Boats - their placement is very restrictive - not only you have to sacrifice plenty of space for them to score good points, you also can't place them too close to each other. I seriously think they are the worst location in the game and I only place them when I absolutely have to. Offering 2 points per each square to nearest boat or island might sound bi at first, but take into account that you have to give them plenty of space to score big.
- Churches - love the idea of requiring them to be on separate islands, but for the most part I think they are just weaker mountains. Yes, if you get 4 towns next to them, you'll score more points than for 4 forests near a mountain, but the forests synergize with themselves - towns do not. I think a nice alternative for churches would be scoring 1 point for every adjacent town and 1 point for every town on the island instead, while keeping the restriction of 1 church per island.
- Beaches aren't the best thing in the game, but fill a nice niche of bridging land and sea. Maybe offering effect similar to churches would be good for them - 1 point for 1 adjacent land, 3 for 2, 5 for 3 and 8 for 4 (making "beach lakes" much worthwhile!).
- Towns are good as they are, usually worth 2 or 3 points. It's just that forests and mountains are a better combo than towns and churches.
- Waves - love this one. Simple guaranteed 2 points if you can fill their requirement plus a potential for 1 extra point for nearby towns.
- Forests & mountains - those two are the real moneymakers. Mountain near a forest = 2 points. Mountain near 2 chained forests = 7 points! And the bigger the chained forest is, the easier it is to place more forests and mountains near them! That is most likely the reason why forests have to be "touching" instead of "near" each other to get points. I still think that changing the forests to "near" and buffing points from other sources would be better for the game overall.
Anyway, that's just my 2 cents on the game design. It's still an amazing little game!
Thanks for the feedback, I like the suggestion for the Churches, will try it out.
No one else seems to have this problem, but... how do you finish drawing the island border?
I'm stuck in that mode, when trying to play for the first time, and I can't "finish" drawing the border (border drawing 1/3).
Ahhh! I see, you have to CLOSE the shape to finish that turn, and you can build multiple islands overall. This was not obvious from the help text provided in game. :)
My best Daily Shuffle, by far!