Here’s a question close to our hearts: what’s cool about running a small business?
For us It’s earning people’s loyalty. We think that’s the same whether you’re publishing board games or running a Microbrewery, so we built that into the victory conditions for Microbrew. The winner of Microbrew is the player with the most loyal customers at the end of the game.
You can get loyal customer in one of two ways: If you serve a Customer their perfect beer - they become loyal to you. Alternatively, you can advertise to them - but be careful, the more famous you become, the more expensive your advertising becomes.
I’ve talked about this before in older design notes, but we like games where there’s something more than just “total up your victory points at the end of the game”. It doesn’t have to be much - sometimes even a simple thing like “cash” instead of victory points is enough if the theme is strong enough (hello, Lords of Vegas!).
As mentioned above we wanted Microbrew to reflect the rewarding personal relationships that build up running a small business. So each of our “victory points” has a face and a personality. Each of our victory points has specific needs that you have to cater for before you can win them - and then they’re there - in your “tableau” in front of you, *on your team*.
There are some great games out there where you can have a lovely time while collecting victory points - I love a game of Oceanus. We could have taken the safe route and built Microbrew around just collecting cash but it seems to us that, given that we humans are wired to want to anthropomorphize at the drop of a hat, you can make your game more engaging by feeding that need.