127 – Peter McPherson, Tiny Towns – The Family Gamers Podcast

Tiny Towns game

We’re joined today by Peter McPherson, the creator of Tiny Towns, coming soon from AEG. Tiny Towns was Andrew’s favorite game from PAX Unplugged.

Tiny Towns is definitely family-friendly and easy for kids to understand. We can’t wait for our kids to try it!

Tell us about Tiny Towns

Each player is the mayor of a tiny town, represented by a 4×4 grid to create your forest critter village. There are 7 building types available, different each game. Lay out resources in a specific shape/layout to match a building type; when you’ve matched it, place the building on any one of the spots occupied by the matching resources and discard all the resources used to make the building.

Only one building or resource is allowed on each space. When the boards totally fill up with resources and buildings, the game ends. Each building scores in its own way.

Each round has a master builder. The master builder picks one of the 5 resource types, everyone must put the same on their board, whether they want it or not.

It’s a game of careful planning and resource management. Don’t back yourself into a corner!

When will Tiny Towns be available?

Tiny Towns will be released April 26 from AEG. Look for it in your friendly local game store for $39.99!

What was your inspiration for Tiny Towns?

A couple of ideas came together to make the foundation for the game.

Peter used to play a word game with his father. Draw an empty 5×5 grid; everyone takes turns picking a letter that all players must add to their own grid, make as many words as possible. Peter wanted to take that tension and translate it into a building game instead.

The resource management is inspired by Minecraft. There are only a few basic resources, but can be arranged to make hundreds of different items.

It also comes out of a love of games that allow you to build something that you can admire in endgame. Peter wants that same feeling of accomplishment in Tiny Towns.

Is this your first game to be published?

Yes! It’s been surreal. He saw the “final” (pre-production) version for the first time at PAXU 2018 after pitching it at PAX a year ago.

Can you tell us about other games you’re working on?

Artistes (formerly Dreadful Drawings) – draw so some but not all players can guess successfully (Dixit style scoring). Other players want to guess in a way that is “popular”, not necessarily correct.

Petal Pushers – Run a flower shop, build an engine that pollinates all players’ flowers. Sell bouquets and single stems and try to run the most profitable shop.

What’s next for Tiny Towns?

Release and see how it goes! Peter is also working on some expansion ideas, co-designing with Josh Woods. He also helped double the number of buildings in the base game.

At PAX Unplugged…

Andrew mentions the competition that occurred at PAX Unplugged – whoever got the highest score over the course of the three days got a Home Depot gift card.

Where can people find you, Peter?

Twitter: @peterLMcPherson

One last question: Who’s your favorite author?

Currently Brandon Sanderson. Love fantasy, and his Stormlight Archives series is fun, colorful, and adventurous.

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