Playing The Quiet Year in One (1) Hour

You should play The Quiet Year! If, at all possible though, you should not play The Quiet Year in only 1 hour.

I was running this as part of an event and only had one hour so the constraints forced my hand somewhat.

Here’s how I approached it:

  • Each turn encompassed 3 weeks instead of 1. This is where the game suffers the most because projects start less frequently and end more quickly.
  • Cut down each season drastically. 3 cards for Spring, 4 for Summer (make sure to remove the King of Diamonds), 4 for Autumn, and 4 plus the King of Spades for Winter. Put the King of Spades at the bottom of the deck. Draw all but the King of Spades randomly.
  • Keep an eye on the time. If it’s looking like you’ll go long you should remove one of the cards from winter.
  • Your goal is actually to hit around 55 minutes for the game so you have 5 minutes to decompress and make up an epilogue. This is extremely important because everyone will have questions.

A few other items of note. I started the setup for the game by telling folks that the following:

I do not know if this game is fun. It is fascinating though. Keep in mind that we are collectively role playing a community and as such you will sometimes be frustrated with the direction things are taking. There is no win or lose state either, we see what happens and then the Frost Shepherds come.

Saying that the game might not be fun has a weird effect of making the game quite a bit more fun since everyone can just relax and see what happens.

Thanks to Sam and Brendan for helping out with a playtest of this compressed version of the game!

Games for 2018

Donut County

This is my clear game of the year. My wife and I both tore through it and then our toddler got surprisingly into it. For a few months she would ask to “play the donut county one?!” and was able to complete a few of the leves herself (“snake” and “rabbit”).

Horizon Zero Dawn

In our household this became known as the robot dinosaurs game. I put this down at some point in 2018 and wish I hadn’t. I no longer remember where I was or what I was doing; however, while playing it I was enjoying it quite a bit. Super fun stealth combat and a beautiful world to run around in.

Dark Souls Remastered

I am a sucker for Dark Souls and really enjoyed replaying this on more modern hardware than the Xbox 360. They added nothing to the game other than making it look prettier and run at 60fps, which is honestly fine by me. Praise the sun!


Take a saturday afternoon and play this in one sitting. It’ll take you 3ish hours and it’s very worthwhile. It’s an extremely inventive puzzle game with gorgeous art made–somehow!–by one person. It’s stuck with me even though I played it very early in 2018.

Destiny 2

I played a few hours a day of Destiny 2 for about a month straight when it was a free game on ps+. On paper this is a game I shouldn’t like at all, but turns out that Halo-like first person shooter mixed with diablo-style loot grinding is very fun.

I was surprised how little the game asked me to spend money up until I needed to buy expansions to do more story stuff. And this is where it went off the rails for me. I bought Curse of Osiris because it went on sale. It wasn’t good, which I’ve since learned was a near-universal opinion. Then about a week after buying it they started including all the expansions in a bundle and it felt like I was being penalized for buying expansions at the wrong time. it was enough annoyance to kill my momentum and I stopped playing. That said, monetization issues aside, it’s an amazing game that also happens to be not super compatiable with my dad-of-a-toddler lifestyle.

Parasite Eve

Parasite Eve still rules and Aya Breya is still great! It’s painfully 90s and really does deserve a remaster. Square put out just a shocking amount of good games between 1997-1999: List of Square Games