For a long time, we were at war with The Jackals. But now, we’ve driven them off, and we have this – a year of relative peace. One quiet year, with which to build our community up and learn once again how to work together. Come Winter, the Frost Shepherds will arrive and we might not survive beyond that. But we don’t know about that yet. What we know is that right now, in this moment, there is an opportunity to build something.

A lone figure approaches an abandoned windmill

The Quiet Year is a map game. You define the struggles of a post-apocalyptic community, and attempt to build something good within their quiet year. Every decision and every action is set against a backdrop of dwindling time and rising concern.

The game is played using a deck of cards – each of the 52 cards corresponds to a week during the quiet year. Each card triggers certain events – bringing bad news, good omens, project delays and sudden changes in luck. At the end of the quiet year, the Frost Shepherds will come, ending the game.

a game by Avery Alder
with endless support and vision from Jackson Tegu
and art by Ariel Norris
(header photo taken from Shut Up & Sit Down review.)

“This game where you describe a small community made a small community out of us.”
-Gita Jackson, Kotaku

Awarded “Most Innovative Game of 2013”. Reviewed by Gita Jackson on Kotaku, Leigh Alexander and the crew of Shut Up & Sit Down, and Adam Dixon on Kill Screen.

Buy Now

The game is available in PDF or print format. Visit the store to pick up a copy.


Cartographer and illustrator Tony Dowler collaborated with me to create a little resource/supplement for The Quiet Year, especially useful in short convention games. It’s called Charted Areas.

While also located at the back of the PDF, you can look up all the card text using The Oracle.

The Deep Forest

The Deep Forest is a map game of post-colonial weird fantasy. It’s a re-imagining of The Quiet Year, one that centres upon monstrosity and decolonization. It’s available for free: The Deep Forest.