An image of a lighthouse over a weathered background, with text describing the story of The Quiet Year..

The Quiet Year - build a community after the collapse

The Quiet Year is a map game. You define the struggles of a community living after the collapse of civilization, 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.

Buy Now

The game is available as a PDF or in print as a bag set.

The Oracle

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

Charted Areas

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.

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.

Design Credits

Designed and written by Avery Alder.
Illustrations by Ariel Norris.
First released 2013. This iteration 2019.
Buried Without Ceremony.

Design insights from Jackson Tegu.

Special thanks to Cheryl Trooskin Zoller,
Roe Nix, Andy Moore, and Stephen Scapicchio.


“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.