Micro Marching League

Every marcher has imagined how he or she would design an ideal show. Now there’s a free online game—Micro Marching League (MML)—that allows anyone to take on the role of drill designer without buying expensive software. Users can create their own bands and shows with the easy-to-use editor and judge shows created by others.

“When you’re in drum corps or marching band, you’re taking everyone else’s orders and doing what other creative people are telling you to do,” says Joe Lesko, game developer and former member of the Milwaukee-based Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps. “Maybe you have your own ideas, but there really is no other outlet to be doing that. As far as writing drill and designing shows, this is probably one of the fi rst outlets for that creative impulse.”

A free account allows you to create shows of 32 sets with 64 members. For a fee, you can upgrade your account to 108 marchers and 40 sets with more instruments and uniform designs. You can also save more shows at once and add more variation to the color guard flags.

“The coolest part is just seeing what everybody comes up with,” Lesko says. “When I first designed the site, I had no idea people would use it to create such interesting, realistic drill. Some of our members have started writing drill in real life because of the stuff they’ve done on the site.”

Lesko launched the site in 2007. Since then, it has grown to tens of thousands of users, more than 50,000 shows designed and a highly involved community. Lesko is working to add more guard equipment, more advanced animations and the ability to upload music.

To play MML, visit www.micromarching.com.

Photo of Pete Friedmann and Christine Ngeo Katzman.

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