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Subject: [WIP] "Tradewars - Homeworld" = A Deck-Building Game! rss

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Kristopher Kycia
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Hello all,

I would like to introduce to the BGG community "Tradewars - Homeworld" (TWHW), a game that has been in development for almost 2 years (since June 2013).

Here is a thread introducing some of the preliminary artwork that has been designed for the game:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1339511/introducing-som...

As mentioned in the title, the game is a Deck-Building Game (DBG) similar to Dominion but uses cards differently than your traditional DBG. In TWHW, gamers play the role of a Terran Megacorporation. The Terran are a race similars to ours but in another galaxy (far, far away!)

What is unique about TWHW?

One thing that is very unique about this DBG is that it allows you to configure a starship from 500 unique combinations. Since this is a Sci-Fi game, starship are the units you play with in the game. There are two (2) distinct types of starships: fighter and trade starships.

The other unique aspect of this DBG is that it allows you to take on one of the ten (10) distinct roles on each one of your turn. These roles give you immense variety in the way you choose to play the game.

Here is the most *current* version of the "Role Reference Card":



Not only do these roles determine what actions you can do, they also determine the turn order for that particular round. Players interested in politics and negotiations can use the "Chancellor" role to propose and define new types of treaties or agreements. Player must then vote by either drawing +1 card from their deck (Accept) or discarding -1 card from their hand (Reject).

But this is not the only role, there are nine (9) other ones, each one offering unique actions that can be taken on a turn.

The other distinct difference with this DBG is that the game is designed around Scenarios. Each scenario has a different end-game goal and may introduce *new* and exciting mechanics that previous scenarios did not have. As such this game is being designed with "Expansion" in mind. Why is this important? Well we feel that by designing a game to allow other designers the potential to create other, new scenarios means that our base game will have great replay value... And if you buy a game, you may like playing the four (4) scenarios that come with the game - however you may also be interested in what expansions other designers come up with and add real value to your purchase.

I will talk more about TWHW as the game itself - how it has evolved and been through 13 alpha iterations and 1 beta iteration.

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1339539/tradewars-homew...

Regards,


Kristopher R. Kycia
Aka QuestCCG
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Steven Tu
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I thought you meant Tradewars minus 3D space RTS = a deck-building game

Then I thought, I have no idea what Tradewars was
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Nate K
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Maybe use a colon instead? "Tradewars: Homeworld"
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Brook Gentlestream
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Tuism wrote:
I thought you meant Tradewars minus 3D space RTS = a deck-building game

Then I thought, I have no idea what Tradewars was


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TradeWars_2002
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Kristopher Kycia
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Actually not "Tradewars: Homeworld". The correct name of this Deck-Building Game is "Tradewars - Homeworld".

Obviously this is for reasons because we did not want market confusion between "Trade Wars 2002" or the original "Trade Wars". This is akin to another game we named "Quest Adventure Cards(tm)". We could not use "Quest" because that name was already used.

In "Trade Wars 2002" you explore the galaxy by travelling to different sectors trading various resources for credits...

In "Tradewars - Homeworld" you are playing a Terran Mega-Corporation which has established themselves on a planet in the Terran Galaxy: your "Homeworld"... Players must protect their Homeworld from the other Mega-Corporations in the Galaxy. As such you configure and control Fighter Starships.

You may also have Trade Starships which perform various missions to earn quickSilver (a rare metal used as currency in the game). We have various scenarios which have different end-goals to add a little bit of variety to the game. There is also an "Unlocking" mechanic in the game which was put into place to avoid all games becoming all-out fire-fights... But it still does happen!

The game also features ten (10) distinct roles which add more options to what a player may do on his turn. You could of course decide to control your fleet of Fighter Starships to attack an opponent and you would therefore use the Admiral role!

The game is very different from the BBS door and in many ways. I actually don't think there are any similarities aside from the fact that both games have their own/distinct "trading" mechanic: in "Trade Wars 2002" you trade resources at Ports. In "Tradewars - Homeworld" you use the "Treasurer" role to physically convert resources to currency (quickSilver) or you may trade cards in your hand and BUY upgrade cards for your deck (that's the whole Deck-Building aspect of the game...)

As I said, there are no similarities between the two (2) games.
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Brook Gentlestream
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Sounds cool. Sounding more like a mix of Star Empires and Race For The Galaxy right now...

I love the name quickSilver for the currency, by the way.
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Kristopher Kycia
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lordrahvin wrote:

Sounds cool. Sounding more like a mix of Star Empires and Race For The Galaxy right now...

I love the name quickSilver for the currency, by the way.


BTW if you have a group of gamers who might want to playtest this game, I am going to open up "the floodgates" and see who wants to playtest our game after the Florida *blind* playtests. We probably have another playtest in Virginia also... So maybe sometime in May or June (at the latest).

All we ask is for the playtests is to have four (4) players. We'll send along (via e-mail) a questionnaire to fill out regarding the playtest - pretty standard stuff...

So yeah, if you have three (3) other gamers you can play with, I would suggest you watch for the *other* playtesting thread. I'll notify you once it will be up...

Regards!
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Kristopher Kycia
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lordrahvin wrote:
...I love the name quickSilver for the currency, by the way...


Funny thing, because designing a game is quite a "creative effort", I almost dropped "quickSilver" and was thinking about using "credits" instead. Why? I found the "quickSilver" was something "too deep" in the backstory. Everytime I wanted to explain the game, I had to also explain that "quickSilver" was the currency in the game - and that the Exterras were Terran Mega-Coporations that took to space exploration in search of more of the rare metal.

So I too liked "quickSilver", it was novel. But I almost removed it from the game, because it took a while to explain the concept... Credits are much more common Sci-Fi currency in games and movies alike.

A little bit of history! <Grin>

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Kristopher Kycia
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Also the storyline is a fictitious tale which I would like to change for the final version of the product. I want to keep the backstory general and add more specific elements such as "flavor text" in the same vein as the storyline - but perhaps a lighter story.

IDK maybe someone who likes the game might be able to put together Terran Mega-Corporation blurbs which can loosely fit the backstory and provide a "sort of" storyline... I had this idea of having a timeline that would dictate the blurbs and their coinciding with some climax event that forever changed the Terrans and their lives.

At the moment, I don't know of any writers than could put together such a storyline - If anyone knows or is one such a person and you'd like to contribute to the project, at the moment all I can offer is credit in the rulebook. There are a total of seventy five (75) cards that need flavor text on the resource side (backside)...
 
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Kristopher Kycia
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We are *continually* revising the mechanics of the game ... in order to produce the best possible gaming experience for our players. Our Florida playtests will conclude on the 11 April 2015 as the group plays one additional round of the game.

Apparently from what I have heard, there are a lot of topics that are worth discussing (in terms of game play). We shall see what are the topics that interest our players and see what will come of these suggestions.

As usual I keep an open mind and see what ideas will really improve the game and make for a better overall experience.

So expect news from this thread soon (in maybe 2 to 3 weeks)!
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Benj Davis
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I'm rather intrigued by this setup. Combining deckbuilding with role selection sounds neat.

Ten roles seems like an awful lot though. Is there a strong reason for the Captain, Commander and Engineer to be different roles?
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Kristopher Kycia
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Jlerpy wrote:
I'm rather intrigued by this setup. Combining deckbuilding with role selection sounds neat.

Ten roles seems like an awful lot though. Is there a strong reason for the Captain, Commander and Engineer to be different roles?


Thanks for some "positive" feedback! Contrary to a Publisher that seemed to be interested in my game - but wanted to remove both those elements: he wanted me to scratch deck-building and role selection... IDK but that's a serious problem in my mind. It would be a whole different game?!?!

As for the ten (10) roles, you make a point. The reason for separating those roles were so that you can't "reconfigure" a starship from top to bottom on a single turn (1 turn). It's a process that can maybe take 2 turns...

Playtester have said that at first the choices seem overwhelming but as the game progresses you get familiar with the roles and you know that you use some more than others... They are there to balance out the different aspects of the game!
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Benj Davis
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That's weird. What did they think you SHOULD keep?
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Kristopher Kycia
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Jlerpy wrote:
That's weird. What did they think you SHOULD keep?


To be honest - I'm not sure. When somebody tells you:

A> They don't have enough time to spend developing the game
B> They want to change everything about your game
C> They think the game is great

Result = TOTAL CONFUSION?!?!

If the game is great, I see no reason to change everything about it. Furthermore if there are none to little changes, I don't see where the time required for developing the game is so high...

People in the "Game Publishing" business are rather odd (from my experience):

1> They take forever to respond to e-mail inquiries
2> They sometimes ask strange questions several times
3> They are very non-commitmental when it comes to publication
4> They are usually unreachable
5> They like to be *mysterious*...

#5 is MY conclusion...
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Kristopher Kycia
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We have introduce a NEW AI mechanic which is to be used for the Solitary one player scenario known as "The Derelict" <Mouhaha>.



As you can see, we have taken the time to balance out the AI mechanic. Originally we had simply used a plain 1d6 to determine the alien starship's Firepower. But it attacked on each turn, making the start of the game very difficult and then pretty much dropped the tension to 0% until you started to amass enough battleships to destroy the alien vessel.

This version of the AI mechanic is much more versatile and it balances tension evenly between beginning, middle and end. But this scenario is not for the faint of heart: it's difficult to beat/win.

And that's why players will continue to come back to this scenario. Just to take on "The Derelict" one more time!
 
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Kristopher Kycia
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Current TODO list includes creating ALL the NEW card backs with the nine (9) resources available in the game. The First Edition will include all of them, but there will be limited function with them. E.g. the resources will not affect the game much other than categorize the storylines into nine (9) "mini"-stories.

Our First Expansion will introduce planetary cards which will cause bonuses to occur with the various resources. There still is some "thinking" that has to go into the expansion... Currently we only have general ideas about what we want to ADD to the original game.
 
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