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Subject: [WIP] Explore The Galaxy - 18 Card Contest to Mobile App rss

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Tim Davidson
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1 Player
10 Minutes
Status: Version 0.6 Contest Ready!


This game is in the 18 Card MicroGame Contest Geeklist [2015].
With a bunch of great little games of all types.
And they are all an easy to print and play 18 cards!


DOWNLOADS
US Letter - Full Color Cards PDF - Full color paper prints.
US Letter - Low Ink Cards PDF - Great for home printers, including b&w laser printers.
Solitaire Rules PDF - Rules document, sized for 5x3.5 inch back and front on one page.
A4 - Full Color Cards PDF - Full color paper prints. Uncheck 'Shrink to Fit.'
A4 - Low Ink Cards PDF - Great for home printers. Uncheck 'Shrink to Fit.'


I also have 18x12 inch full bleed sheets for the printer shop if anybody requests.










-------------------------------
Original Post

Hi! I've been visited this site for years but this is my first time really engaging the community. I want to enter a game for the 18 Card Design Contest.

I have a basic idea I'd love some feedback and any advice.

Basically, the idea is each of the 18 cards is really 3 different cards. The backs are all space missions. At the start of game you randomly choose missions to play for. The other side of the cards represent noun characters who do stuff at missions, or verb obstacles that must be overcome. Something like this.



ASTRA is just a placeholder. The game's name would go there.

My first mock-up here is based around skills. I don't know if that works or makes sense. At this point, the only part of the game I';m sure about is having the space locations on the backs of cards.

I'm thinking it would be a 1 player game. But maybe, two players with two decks could sort of race each other, and interact with spaceship battle a little? Would that be okay in the 18 Card Contest?

Does the skills and missions make sense as a playable solitaire game?

Would a simpler 2 player space fighting game be better?

What can I do next to design this game further?


Thanks for any feedback at all!

Tim
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Janine Viglietti
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Re: [WIP] Untitled Space Mission Game - 18 Card Contest Entry
This seems like a really cool idea. I am predominantly a solitaire player and will be following your progress
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Caroline Berg
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Re: [WIP] Untitled Space Mission Game - 18 Card Contest Entry
I'm all for a solo game of this. I'd definitely play it.

Some suggestions:

While the skills and missions make sense as a playable solitaire game - there is no way to know if the skills fit the missions, at least, not yet. Decide what skills you want, then make test missions which use those skills.

Personally, I'd make sure each skill occurs on different characters - but in different combinations, so no two characters have exactly the same skills.

Oh, and you should look into Do Not Forsake Me (Oh My Darling) for ideas on how to do encounters with so few cards. It has some really clever mechanics that might help you out.

Some questions:

How many crew will players have at the start of the game?

Is there any way of changing crew/abilities during the game?

What is the end goal? Complete X missions?

Thanks for posting this!
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Tim Davidson
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Re: [WIP] Untitled Space Mission Game - 18 Card Contest Entry
Thanks for the support and feedback Janine and Caroline.

Ugh. I just made a big post with tonnes of great design ideas, and then tried to preview it and lost it. Anyways quickly try again...


I made some simple test cards late last night with pencil and paper. My initial realizing:
- Fun will have to be the choosing of crew, making combos, and then seeing how they work out.
- Randomization and shuffling with double sided makes it hard. Don't want player to know obstacles ahead of time.
- Choosing and balancing skills is gonna be a big deal.

My first list of skills. Needs to be shortened.
ASTRO PHYSICS
BIO LOGY
COMBAT
COM MAND
ENG INES
HACK ER
LEAD ER
MED IC
MIN ING
NUC LEAR
PILOT
POL ITICS
PSI ONICS
RES EARCH
ROG UE
SPY
TACT ICS
TRADE R


adularia25 wrote:
Oh, and you should look into Do Not Forsake Me (Oh My Darling) for ideas on how to do encounters with so few cards. It has some really clever mechanics that might help you out.
That game looks great. Have to take a closer look.

adularia25 wrote:
How many crew will players have at the start of the game?
Choosing crew is important, so I don't want it to be too random. Maybe they see ~12 and select a crew ~4.

adularia25 wrote:
Is there any way of changing crew/abilities during the game?
As crew will be killed and stopped, they will need to. Maybe you select a backup crew ahead of time, and add one each "round".

adularia25 wrote:
What is the end goal? Complete X missions?
That's what I'm leaning to, complete 2 missions leaves 16 cards to work with.

I want to have a spaceship and potential battle too. Maybe some obstacles have spaceship battle.


I guess the next step is creating beta test cards.

Tim
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Tim Davidson
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Re: [WIP] Untitled Space Mission Game - 18 Card Contest Entry
So I've completed the BETA version.

I have drafted rules and created black and white versions of the card. I have nicer space graphics for the game, but they aren't great for most printers. I just has a mono laser printer in my office. So these will work while getting the game going.

I've shared the pages and rules from my Google Drive.


So I need to beta test. What are the best ways to get feedback?

Tim
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todd sanders
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Re: [WIP] Untitled Space Mission Game - 18 Card Contest Entry
the best way is through your thread here. some of us will read your rules and/or print the game up and give it a spin. i will download your rules now in fact.

making a grayscale version at this stage is a good way to get people to print
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Tim Davidson
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Re: [WIP] Untitled Space Mission Game - 18 Card Contest Entry
Thanks Todd! I am impressed by your innovations on Do Not Forsake Me.
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Tim Davidson
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Re: [WIP] Untitled Space Mission Game - 18 Card Contest Entry
I got some ideas on changing the game, so if you are willing to print and play, you might as well wait a day to give me time to implement them. But still check out the cards and rules.

My ideas are:

- Reduce the skills from 12 to 9, and number each skill, ie. 1ASTRO and 5MED, so it's easy to see skill gaps.

- Limit crews to always being a certain size, 3 or 4. That way obstacle requirements can be designed for balance.

- Introduce factions, Federation(?) and Rogues, that work better together and thus more crew decision.

- Mission will be a little different. They will have points (ie. 2), and winning will be getting to 4 points. Also with fewer skills the 3 skill requirements is too simple and easy.
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Tim Davidson
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Re: [WIP] Untitled Space Mission Game - 18 Card Contest Entry
Okay, version 0.2 is up! I think it's now worth trying.

I've also introduced 2 Factions, and 2-Player Rules! For the 1-Player rules, the factions are just used by some boost effects. For 2-Player, each player uses a faction. Each faction skills and stats are balanced.

Those numbers are points. The game is now to earn 4 points, which if done correctly works out to 2 missions. The points are more relevant for the 2-Player game.



Edit -- Already fixed some typos and text errors.
 
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Tim Davidson
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Re: [WIP] Untitled Space Mission Game - 18 Card Contest Entry
So, I'm very happy with the skill balance and overall direction, but I've had some more thoughts.

- Having 4 missions on table to choose from seems to be the way to go.

- Obstacles need to be more consistent in wording and balance.

- Rules need to be simplified. Will probably focus on 1-player rules as far as the contest rules sheet limitations are concerned.

- Something is missing thematically with the goal of the game. Instead of completing missions just for points, the player should be trying to collect/discover a "McGuffin." Similar to the orb in Guardians of the Galaxy.

I don't know how to do this? Something on obstacle cards hidden randomly under missions? Or even on spaceships? I don't know if I can fit another card type.
 
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Maciej Kozlowski
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Re: [WIP] Untitled Space Mission Game - 18 Card Contest Entry
Wow, this is exactly the kind of game I'm looking for when traversing the pnp jungle. I will definitely try it!
 
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Tim Davidson
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Re: [WIP] Untitled Space Mission Game - 18 Card Contest Entry
matzieq wrote:
Wow, this is exactly the kind of game I'm looking for when traversing the pnp jungle. I will definitely try it!
Cool! I'm still working on how to move from winning points to collecting/discovering a "McGuffin." I haven't figured that out, but I feel like if I can get that more focused goal down the game is almost done.
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Maciej Kozlowski
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Re: [WIP] Untitled Space Mission Game - 18 Card Contest Entry
So, I've played your game and I see what you're going for. I really like the idea, but I can't win any mission. I think it's a little bit too random - if you take a research/cargo ship, then you won't be able to pass almost any missions where the obstacles require you to have fight or lasers, and you can't do anything about it. Then, the deactivation of specific crew members is a bit harsh - again, you can't do anything about it and it can really screw your mission, especially if it requires tons of skills.
I also have some rules questions:

- Rich moon says 'may move to adjacent mission and engage'. I figured out that the bottom of the card is a reward you get after winning (you should probably mention it in the rules), but with this card I don't understand what I'm supposed to do.

- An 42 gets one skill permanently. There is no way to track it beside remembering it - if you have to write it down, I believe it breaks the 18 cards-no components rule. I know that it's probably not so hard in such a short game, but still.
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Tim Davidson
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Re: [WIP] Untitled Space Mission Game - 18 Card Contest Entry
Thanks Maciej! I was editing the rules really late last night, I think I screwed up the files. The 0.3 1-Player Rules have a 4 sized crew now, which should be more balanced with the requirements?

matzieq wrote:
- Rich moon says 'may move to adjacent mission and engage'. I figured out that the bottom of the card is a reward you get after winning (you should probably mention it in the rules), but with this card I don't understand what I'm supposed to do.
Rich Moon, I'm still working on the terminology... I just threw 'engage' in out of no where. I meant, upon finishing the mission, you can immediately move to another one next to it and start that mission. Like part of a free turn.

matzieq wrote:
- An 42 gets one skill permanently. There is no way to track it beside remembering it - if you have to write it down, I believe it breaks the 18 cards-no components rule. I know that it's probably not so hard in such a short game, but still.
The point of An 42 is to get a skill so you can overcome a block-out. There gotta be a more direct way of wording that.
 
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Tim Davidson
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Re: [WIP] Untitled Space Mission Game - 18 Card Contest Entry
The laser requirements are too high either way, they should all be basically halved.

I kinda don't think so many, or any ships, are really needed. But it's nice to have away to move around. And the 2 ships cards are so a 2-player game is possible.
 
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Maciej Kozlowski
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Re: [WIP] Untitled Space Mission Game - 18 Card Contest Entry
I'll make a test run using skills only, without any lasers and stuff. Maybe it would be sufficient for the ship cards to be just markers, and this way you could fit the rules on them
 
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Tim Davidson
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Re: [WIP] Untitled Space Mission Game - 18 Card Contest Entry
I've made a huge update, or minor pivot. The game is a whole lot easier, simpler, and funner now. I think it about works.

- I've removed the spaceships completely.
- I've basically removed all gametext, deactivations, etc. Basically skills only like Maciej suggested.
- New simplified terminology.
- Each crewmember is exactly 3 skills. Each location is exactly 4 skills. Each surprise hidden card just adds 3 skills to the location.
- The game is now about playing crewmembers using to locations with matching icons. The goal is still to have the right skills.



I think the game totally works now. This is pretty much where I want it. I just need to balance the rules a little.

Should the game be just one round, or have a larger goal of completing multiple locations of different icons?

I need a name.
The game is about completing space locations... Aesthetically it's inspired largely by Star Trek, Star Wars, and Guardians of the Galaxy. AWAY TEAM would be a good name, but that's already a Star Trek computer game and too much Trek anything. I'd like something similar. DANGER TEAM? Any ideas?

When I have some options I'll maybe do a poll.
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Maciej Kozlowski
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Re: [WIP] Untitled Space Mission Game - 18 Card Contest Entry
Looks good! I'll give it a try soon. I'm all for longer games, because as of now you prepare the game in a minute and then can lose in 30 seconds because if you fail the second mission, there's pretty much no point in playing further. As for the name, how about something with horizons and frontiers? Or maybe deep space something?
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Tim Davidson
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Re: [WIP] Untitled Space Mission Game - 18 Card Contest Entry
matzieq wrote:
As for the name, how about something with horizons and frontiers? Or maybe deep space something?
Thanks. Yes, I like those words. Something like that...
 
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Tim Davidson
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Re: [WIP] Untitled Space Mission Game - 18 Card Contest Entry
As the cards are nearly done, I have gotten COLOR versions of the beta test cards printed. Here's some photos demonstrating a round.





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Douglas Rees
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Re: [WIP] Untitled Space Mission Game - 18 Card Contest Entry
TimST1E wrote:
matzieq wrote:
As for the name, how about something with horizons and frontiers? Or maybe deep space something?
Thanks. Yes, I like those words. Something like that...


Horizons of the deep space frontiers
Deep space frontier horizons
Frontiers' horizons in deep space
...

The design is really nice, I'll certainly be giving the solo mode a few games when I get some time
 
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Tim Davidson
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Re: [WIP] Untitled Space Mission Game - 18 Card Contest Entry
I've almost got a release candidate ready... The major changes are:
- More balanced skills/icons.
- Scanning mechanic that lets you see the surprise card early and make better decisions.
- Game victory goal is now to collect all 4 icons on surprise cards.

I still need a title. I have more background story to the game and overall goal.



The galaxies most powerful machine, the TIAMAT device has the power to create life or destroy life. A discovery beyond the horizons of primordial creation, or a weapon of unimaginable destructive power. Your goal is to assemble crews of explorers and rogues and travel the galaxy in search of the 4 parts of the TIAMAT device. Discover, negotiate, or steal. Your choice.

The 4 parts of the TIAMAT are represented by icons of the first 4 Platonic Solids.




...so, what title fits this game? I do like a broader sci-fi name, like "Deep Space Horizons"
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Charles Ward
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Re: [WIP] Untitled Space Mission Game - 18 Card Contest Entry
TimST1E wrote:
...
The 4 parts of the TIAMAT are represented by icons of the first 4 Platonic Solids.




...so, what title fits this game? I do like a broader sci-fi name, like "Deep Space Horizons"


I LOVE THE ICONS !!
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Tim Davidson
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Re: [WIP] Untitled Space Mission Game - 18 Card Contest Entry
ex1st wrote:
I LOVE THE ICONS !!
thanks. I will probably color them too to differentiate better.

These icons would probably fit a dice based game better.
 
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todd sanders
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Re: [WIP] Untitled Space Mission Game - 18 Card Contest Entry
looking better all the time. is the game stable enough now to print and try out?
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