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Jan Soukal
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2016-04-25 Print and Play Kit version 2 released (download here) and Kickstarter campaign announced (see more in the Press release thread)!

2016-02-01 Public Print and Play Kit for public playtesting published. Download at http://boardcubator.com.
2016-01-06 Full rules - currently being tested in closed playtesting sessions. At the moment without any grammar checks and with the old card layout used in screenshots. Final version for public PnP playtesting comes in late Jan 2016. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7xFoHMjCLhGWmdWUlJWRlpNQ00...
2015-10-05 Technical rules (version 0.1) available at https://drive.google.com... (removed, will be replaced by full rules in late Jan 2016)
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Jan Soukal
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Space Race card game

Space Race is a card game where each player takes a role of a newborn Space Agency director with the one and only goal - to win the ultimate Race for Space.





Who is the game for?

Those who enjoy deep and complex game mechanics in under 60 minutes and with just a pack of cards.
Those who admire the Space Race epoch.
Those who like strategic and abstract thinking, combinations and plenty of cards around a table.



A Story of Development


It all began in 2011 - I was envisaging a game that would mix player's ability to find useful combinations and synergies among accessible sources with a poker-like tactics approach depending on a player's position, situation or board status. Furthermore, I wanted the game to be easily portable with a fast, simple setup and roughly 60 minutes playtime, while keeping a deep strategy play characteristic rather for heavy weight board games. These thoughts quickly resulted into a card game concept and first playable prototype.

In the following years, I was only able to work on the game occasionaly in my spare time, which slowed the development process significantly. With passing time, I've transformed the prototype into a very playable and fun first version and realized that I would like to convert the huge amount of effort into reality by (hopefully) publishing the game. At that point, Marek Loskot, AV producer, have joined me to help finish the project and to prepare it for final production. We both then developed and tweaked the game further up to the current state.




Game Mechanics Development

We played and tested the game many (really many!) times and are pretty confident about its consistency and playability. However, we tested the game among roughly 40 people, so there is always a chance we missed something, which will be obvious to other playtesters. I'm really looking forward to the results of BGG playtesting.


We played a huge amount of Space Race games and tweaked many bugs.

Mechanics summary

The game is played in 7 rounds. Each round, every player builds his Space Agency (melded cards) by acquiring Leaders, discovering Technologies, launching Missions or achieving Breakthroughs from a pool of cards called the Universe. He does so by playing one of his 12 Control cards in a bidding contest to set an aim for his Agency for the upcoming round. Every type of card can be acquired by different Control cards. Furthermore, effects brought by acquired cards might also be activated by different Control cards. In fact, the player should boost his Propagandist, Technological, Missions and Breakthrough powers to be able to get the hot-picks from the Universe, right before his opponents will.

Also, each player may influence cards emerging in the Universe to his favor, if he wishes to. And in case of more advanced Agencies, he might even acquire cards directly from his Laboratory (discard pile) or even his Hand. However, with Control cards not being reusable, players get easily and quickly under pressure which Control card to play in each round. And mistakes might start to occur...

Key Features:

The feeling of power, joy and complexity of a heavy board game in a pure card game.
Combo-like and synergic nature mixed together with poker-style decision making.
No overpowered winning combos or cards.
All cards are roughly equal in power. It's up to you how you combine them.
3-5 players, 60 minutes.


Another playtesting closeups. Earlier versions of the Space Race card game. The theme and layout have changed, the school bus persisted...


Layout Development

As time went by and the mechanics changed here and there, we realized more and more that in Space Race game, the layout might be the potential bottle-neck of the game's playability, which resulted in several different layout concept versions. Although the mechanics are quite easily accepted by experienced players, the original layout reveal itself to be a bit difficult for first-time or casual players. We did invest quite a lot of effort in the layout development, which resulted in a strict 3x4 card grid with set of (I hope) intuitive symbols representing each card's capabilities.


Card layout evolution. Notice not only the changes in the layout itself, but also thematic and functional shifts.

We wanted to leave as much space on each card as possible for the breathtaking illustrations, although we needed to leave the card’s "logic" part easy to understand. Therefore, we decided to take a minimalist, symbolic approach to designing the layout. In September, after several layout iterations passed, we moved to a cooperation with software service UI designer Ondrej Valka who has helped us greatly with a layout functionality redesign and finalization. We felt the proper layout is on its way and have started to cooperate with a graphic designer (and also a cartographer) Martin Pulicar, who took care of the layout visual stylization.


Moments from layout evolution.


Theme and Artwork

Since I designed the game based on its mechanics, not the theme, only a placeholder theme of a near future universe controlled by huge corporations was chosen for the prototype. Obviously, that theme didn't work well and we began a search for some appropriate, catchy and at least a bit original one. Even though it might seem like a piece of cake, well, it was not. After several concept studies, we finally ended up with a Space Race theme, with a slight "conspiracy" add-on to turn quite rigid historic epoch into a catchy world where UFO actually did crash in the Roswell.


First sketch session with Dalibor Krch. He's a real magician...

The game comes with (at the moment) 54 unique full-card illustrations, which is quite a lot of work to be done. That's why we got in touch with marvelous artist @Dalibor Krch in August 2015. After we agreed on everything, he began his mission to draw that many wonderful illustrations:


Wonderful art by @Dalibor Krch for Space Race card game.



Project Status

At this very moment we treat our game as functional prototype. However, although plenty of playtesting has been done, we still would like to make an additional proof-of-concept by opening a print and play thread here on BGG.

Already completed or on the way:

thumbsup Game mechanics are established. According to playtests, it's (hopefully enough) functional, bug-tweaked and balanced.
thumbsup Final layout is being designed.
thumbsup The artwork is being created.
thumbsup Rules are being written.

To be honest, we would like to see the small Kickstarter light at the end of the tunnel, however there is still quite a lot of work to be done before that.



Components

The game consists of:
12 Control cards deck for each player: 3 of Propaganda, Technology, Missions and Breakthrough.
10 unique Leader cards.
7 Propagandistic Action cards (each 2x).
12 Technology cards (each 2x).
12 Missions cards (each 2x).
12 unique Breakthrough cards.

132 cards total for 4-player pack, excluding Explanatory cards, starting player marker (school bus) and rules.



Print and Play

We're now finishing final layout tweaking and rules writting. After these two things are done, I'm going to prepare a print and play kit. Are you interested in playtesting Space Race?

We focus on:

Do you like the game? Its concept, artwork, visuals?
Would you like to playtest the game along with a technical and/or tutorial-based rules?
Do you like the theme, layout, game flow?
Do you think the game is balanced?
Do you have any comments, tips, proposals? Especially Propagandistic Action cards' flavor is not to my satisfaction yet.
And most importantly - did you enjoyed playing the Space Race?



Follow us and stay tuned!

If you're interested in Space Race the card game, don't forget to subscribe to this thread

Follow us on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/SpaceRaceCardGame.

Stay tuned for updates thumbsup
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Capn Stoobie
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I really like the theme of your game, and I love the artwork (it adds a lot to the game). I probably couldn't help playtesting as I don't have a regular group at the moment, but I will definitely keep your game on the radar. Good luck!
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Jan Soukal
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capnstoobie wrote:
I really like the theme of your game, and I love the artwork (it adds a lot to the game). I probably couldn't help playtesting as I don't have a regular group at the moment, but I will definitely keep your game on the radar. Good luck!

Thanks for supporting, capnstoobie. I'm glad you like it!

Never mind you can't playtest at the moment. I'll be happy to hear your comments and remarks on particular cards, its effects and artwork, game mechanics, rules clarity, cards layout... well, I should probably say on everything!
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Jan Soukal
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Meanwhile in Nevada...

Another portion of Space Race artwork. A Technology/Facility card - Area 51

How do you like it?
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Serhiy Saf
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The artwork is very good! I really like it! And the overall theme is nice, after have read the title I thought about the racing game in space first ))

Will wait for rules, good luck to you!
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Jan Soukal
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Serhiious wrote:
The artwork is very good! I really like it! And the overall theme is nice, after have read the title I thought about the racing game in space first ))

Thanks Serhiious! You're right that the title might be misleading. Although the Space Race is a widely used term for a specific epoch, one might easily get it the way you did. Especially among plenty of other working titles in the WIP thread. I'm thinking if a subtitle would help a bit...

Serhiious wrote:
Will wait for rules, good luck to you!

Yep, rules are coming. I hope it'll be here in few days, so you will be able to walk it through. Thanks.
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Serhiy Saf
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jenik wrote:

Thanks Serhiious! You're right that the title might be misleading. Although the Space Race is a widely used term for a specific epoch, one might easily get it the way you did. Especially among plenty of other working titles in the WIP thread. I'm thinking if a subtitle would help a bit...

Well, actually I like the title like it is. I don't know the ending condition for the game, but may assume that in the Space Race you racing to be first person to achieve some result (get 10 points/ fly to outer space / land on the Moon / etc). Ex. the Race for the Galaxy is not a classic racing game, but the title perfectly fits!
And I wasn't disappointed at all, when discovered that Space Race is not about a racing in a rocket around the Mars
As for the specific epoch, I think the space race is definitely over after few Russian space ships crashes during the launch earlier this year whistle
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Jan Soukal
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Serhiious wrote:
jenik wrote:

Thanks Serhiious! You're right that the title might be misleading. Although the Space Race is a widely used term for a specific epoch, one might easily get it the way you did. Especially among plenty of other working titles in the WIP thread. I'm thinking if a subtitle would help a bit...

Well, actually I like the title like it is. I don't know the ending condition for the game, but may assume that in the Space Race you racing to be first person to achieve some result (get 10 points/ fly to outer space / land on the Moon / etc). Ex. the Race for the Galaxy is not a classic racing game, but the title perfectly fits!
And I wasn't disappointed at all, when discovered that Space Race is not about a racing in a rocket around the Mars

Like to hear that

And about victory conditions of the game - a player wins the Space race by:
* achieving the most of outstanding milestones (such as Moon landing, as you did mention),
* having the most advanced and developed space agency,
* supporting the space R&D activities to the max.
What I've seen in playtests, the most players choose a combination of the points above. And I feel quite well about that, as running a space program is not only about one rocket shot out of the Earth surface If it had been that way, Soviet Sputnik mission would have won the real Space race at it's very beginning in 1957

I'm definitely looking forward the feedback from upcoming playtesting.

Serhiious wrote:
As for the specific epoch, I think the space race is definitely over after few Russian space ships crashes during the launch earlier this year whistle

Agreed. I would even say the Space race actually ended along with the Cold War, which, however, is not accented in the game much. And further, the game touches even pretty contemporary milestones (such as Rosetta comet landing or Mars rovers missions). My intentions was merely to make it a tribute to a human technical achievements. But anyway, it's a great and interesting piece of history, so why to care about exact start and end date
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Jan Soukal
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During many playtestings, I was often asked a question, why there is a particular character (leader) included in the game, while some other is not.

At the moment, there are 11 characters included in the game: Neil Armstrong, John F. Kennedy, Wernher von Braun, Yuri Gagarin, Sergey Korolev, Stephen Hawking, Vladimir Remek, Miroslaw Hermaszewski, Reinhard Furrer, Agent 007, Fox Mulder. One of these will be discarded at the end of development to form a 10 leaders set.


Already illustrated characters. Neil Armstrong and Wernher von Braun are coming soon...

Well, my decision process was based on 3 assumptions:
1) The game should cover all the most significant characters from the Space race epoch. That's why Neil Armstrong, John F. Kennedy, Wernher von Braun, Yuri Gagarin and Sergey Korolev are included.
2) The game should contain some remarkable characters from the history of Space program/research of other countries, not only an US vs. Soviet Cold war setup. I added Stephen Hawking, Vladimir Remek, Miroslaw Hermaszewski and Reinhard Furrer this way.
3) The game should include few (semi)fictional characters to support an UFO-existed conspiracy branch of the game. And also to make a serious historical epoch a bit less serious - That's how Agent 007 and Fox Mulder entered the game.

Since lot of people repeatedly ask me "Why him?" and "Why not that one?", I would like to hear your comments and remarks. I know there are plenty of other candidates that could match the criteria above. Do you have any that you would prefer over those mentioned in the list above? I would be very happy to see your preferences in the poll below.
Poll: Heros of the Space race epoch
Select up to 10 characters you would like to see in the game.
Which 10 characters should be included in the Space Race card game?
Neil Armstrong
John F. Kennedy
Wernher von Braun
Yuri Gagarin
Sergey Korolev
Stephen Hawking
Vladimir Remek
Miroslaw Hermaszewski
Reinhard Furrer
Agent 007
Fox Mulder
Buzz Aldrin
Alan Shepard
Christopher Kraft
Valentina Tereshkova
Michael Collins
Other(s) - Who? Write your candidates in a post.
      28 answers
Poll created by jenik

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Jan Soukal
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Here goes Wernher von Braun. From Dart Vader to Anakin Skywalker. How do you like him?

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John
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My knowledge of the people involved in the space race isn't really good enough to comment - I think your first two points are good - it makes sense for everyone from part 1 to be included, (Kennedy could perhaps be removed depending on the focus of the game).

jenik wrote:
The game should include few (semi)fictional characters to support an UFO-existed conspiracy branch of the game. And also to make a serious historical epoch a bit less serious - That's how Agent 007 and Fox Mulder entered the game.


I saw you had included that with the Area 51 card, I don't know what else you've done with this, but my preferred approach would be to keep it fairly subtle. Personally I wouldn't add a character specifically to support it. I'm guessing there will be IP problems with including an existing fictional character so I'd go for a generic secret agent (maybe make up a name), or find a real historical secret agent. That way it's not obvious if they are involved in some kind of UFO cover-up or doing something else...
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Steve
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The Space Race and near future space exploration / exploitation are just about the only insta-buy theme for me. Have you played any of the following and if you have how does Space Race Card Game compare?

Liftoff!
Leaving Earth
High Frontier
Destination: Neptune

Thanks and good luck with the project.

Oh and I would add in characters Alexei Leonov and Gherman Titov.
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Stephanie Prince
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zabdiel wrote:
jenik wrote:
The game should include few (semi)fictional characters to support an UFO-existed conspiracy branch of the game. And also to make a serious historical epoch a bit less serious - That's how Agent 007 and Fox Mulder entered the game.


I saw you had included that with the Area 51 card, I don't know what else you've done with this, but my preferred approach would be to keep it fairly subtle. Personally I wouldn't add a character specifically to support it. I'm guessing there will be IP problems with including an existing fictional character so I'd go for a generic secret agent (maybe make up a name), or find a real historical secret agent. That way it's not obvious if they are involved in some kind of UFO cover-up or doing something else...


I agree. The artwork is absolutely gorgeous and the premise of the game is appealing (I pre-ordered Leaving Earth) but you lost me with Fox Mulder and Agent 007. These feel a bit like a sell-out to pop culture references (hey, why not add some zombies or a cthulhu expansion?!?!?)

If you require these character types for gameplay, then make them either historically based or fairly generic.
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Jan Soukal
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slashing wrote:
The Space Race and near future space exploration / exploitation are just about the only insta-buy theme for me.

I'm happy to hear that!

slashing wrote:
Have you played any of the following and if you have how does Space Race Card Game compare?

Liftoff!
Leaving Earth
High Frontier
Destination: Neptune

I haven't played any of them yet. But I'm definitely looking forward checking Leaving Earth in Essen.

I went through available reviews and walkthroughs to be able to compare with the Space Race card game. I'm pointing out what I think is different to the games you mentioned.

Rules - From my point of view, the game has pretty easy rules and playing system, which, however, allows a deep and tactical play and plenty of combinations how to beat your opponents. Although the rules might sound tricky in the first game, after that point, I think the mechanics is straightforward and easy to follow. (I'm working on tutorial-based rules to help a player get new gamers into the game easily.)

Mechanics - The mechanics is rather abstract. The connection between it and the theme is done by how current card affects efficiency of a player's Agency. For instance - Wernher von Braun (see on the left with working layout), a rocket engineer genius, brought crucial information about German rocket R&D to Americans (and so - brings you 4 cards when you elect him). Later on, as a director of NASA (boosting a Technological (blue) skill of your Agency), lead Saturn V development (therefore providing you with a possibility to play a technology card directly from your hand, which is quite rare in the game).

The game contains no technical step-by-step mission objectives, such as pumping your rocket with a fuel, etc. It's not a game about a rocket launching. It's rather a long term Agency performance what matters. How its director (a player) can outsmart opponents, get cards he needs and combine them to the most functional Space Agency.

Resources - Players don't work with any budget or coins/tokens allowing them to buy or develop things. The economy works with:
Control cards - Players are given 12 Control cards each to lead their Space Agencies, each of different use or power. These cards can be used only once per game. If you play powerful Control cards earlier, you might miss them later.
Skill/Power - Represents a player's Space Agency powers in 4 distinct fields - Propaganda, Technology, Missions and Breakthrough. The higher the skill is, the better chance for a player to pick cards he's focused on. Acquired cards boost skills of an Agency and provide a player with other playable effects too.

Cards playing - Cards are not played directly from the hand (mostly), but rather acquired from a shared pool of cards, where any opponent might steal a card a player was aiming at.

Shared rounds - Rounds in a game are "shared" by all players. I put the most of decision making to the beginning of each round, when all players can decide and prepare what to do simultaneously. It minimizes moments in the game where players have to wait for each other.

Interaction - There is a solid level of indirect interaction. Players struggle for a cards from a shared pool. Simultaneously prepares their moves based on a current situation on a table and with regards to opponents' Space Agencies capabilities. Players also competes who achieves the most breakthrough cards to score a big amount of victory points at the end of the game. And there are few cards interacting even directly - events like sabotage or espionage allowing a player to manipulate with other players' cards.

Nearly no randomness - There is no dice rolling in the game. The only randomness comes from drawing cards from the deck (however, cards in hand are less important in this game than in an usual card game) and from a process of revealing cards in a shared pool (which any player can, and should, influence).

Cards stay in play - All cards that enter the game or are "played", never leave the game. Cards actually end up either in the shared pool of cards (Universe), in a player's Space Agency or in a player's Laboratory (which can be understand as a kind of discard pile. But even these cards may and often do re-enter the game).

Theme - The game covers not only the historical epoch of the actual Space race, but also quite contemporary space research achievements, such as Rosetta comet landing. (I think the game's working title is quite misleading there and should be changed). The game creates rather a hypothetical universe ("how it might have happened, if...") without a great appeal on exact dates or nations. It's more of an alternate history a player can create with his Agency.

Replayability - I think that the engine generates each game to be quite unique. There are no all-time-winning combos or always-great cards. Some cards performs well in one game and tend to be quite poor in the other. Everything is highly dependent on a current game state and situation. (I know it's pretty daring statement, but I've never seen any ultimate strategy to be successfully replayed. I'm looking forward seeing results of print and play playtests to see if it's really right.)

Components - No other components than cards (except starting player marker). Thank to that, the game is highly portable and the setup is easy and fast.

I hope it's understandable enough. I'm working on print and play kit and rules, so that players who're interested can check out and test the game for themselves.

slashing wrote:
Thanks and good luck with the project.

Thank you! I'm doing my best.

slashing wrote:
Oh and I would add in characters Alexei Leonov and Gherman Titov.

Yep, great point! Thank you for that. Leonov's famous spacewalk is not included at the moment. And surely should be.
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Steve
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Excellent reply. Thank you, I shall continue to watch this project with great interest.
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Peter Zoche
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Perhaps you should remove the hook cross / swastika from the Wernher von Braun card if you want to sell the game in Germany. Here it is not allowed to show it (only in historical documentations I think). Model-makers in Germany who build planes or ships from WWII have the same problem. Although it would be historically correct they use modified symbols on their models. I don't know if somebody will make some trouble about it, but if you change the card you can avoid trouble in advance... (Germans are still very sensitive with the hook cross because of their past)

Otherwise I am looking forward to hear more of your game (currently I am working on a space race game, too)
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Jan Soukal
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slprince wrote:
zabdiel wrote:
jenik wrote:
The game should include few (semi)fictional characters to support an UFO-existed conspiracy branch of the game. And also to make a serious historical epoch a bit less serious - That's how Agent 007 and Fox Mulder entered the game.


I saw you had included that with the Area 51 card, I don't know what else you've done with this, but my preferred approach would be to keep it fairly subtle. Personally I wouldn't add a character specifically to support it. I'm guessing there will be IP problems with including an existing fictional character so I'd go for a generic secret agent (maybe make up a name), or find a real historical secret agent. That way it's not obvious if they are involved in some kind of UFO cover-up or doing something else...


I agree. The artwork is absolutely gorgeous and the premise of the game is appealing (I pre-ordered Leaving Earth) but you lost me with Fox Mulder and Agent 007. These feel a bit like a sell-out to pop culture references (hey, why not add some zombies or a cthulhu expansion?!?!?)

If you require these character types for gameplay, then make them either historically based or fairly generic.


Thank you very much, Stephanie and John, for the feedback!

Both Mulder and 007 was added to the game in early stage of development, just to make players identification with an UFO/Spy flavor smoother. It actually worked pretty well in playtests, as I focused more on diversified groups of players (girls, boys, geeks, casual players, etc.) to debug the mechanics. I've probably probably been too much fond on mechanics and not giving the thematic consistency the attention it needs. I totally agree with your points! Definitely no zombies.

Spies:

The game doesn't require to have a Spy leader included. Spying is not a major point in the game and can be (and it's biggest part already is) dedicated to propagandistic action cards.

However, I've tried to found a famous spy or agent from Space Race era to represent the flavor, but didn't found anything, that would seems well-known enough to me. Seeing the characters poll above - picking among Buzz Aldrin or some spy to be included instead, should result in putting in the first one. Which is ok from my point of view.

Conspirators, UFO hunters - thematic concept:

The situation about UFO hunters is a bit more difficult, especially regarding to the game's thematic consistency. At the moment, there are 4 branches of Breakthrough cards, giant leaps in the Space race history, which generates the most victory points: Man in space, Planets exploration, Reaching stars and Search for extraterrestrials.

The latter bears the game's UFO-conspiracy feel, with particular cards covering:
Wow! signal detection,
Alien autopsy,
Face on Mars discovery.

The intention was to make aliens conspiracy theories quite real in the game, although none of these is accepted as a scientifically proven event or fact. It was actually the point, where I put Mulder into a game: a character with abilities increasing as potential UFOs-investigation or aliens-discovery cards coming to a table. However, I agree with your points there. Mulder is A) IP issue, B) unnecessary reference to pop culture. And further, should the current breakthrough Search for extraterrestrials corrupt the game's thematic composition, it can possibly be replaced by real events also:
Wow! signal (could remain, I think),
Water found on Mars,
Triton ocean discovery,
Microbial life on Mars,
etc.

I would be very glad here to hear your opinion about the above points. How do you feel about the actual conspiracy version? Does it make sense or sound funny to you? Or would you prefer the game to strictly follow reality/history?

Conspirators, UFO hunters - possible characters:

If the above conspiracy Search for extraterrestrial theme should remain in the game, then a Search for UFO-hunter should begin

I've run through Wikipedia to find possible candidates to a UFO-hunter leader. I've finally selected two favorites: Stanton Friedman and James McDonald, both for the professional background, history and scientific approach to UFO's investigation. I've also been thinking about Jerry Ehman, who is the guy who detected the Wow! signal. However, I'm not sure about any of them. There are more important heros in the Space race history than these, from my point of view. But, I'm really not an expert in ufologist field, so if any of you are, I'll be happy to see your comments or suggestions.

What do you think? Stanton Friedman, James McDonald, Jerry Ehman or somebody else?
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slashing wrote:
Excellent reply. Thank you, I shall continue to watch this project with great interest.

Thanks for your support, Steve!
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Grobiwan wrote:
Perhaps you should remove the hook cross / swastika from the Wernher von Braun card if you want to sell the game in Germany. Here it is not allowed to show it (only in historical documentations I think). Model-makers in Germany who build planes or ships from WWII have the same problem. Although it would be historically correct they use modified symbols on their models. I don't know if somebody will make some trouble about it, but if you change the card you can avoid trouble in advance... (Germans are still very sensitive with the hook cross because of their past)


Thank your for pointing that out, Peter. I was thinking about issues with the hook cross, but I'm not sure how to sensitively replace it. It's obviously not meant as a reference to a nazism itself, it's merely a reference to a moment of von Braun history. I'm thinking about a black eagle of German Armed forces. But, hey, then the meaning is totally different though (and might insult the German Army instead)... Or just leave the red flag blank would be the best, I think.

I must definitely work on that. Surely I didn't want to insult anybody, nor the artist did. Thanks again for the note!

Grobiwan wrote:
Otherwise I am looking forward to hear more of your game (currently I am working on a space race game, too)


Hey, nice to hear that! We're working hard on a print and play kit, so stay tuned I would also be glad to see more about your project. Any chance of meeting you in Essen?
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Welcome on BGG, Mr. Armstrong

"Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle is about to land."
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Eric Etkin
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jenik wrote:

Meanwhile in Nevada...

Another portion of Space Race artwork. A Technology/Facility card - Area 51

How do you like it?


I think overall the game looks fantastic. I love the theme, however stuff like an "Area 51" card kills it for me.

You've gone through some obviously great pains to give this game a historically accurate feel, and including things like an "Area 51" card is sort of akin to including the Loch Ness monster in an otherwise archaeologically-sound game about dinosaurs.

It just sticks out. Bad. I realize for some people "area 51" is effectively fact, but since nobody knows for sure what occurs/occurred there, it's still within the bounds of fiction, IMO.

Keep it real, unless your plan is to seed this game with additional hypotheticals or retrofuture stuff.
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MOTHDevil wrote:
I think overall the game looks fantastic. I love the theme, however stuff like an "Area 51" card kills it for me.

Thanks, Eric!

MOTHDevil wrote:
You've gone through some obviously great pains to give this game a historically accurate feel, and including things like an "Area 51" card is sort of akin to including the Loch Ness monster in an otherwise archaeologically-sound game about dinosaurs.

It just sticks out. Bad. I realize for some people "area 51" is effectively fact, but since nobody knows for sure what occurs/occurred there, it's still within the bounds of fiction, IMO.


Yes, I agree with you.

MOTHDevil wrote:
Keep it real, unless your plan is to seed this game with additional hypotheticals or retrofuture stuff.


Thank you for your tips! My intention actually was to include whole conspiracy branch into a classic Space race epoch and there should have been more cards introducing it. However, there is a debate couple of post higher whether or not to include such a reality twist, which is obviously something what disturbs the theme to the most of people. And if the most of people don't like it in the game, I should remove it. I would be glad to hear your opinion on this.
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jenik wrote:
MOTHDevil wrote:
I think overall the game looks fantastic. I love the theme, however stuff like an "Area 51" card kills it for me.

Thanks, Eric!

MOTHDevil wrote:
You've gone through some obviously great pains to give this game a historically accurate feel, and including things like an "Area 51" card is sort of akin to including the Loch Ness monster in an otherwise archaeologically-sound game about dinosaurs.

It just sticks out. Bad. I realize for some people "area 51" is effectively fact, but since nobody knows for sure what occurs/occurred there, it's still within the bounds of fiction, IMO.


Yes, I agree with you.

MOTHDevil wrote:
Keep it real, unless your plan is to seed this game with additional hypotheticals or retrofuture stuff.


Thank you for your tips! My intention actually was to include whole conspiracy branch into a classic Space race epoch and there should have been more cards introducing it. However, there is a debate couple of post higher whether or not to include such a reality twist, which is obviously something what disturbs the theme to the most of people. And if the most of people don't like it in the game, I should remove it. I would be glad to hear your opinion on this.


I think if your intent is to lean much more heavily on the "conspiracy/UFO/fiction" aspects and include a lot more UFO/X-files type cards/branches, then you're probably fine, since the inclusion of a single "Area 51" card in an otherwise historically accurate game won't be a sore thumb.

But I think if you DO include more of these such cards and embrace the conspiracy theme, you will need to be up front and obvious about that when marketing the game.

If I saw this game in a store or online, based on the majority of your pictures and info, I'd assume I'd be getting a historically accurate game about the actual space race during the 1950's/60's/70s... not conspiracy/fiction stuff like Area 51 or X-files. Seeing those cards peek out at me would make me feel like I wasn't getting what I thought I bought.

To put it another way... I think you need to decide:

1 Is Space Race a fictional game with whimsical conspiracy elements that integrates with the events of the actual space race? or;

2 Is Space Race a historically accurate game using only actual documented events as the theme?

While the "conspiracy" version of the game can include historical components, the "historical" version of the game cannot get away with using conspiracy components.

Whatever you decide, you need to concentrate on and sell/market to that strength.

For my own two cents, I would suggest keeping your game historically accurate, as that would increase potential sales avenues for you (educational markets, for example). It also just feels better to me.

But if you're really into the idea of including a branching "conspiracy" theme, maybe consider offering that as an expansion or variant product.




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jenik wrote:
Hey, nice to hear that! We're working hard on a print and play kit, so stay tuned I would also be glad to see more about your project. Any chance of meeting you in Essen?


I will be in Essen all 4 days, plus warmup day
Currently I am working on the first prototype, trying to adjust amounts of resources and stats, so not much to show by now, but I can tell you more about it if you like.
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