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Subject: Space Race card game rss

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Jan Soukal
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Hey guys,

it's been a while, as I was pushing hard to complete an initial version of technical rules for Space Race before Essen Spiel. It was much harder than I thought...

The rules are pure technical. It's, at the moment, meant to be an accurate game mechanics reference. I tried to hold tutorial or flavor based text on minimum, just to make sure the mechanics is understandable itself. Tutorial-based rules and thematic rules flavoring should follow once the mechanics proves to be viable.

Unfortunately, we still have several issues with the cards' layout, that is under development. Therefore, in matter of figures and schemes, I used the previous layout version, which might lead to some inconsistency. However, I'm sure you'll get the point.

The technical rules are available at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7xFoHMjCLhGYjB6UmJEb1VYN1U...

I hope you'll like it and I'm looking forward seeing your comments and remarks.
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Jan Soukal
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MOTHDevil wrote:
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.


Eric, that's great feedback, thanks for that. I actually didn't think about it that way.

MOTHDevil wrote:
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?


Yes, that's the the decision I must make. And it's pretty hard. I spoke with several people around me who actually felt that the fictional aspect is somewhat fresh, somewhat they like. But at the same time, I totally understand points from others in this thread, who are not fans of the fiction.

From my point of view, the important thing now is to finish the initial print and play kit. Even with the fiction element included, as it is now, as I'd like to publish the kit asap. And then, I'll return to the historical/fictional issue. Anyway, thanks for your comments, I do appreciate it!
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Jan Soukal
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Grobiwan wrote:
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.


I'm glad hearing that and I'm curious about your development. We can meet at Essen and try your prototype as well as Space Race, if you're interested. I'd love to share opinions and thoughts. thumbsup

But hey! If anybody is interested in playtesting Space Race in Essen, or just chatting about its development, we (me and Marek, the guy who's helping me) will be there at least on Thursday and Friday (Saturday is uncertain at the moment). If you're into it, just send me a geekmail or a Facebook message (nick Jenik Suki Soukal).
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Jan Soukal
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Hey guys,

it's been while since the last update. As the end of the year is approaching, here is the project status summary.

Rules

I wasn't really satisfied with how the rules worked and I've been working hard to find the right composition.

Finally, I think that, after several iterations and concept changes and 100+ hours of work, I finally have the rules in the form I like!

Closed Playtesting

To prove my confidence with the rules, I assembled several playtesting kits and delivered them to groups to be playtested completely without my presence or any advisory.


Four playtesting kits ready to play! All these cards come from the white kit, the opened one.

The major goal of the testing is to check the rules, especially its clarity and accessibility - actually a kind of proofreading... I'm really looking forward seeing the feedback!

Public Playtesting

If the above closed playtesting sessions go well, I will release a full public PnP set in late January 2016. Few things still need to be finished prior to that:
Cards layout redesign
Rules grammar check (as I'm not English native speaker)
Fixing of bugs reported during closed playtesting

Layout

While I was very happy with the layout's functionality (or how it works in terms of the mechanics), I really wasn't satisfied with how it looks like. As a result of this, I've recently contracted Zak Eidsvoog, a graphic designer, whom I actually found here on BGG and whose work I really do like! I expect him to finish the layout's visual style allowing the game to be publicly playtested, as mentioned above.

Mechanics

I'm starting to think the mechanics is finished. Several components, such as some propagandistic actions, still needs a discussion, but these are rather minor changes.

The game is:
pretty fast (±60 minutes),
pretty complex (in most cases there is plenty of options to select from),
pretty dynamic (players constantly need to react on an ever changing environment).

I'm already happy with how the game flows and how the mechanics work. I'm definitely not planning any radical cuts there, unless public playtesting proves me wrong.

Artwork

It's a pleasure to say that, at this moment, we have 27 complete illustrations out of 57 total! That's nearly 50 %! Many thanks and admirations towards the artist - Dalibor (Max) Krch.

Here are some of new illustrations. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas and happy holiday!

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Eric Etkin
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Looking good! The art is amazingly era-evocative and consistent.
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Jan Soukal
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MOTHDevil wrote:
Looking good! The art is amazingly era-evocative and consistent.

Thanks a lot, Eric! I'm passing your compliment to the artist, Dalibor.
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Jan Soukal
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Hey guys,

here's a little sneak peek into card layout redesign by a designer Zak Eidsvoog. It's still a work in progress (in fact it's the 1st iteration), but I'm sure we're finally on the right way and heading towards the public PnP kit!

It's me and the artist Dalibor at the second picture, reviewing the redesign together with Marek, who's hidden behind...

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Niklas Hook
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Great art - Reminds me of Blake & Mortimer.

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Jan Soukal
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Thumbs up for Space Race Card Game to make it one of the most anticipated games of 2016! thumbsup
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Jan Soukal
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hoek wrote:
Great art - Reminds me of Blake & Mortimer.

Thanks Niklas! Yep, the art is intended to resemble those old days and cartoon style.
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Blake Womack
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Just read the whole thread. The theme is a winner for me. I grew up watching the Apollo missions (born in '61) and which ever way you choose to go - historical accuracy or history mixed with coverups - I wouldn't care either way.

The art work is beautiful. Very impressed. A lot of people might buy this game just based on theme and art work alone. That is a nice place to be.
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Jan Soukal
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Frabbit wrote:
Just read the whole thread. The theme is a winner for me. I grew up watching the Apollo missions (born in '61) and which ever way you choose to go - historical accuracy or history mixed with coverups - I wouldn't care either way.

Thanks Blake for your comment. I grew up reading about all these astonishing missions (I was born later in '84). I watch today's space exploration milestones (such as Rosetta's landing, New Horizons Pluto flyby, SpaceX vertical landing, etc.) with the same passion!
Frabbit wrote:
The art work is beautiful. Very impressed. A lot of people might buy this game just based on theme and art work alone. That is a nice place to be.

I'm glad you like it! Check out for updates, I'm publishing the public print and play kit at the end of January.
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Jan Soukal
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We're in the final round of Most Anticipated Games of 2016!

Support Space Race Card Game, voting is open! Thanks a lot to all supporters!
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Jan Soukal
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Hey guys,

I'm back with a (very positive, from my point of view) project status report of the Space Race Card Game.

Layout redesign finished!

I'm super happy to tell you we have finished the cards layout redesign (many thanks to Zak Eidsvoog and his amazing work!).



(Cards layout redesign, final version. Minor edits still to be done...)

Artwork

Our artist Dalibor works hard on the game logo at this time. Although, there are two new pictures -- Soyuz rocket transported on a train and Alexei Leonov during the famous spacewalk!



Playtesting

More than 30 blind playtesting sessions were done in the last month's closed playtesting. These were completely blind, I didn't even know the most of the tester.

The results are (positive):
thumbsup Rules are functional (however needs to be typeset and grammar checked).
thumbsup Mechanics is functional and fun (although we altered/fixed some unclear sub-mechanics slightly)
thumbsup The majority of playtesters stated they want to play the game again.
thumbsup We've fixed plenty of minor bugs, especially rules clarity and cards' abilities functionality related.
thumbsup I've also included a thematic checks/edits to more cards to make sure the game gets more consistency in the sense of the theme.

Among other interesting stuff I got back in playtesting surveys, there's one thing I do like and I was not quite aware of before. It seems that personal view of the game complexity level increases with the player's gaming experience and strategic "mind set". Casual players were able to play more casual-styled runs, while hardcore and avid gamers did long strategic battles with overwhelming complexity.

Next steps -- Public PnP kit & playtesting

We're now finishing:
The rough rulebook typesetting, proofreading and player aids cards design.
The game logo.
The overall PnP kit with playtesting feedback surveys, etc.

Although there are still several things to be finished or edited prior to, I'm confident to say:

Feb 1st 2016 -- The public Print and Play kit and playtesting launch date. I'll be glad if you join!

Thanks!
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Steve
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Great news. I look forward to trying this game.

How much production will be required for the PnP? How many cards?
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Jan Soukal
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slashing wrote:
Great news. I look forward to trying this game.


Thanks a lot! I'm very excited and can't wait to publish the kit!

slashing wrote:
How much production will be required for the PnP? How many cards?


Great point, Steve!

A final PnP sheets are yet to be completed. However, not assuming the rulebook and player aids, it depends on the precision level you'd like:
16 A4 sheets, 9 cards each -- less cutting but also lower precision (no "bleed" zones around cards),
18 A4 sheets, 8 cards each -- more cutting but higher precision thank to bleed zones.

There's also a point with the card backs, which are useful to distinguish regular cards and control cards in the game. Although it's not mandatory in the means of the mechanics, I would strongly recommend to either:
go for both side prints,
or to use card sleeves of (at least 2) different colours.

Speaking of that, what would you guys prefer?

Poll: PnP kit structure
1. What structure of PnP kit would you prefer?
Simple -- 16 A4 sheets, less cutting, lower precision.
Enhanced -- 18 A4 sheets, more cutting, higher precision.
2. When it comes to card backs, what would you prefer?
Both side prints -- full card backs provided with the PnP kit.
One side print, then use coloured card sleeves.
      17 answers
Poll created by jenik
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Katerina Janotova
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kiss meeple It looks absolutely great, can not wait for the first game!
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Jan Soukal
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offinkaa wrote:
kiss meeple It looks absolutely great, can not wait for the first game!

Thanks a lot! Just wait until Monday
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Nick Kopp
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Hey, the art looks amazing! We'll get some Rocket Scientists on the public playtest over here in Huntsville!
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Jan Soukal
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Nickkopp wrote:
Hey, the art looks amazing! We'll get some Rocket Scientists on the public playtest over here in Huntsville!

Superb! Nice to hear that! Hope you get some rocket straight to the Moon
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Jan Soukal
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Gyus! I'm totally happy to announce that the PnP kit of Space Race: The Card Game has been published!

Many thanks to Marek Loskot (co-author), Dalibor Krch (artist) and Zak Eidsvoog (graphic designer) for amazing job they've done on the project so far! thumbsup

PnP is available at https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7xFoHMjCLhGZEVYbENlcjVhNk...! See the README.txt for instructions and print manual. Just a note: The result of the previous poll about the kit structure gave me no other option that to include all 4 variants (with/without bleed/backs) in the final kit. Hopefully, everyone will be satisfied Check it out!


This is how it looks like printed and assembled: the rulebook and two decks of cards - regular cards (with the space backs) and control cards (with the astronaut backs). I hope you guys like it! Oh, the bus (starting player marker) is actually not a part of the kit.

Have a nice play! I'll be glad hearing your feedback!
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henry flower
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Gorgeous artwork.
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George Monnat Jr
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henry flower wrote:
Gorgeous artwork.


+1; The game looks great and makes me want to play.
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Jan Soukal
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GeorgeMo wrote:
henry flower wrote:
Gorgeous artwork.


+1; The game looks great and makes me want to play.

Thanks a lot guys for your support! Seeing that people like the game really helps me a lot to move forward with the project! Definitely give it a try, if you can assemble the kit. I'll be glad hearing your feedback!

Important notice for those of you, who have already downloaded the kit:
Make sure you use the most recent version of Acrobat Reader when printing the kit!

I accidentally used an export format causing that other software might not handle some part of the PDFs properly which might result in missing "end of round" symbol on several cards and/or in colour bars not being cut properly along the illustrations. (I've already updated this info in the README.txt file within the kit and re-exported all PDF to work properly even on non-Adobe platforms. It's currently uploading...)

Back to the game: Here are few pics of me and Marek playing yesterday after the kit release. It's much rather gaming evening rejuvenation after the hard day than a serious playtesting session, though


Also, there is already one kit assembled in Vancouver! Great job, Kac! I can't wait to hear how you like the game!


Does anybody have also any pics of his/her own kit assembly or playing? I'd love to see them!
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Petr Base
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AMAZING! Can't wait to betatest this. I was going through the rules already and the game seems simple enough to stay casual-friendly while keeping good replayability value.
I love the artwork ofcourse and I have no fears this coming a big hit on KS campaign.

Prvni co me pri pohledu na obrazky napadlo: ABICKO! A to je dobre :-)
Skvela prace panove. Doufam ze se vam podari udrzet pratelskou cenu a neprezenete to zbytecne s nejakyma KS bonusama, a misto toho se soustredite na rozsireni, ktere se v tomhle pripade samo nabizi.
Drzim palce!


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