Mitchell Lurcook
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So Ive been working on a board game, its basically a space 4x, equivalent to TI3 and Eclipse.

However it takes a few things from many different games that i like, like the action system from Race for the galaxy, the hidden movement and orders from Game of Thrones. takes a few other systems from a few other games that i like.

One of my favorite games was Eclipse (still love it, its just not in my top 10 anymore, probably 11, beaten by Forbidden stars), then one day I played TI3 and loved it. On the way home I started thinking (the game was at a friends house) I would love a game like TI3, but with the economics system of Eclipse and the ability to win peacefully.

So that's how Spiral empires (the game takes place in a spiral galaxy) started, then I adopted systems from games I enjoy to work with it, kind of a melting pot of about 7 different games.

I was hesitant about how it would all work at first, and was afraid that it would wind up being way to complicated.



after about a year of working on it, I finally got a Prototype together shown here. I managed to test it with my wife, and to my shock, the game was surprisingly balanced already and all the systems worked really well together and with minor tweaking it seems I may be able to get the actual 4X feel where War, diplomacy, economic and exploration/expansion victories will be valid.

My wife said she really enjoyed it, but I chalked it up to my wife being nice, but it gave me some really good data, letting me know what needed to be fixed and changed. our 2 player game took about 6 hours, however we were talking a lot about rules that should be fixed, we ate dinner, and everything.

So I test played it again a few days later with my brother and a friend of mine, they both wound up loving it as well. However the game took about 5 hours to play, for the same reasons, we kept stopping and discussing things we thought we should change, and changing systems mid game to see how things would work, then changing again and again, evolving the game over time mid game. So the playtime isn't really accurate as of no, figure its gonna take many more games.

The game also wound up not being nearly as complicated as I was worried about. This is mainly due to how i have everything laid out, most things make sense, or its labeled in a way that makes it simple to understand.

Next time we play it, im just going to give everyone a notepad and pen so we can just play the game (with normal banter and BSing like normal) without rules discussions. any issues they see they will write ad we will discuss it after the game, so I can get a better idea of game play length.

Being so excited that people enjoyed it, I wound up making a prototype of what the System cards will look like seen here. The top image has the prototype system card on the right, left is what the final result will hopefully look like.


My intention for the game is everyone starts off exactly the same, except there starting system that dedicates there starting resources, other then that, everyone starts off on the same playing field, I want the game being about you are making your race what you want them to be.

With that said, im trying to keep everything in the game generic, very little art, even the ships are going to look like Radar blips, arrows with the combat strength and class of ship stamped on it (eventually)

My reasoning for this is if your playing the game purely for mechanics, then you wont care anyways. Someone who wants to get immersed in the story they are telling, they have that ability.

Last game we played, my Friend was a race of Hyper intelligent Pigeons, my brother was basically Cylons, and I was a race of Super Kawaii lewd anime girls because why the hell not. War was declared on me pretty quick, lol. But I want you to tell your own story.

My pigeon friend tried to colonize a system (I have them full systems to make the scope feel larger) and his colony fell due to it being inhabited by man eating plants and he wasn't prepared, he tried to colonize a different planet that was ravaged by massive ion storms, he managed to keep that colony by building giant bird cages that deflected the storms (one of the options to combat the storms was to build domes around the colony, Colonization you draw a card to see if the colony dies out or not and have to pick one of the 3 options that you can fulfill, usually paying additional resources or having combat strength over an amount.

Here's the tech tree/reference sheet in the middle of the table for everyone to have access to.


I also have a few questions, is there a place online I can get the images of planets that are royalty free for the cards? these are just googles planets with transparent backgrounds, just to get an idea.

Also is there anything I should be worried about in terms of not losing my ideas to anyone? I know its a dumb thing to worry about, but I've worked really hard on the game. I plan on Kickstarting it once its better with balancing. I have a YouTube channel (Youtube.com/TheKwarenteen) that I review board and video games on, I was thinking of making a playlist with like a Dev Blog and maybe record my play tests to act as like a poor mans copyright? I had a post like this a while back, but now that its nearing something bigger and better Im just wanting to make sure all my hard work isn't going to screw me.

I was going to post the rules, my cards (the file that I edit to track what all my cards do), and my tech tree (I posted that anyways), but im worried to.

Any advice?

Brings me to my last questions, wheres the best (cheap preferably) place to get a professional board, cards, tokens, and pieces made to get a good quality prototype for the kickstarter?

Honestly however my end goal isn't to make money with it, I just wanted to make something I thought was cool, and want to share it with everyone, if its never funded that's fine, at least ill have a nice copy of the game my local group enjoys.

Now that I've ranted on this long, let me know what you thing from what you've seen in the comments and any advice would be super helpful.
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Caroline Berg
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WolfVonhinslik wrote:
I also have a few questions, is there a place online I can get the images of planets that are royalty free for the cards? these are just googles planets with transparent backgrounds, just to get an idea.

Do an advanced search for images that are free to use, share and even modify commercially and see what that gives you. There might be some public domain images you can use. You can always search here too: http://publicdomainreview.org/

WolfVonhinslik wrote:
Also is there anything I should be worried about in terms of not losing my ideas to anyone? I know its a dumb thing to worry about, but I've worked really hard on the game. I plan on Kickstarting it once its better with balancing. I have a YouTube channel (Youtube.com/TheKwarenteen) that I review board and video games on, I was thinking of making a playlist with like a Dev Blog and maybe record my play tests to act as like a poor mans copyright? I had a post like this a while back, but now that its nearing something bigger and better Im just wanting to make sure all my hard work isn't going to screw me.

You will get different responses to this. Basically, no one wants ideas, they want finished products. Stealing ideas is far less likely to happen. Stealing a finished product that has already been made - is far more likely.

WolfVonhinslik wrote:
Brings me to my last questions, wheres the best (cheap preferably) place to get a professional board, cards, tokens, and pieces made to get a good quality prototype for the kickstarter?

Good question - there are some places that provide nice prototypes... but I have seen far too many Kickstarters where the original prototype maker balked at the number of orders, or couldn't get the colors quite right, so the creator of the Kickstarter had to spend months getting a new company after the Kickstarter supposedly finished. Whatever you do, I highly recommend doing a LOT of research before hand.

James Mathe has some amazingly good information - but if you want Kickstarter specific information, you can start here: http://www.jamesmathe.com/some-useful-kickstarter-links/
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Mitchell Lurcook
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If everything goes according to plan, I should have something finished and ready for a kickstarter in like 2-4 months or so. What precautions would/should I need to take so i don't get screwed. Ive worked really hard on this and would love to see my game (not even get rich off it or anything) sitting on the shelves of shops, that thing i made, out for everyone to enjoy.

Or would the kickstarter its self act as a copyright? and should I go ahead and post YouTube videos or anything, maybe generate (hopefully anyways) some buzz over it?
 
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Caroline Berg
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I'm not going to touch the copyright question because I'm not a copyright lawyer!

As no one has ever stolen any of my games, I can't speak to what precautions you should take. Perhaps others on the site who have experience in those matters will weight in - but I have a feeling there is very little you can do to prevent it, should it occur.

In my opinion, any and all buzz you can generate about your game is a good thing - so you would want to create videos, and post it to build up a group of fans well before you decide to launch. Also, I'd research the best times of year to launch a Kickstarter - 2-4 months might be too soon - later in the spring or summer might be a better idea, so delaying a few month more wouldn't hurt.
 
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Mitchell Lurcook
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Thanks for the advice man.

Ill just go with it, if someone steals my game, ill deal with it then i guess.

sometime next week I may put a youtube video up with the current build, is that something I could post to BGG (better question for mods I guess)

Basically its a melting pot of TI3, Eclipse, Race for the galaxy, GoTTBG, with aspects from a few videogames like GalCiv3 and Civ5.

Tryign to make a legit space 4x where all avenues of victory are equally viable. So its been an interesting task, politics is the one thing thats a bit shaky at the moment.

Basically you can enact laws and stuff that change rules of the game, and the person that tried to enact the law gets VP if its passed, other cards give one player free stuff, or abilities, but the person who tried to pass it gets a lot of VP, that needs to be ironed out a bit

Other then that the game only needs minor tweaking at the stage its in now.
 
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