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Subject: [WIP] Man on the Moon (Early Prototyping) rss

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Josh Kotlowitz
South Africa
Cape Town
Western Cape
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The year is 1955 and the super-powers of the world strive to demonstrate their superiority. And there is no better way than building technological marvels capable of taking men to the stars. Your nation must prove that it is best. Your nation must put the first man on the Moon.

Game Summary
Play as the space agency of one of the semi-fictional* super powers of the Cold War. Design rockets to gain science, reputation or money, or race to be the first to achieve historic milestones such as putting the first man in space or successfully landing a probe on the Moon.

Players will at first struggle to get a simple craft to orbit, but will later on send complex multi-stage craft to the Moon, Venus and Mars. The game is won by successfully landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely back to Earth.

Playtime: 2 - 2.5 hrs, Ages: 14 and up

*The European Union and East Asian Conglomerate are added to allow for 4 players


Current Status
I've been working on this game for sometime now (so it's just a coincidence it was posted on the same day as the Lunar Landing themed 24 hour contest). This is essentially a Version 2 of the game. Version 1 was a far more realistic, but also more complex version which I play-tested with friends several times. After the play-testing I decided to do a complete rework primarily aimed at simplifying. What has been done so far:

+ All the core game mechanics have been worked out
+ Basic board, player sheet and card layouts drawn up
+ First values have been assigned
+ First iteration of play-testing has begun
+ First iteration of balancing has begun

Lastly
I'd love to see this game published one day, however I have little idea how much interest there is for a game with this theme and of this complexity. So if you love or hate it, please say so and if enough people like it I'll make a PnP version (there will be lots of cutting) available in the near future.

Lastly (I promise this time), I am new to game design and so I would also greatly appreciate any feedback, suggestions (especially for the name) or criticisms you have.

Thank you for reading
 
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Garry Rice
United States
Perkasie
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I'd be curious to see/know more, possibly to pnp. How does it compare to Leaving Earth? I've played that once and your description brought that game immediately to mind.
 
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Josh Kotlowitz
South Africa
Cape Town
Western Cape
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garry_rice wrote:
I'd be curious to see/know more, possibly to pnp. How does it compare to Leaving Earth? I've played that once and your description brought that game immediately to mind.


Thanks for bringing Leaving Earth to light! After watching a play-through I can say this:
The themes are almost identical, however Man on the Moon does not allow achievements that did not occur during the space race (such as landing men on Mars and Venus). While the phases of the games are similar in essence, they are implemented in vastly different ways.

For example, Leaving Earth has a very different rocket building mechanic. They've cleverly combined rocket range and acceleration into one variable which I really like. The only issue I see to this is that you can't get a long-range, low thrust rocket (however quite a minor modification could fix this).

On the other hand, Man on the Moon determines range using your fuel to mass ratio while your 'speed' is determined by the thrust to mass ratio. (I think I might prefer Leaving Earth's way of doing this and will look into it further)

I won't go through all the phases, but in summary it seems like Leaving Earth is less complex. The main choices you make are which missions to pursue and I imagine the rocket building is fairly similar between games. Man on the Moon gives players several options on how to build their rockets depending on their available techs and players have far less control over which technologies they can unlock. I cannot comment on how the competitive play of the two games compare as I am unsure how multi-player works in Leaving Earth.

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